Many homeowners here in Benton 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 Benton 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.
Replacement Windows – A Buyers Guide For Benton Homeowners
Windows were originally made from a single pane of glass, before the innovation of double panes were introduced. Now triple pane windows are available, which hold many advantages over the previous two types. These windows will usually be more expensive, however for many people they are worth the extra cost. There are several reasons why triple pane windows are considered to be particularly energy efficient.
An Extra Layer Of Insulation
Put very simply, the reason that windows have advanced from single to double to triple panes is that the more panes there are the greater the thermal insulation properties the window will have. There will be more barriers for heat energy to have to pass through to escape. To aid in this insulation, in between each pane an inert gas is trapped. This is usually krypton or argon. This gas makes it very difficult for any heat to pass through the window, and therefore keeps it trapped within the house.
It can be seen that there are many advantages to owning triple pane windows, more so even than windows with double panes. The extra expense of these windows can be justified by the increase in energy efficiency and sound reducing quality which they provide.
Replacement Windows Add Value to Your Home
If a double pane window is better than a single pane window, should I use triple pane windows?
This is getting to be an appropriate question, "Should a window retrofit use triple pane windows?" The vinyl window manufactures are getting so good at making energy-efficient windows, it doesn't take much for them to throw in another pane of glass or two. Wonder if we will be considering quad pane windows one of these days?
If you were really interested in saving energy and wanted the best wall construction possible, you wouldn't put a window in the wall to begin with. A wall without a window has a greater R-value and fewer air leaks. We know how to build a wall that will separate the outdoors from the indoors - what we don't know how to do is build a wall that will keep the outdoors out and the indoors in and still let light through. Come to think about it, our need to let light in is at the root of the problem.
Actually, letting light in is just one of the needed benefits of having a wall with a window. Being able to see through the wall is another benefit and being able to get out of a room during a fire is another. Energy wise, a door is not much better than a window, so I guess windows are here to stay.
The Space Between the Glass:
A window with more than one piece of glass is a real blessing for saving energy and helping with indoor comfort. There is more to a vinyl window than just several panes of glass. Two panes of glass also come with an insulated frame, mounting flange, and better air seals. But the most important part is not the glass, but the space between the glass. Considering window performance, it's the space between the glass that makes the difference.
The Future of Windows:
In the near future, the efficiency ratings of windows will continue to drop. The only way a window manufacturer will be able to reach the energy efficiency ratings of the future is with three or four panes of glass. If you are seriously considering a retrofit window project, you should select the best window for your climate and that means the window will have three panes of glass.
Yes, three pane windows are more expensive than two pane windows. Shop around for the best U-factor and the best SHGC for the best price. If finances are the deciding factor, it will be better to install two triple pane windows than three double pane windows. Stick with the triple pane window and you will have greater energy efficiency for the future which will save you money for years to come.
P.S. Buy your windows and window installation from a local glass company or a licensed general contractor. Please don't buy our windows from a super salesman at a home show that has all the financing you need and a worthless lifetime warranty to go with it.
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