Are New Replacement Windows A Smart Home Improvement?
In times of rising costs for home heating and cooling and the need to reduce energy consumption, replacement windows are a very smart home improvement investment. Not only will replacement windows make your home more energy efficient, they will reduce your heating and cooling costs by as much as 50%. This energy efficiency will also reduce the amount of energy you use and reduce your demand for petroleum products (electricity, natural gas, heating oil, etc.). The investment in replacement windows will also increase the value of your home.
Heat is transferred through solid surfaces from the warmer side to the colder side through a process called “conduction”. Metal is a good conductors of heat. This means that your windows themselves could be causing your heating and cooling bills to be higher than the cost would be with new insulated windows. In addition, any cracks or gaps around your windows and window frames allow heated or cooled air to escape from the house to the outside and vice versa. Sealing around windows and doors and installing adequate insulation around them is the first step in improving the energy efficiency of your home. New windows, however, will probably result in a far greater savings.
These energy-efficient windows are easy to identify. They all carry the “EnergyStar” logo, indicating that they meet federal guidelines for efficiency. Talk with your window dealer about the amount of insulation you need in various parts of your home, and you can choose the right window for your specific needs.
Replacement Windows Information
Many homeowners are looking to replace their worn-out windows with new windows that operate and perform better, are more durable, require considerably less maintenance and are more energy efficient than the wood, steel or aluminum windows that were used when their homes were built.Most people look at new windows as an expense, they're not. New windows are an investment in your home. An investment which, if made wisely, not only increases the value of your home, but at the same time, cuts your energy bills, increases your comfort and reduces maintenance cost. However, like any investment decision, you need to determine what gives you the greatest value, not necessarily the lowest price. You need to educate yourself so you really understand what you are getting for your money. This is why it is important for a homeowner to work with someone they trust who walks them through the various options so they can make an educated buying decision.In most cases, style is already determined by the architecture of the house and the type of windows that are presently there. However, it is possible to change window styles, change opening sizes, add bays and bows, or do a variety of other things that will dramatically change the appearance of your home inside and out.Since it represents the largest area of the window, glass obviously has the biggest impact on energy loss. Glass technology has made tremendous strides over the last few years. Things like low conductivity spacers, low emissivity, or Low-E, coatings and gas filling have drastically cut the amount of energy that flows through the glass.Low-E is an almost invisible metallic coating that works like a one-way mirror, reflecting heat back into your home during the winter and reflecting it out during the summer. There are different types of Low-E coatings with different performance levels. Better performing coatings, like Titanium, cost a little more, but are well worth the money. Don't settle for products made with regular clear glass that is not coated.Warranties are also very important. Be sure you understand them fully. Just because it says Lifetime don't assume every component of the window and installation is covered forever. And remember, the warranty is only as good as the people who back it. Having one company responsible for the whole process is probably preferable compared to having split responsibilities, which is typical of the replacement window business.A good sales consultant's responsibility is to listen so they understand the homeowner needs in order to educate the homeowner on the various products and options that provide the right solution. While price is always important, even more important is the value you receive for what you paid. All things being equal, selecting the lowest price makes sense. But in almost every transaction we make as consumers, things are not equal. We need to fully understand these differences so we can make an educated buying decision.Bottom line; take the time to understand what you're getting for your money. Take the time to look for the investment that gives you the greatest value, not the lowest price. It's also important that all concerned buying parties be present for any discussions. It eliminates confusion and allows everyone to be clear on what you are getting and agree on what options make your investment complete.