Many homeowners here in Richmond 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 Richmond 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 Richmond 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Windows were originally made from a single pane of glass, before the innovation of double panes were introduced.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.
How to Choose Replacement Windows
A thermal break or thermal barrier is an element of low thermal conductivity placed in an assembly to reduce or prevent the flow of thermal energy between conductive materials.
In architecture and building construction some examples include the following:
The effect of using different thermal breaks can be observed here by comparing various Uw values obtained with different thermal breaks and systems. With outstanding thermal breaks, aluminium frames are able to be used for passive houses. The geometry and material of thermal breaks are aimed to decrease heat loss because of conduction, convection and radiation. Conduction is decreased by using materials with minimum lambda values and also using profiles with hollow chambers. Convection is decreased by using flags on insulation profiles. And radiation is decreased by using low-e folio (e.g. insulbar LEF) on these flags.