Many homeowners here in Louisville 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 Louisville 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 Louisville Homeowners
Whether you want to replace your cold, drafty windows or simply want to enhance the overall appearance of your home, you will have to go in for replacement windows even though choosing the right replacement windows is a burdensome task and involves a significant investment. Replacement windows squeeze in air between two panes of glass, providing a layer between the inside of your home and the weather outside. Thus, replacement windows insulate your home from extremes of both hot and cold. And at the same time reduce your homes energy costs and change its decor. Replacement windows come in many shapes, sizes, and styles to match your home. Basically, there are four types of replacement windows: (i) replacement windows add light and style to your home; (ii) skylights brighten the room and add an interesting design element; (iii) sliding doors are another form of replacement windows; and (iv) the slider helps you save on energy, especially in summer, because you can leave the screened portion open. Before you buy replacement windows, you need to decide how you want them to open. Again you have various choices, such as: (a) casement windows with vertical hinges that swing in or out by winding a handle; (b) double or single hung types made of two cases that slide up and down; (c) sliding windows that move horizontally; and (d) plain fixed form windows that dont open at all, but let the light come in. You also need to see how your replacement windows have been fabricated to make sure they match with the architecture of your home and provide maximum insulation. You can now choose from some recent manufacturing developments like vinyl and fiberglass that are highly insulating. Vinyl windows are a popular and economical alternative to aluminum, wood, and fiberglass, because they are energy efficient, easy to install, and effortless to maintain. Made from a plastic called polyvinyl chloride, or PVC they provide a superb degree of insulation. Moreover, they require practically no maintenance because their durable surfaces are already stained, finished, and sealed. The exterior casing of vinyl windows doesn't fade or wear under ultraviolet sunlight, making them far more durable than aluminum or wood. For the purpose of energy efficiency, you can go in for triple-pane windows that have three pieces of glass with layers of air between them. Air absorbs heat and cold much better than glass. You can further reduce air conditioning and heating costs if you replace the air with a gas called argon. While shopping for replacement windows, visit many showrooms and make sure that the window is 'user friendly'. Try it out to see if it opens and closes with ease. You must remove all your doubts before scheduling an installation. Also, look for certification information from the National Fenestration Rating Council to compare the energy efficiency of each brand and style of window. Dont forget to see the actual warranty before making your purchase and understand all the details. Replacement windows involve heavy expenditure, so it is important you make an informed and confident decision based on the needs of your house, the kind of windows to be replaced, and your budget constraints.
Triple Pane Windows - Insulate Your Home With High Quality Windows
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.Thanks for stopping by, please come back soon, but I won't leave the light on for you...