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Tips for Choosing Efficient Windows

Chances are that the main reason you are replacing your old windows is to upgrade to more energy efficient models. Window companies have improved their offerings so they now help save you money on your energy bills all year long. But it’s easy to become overwhelmed trying to figure out which window are right for your home. Shopping locally is a good idea. Windows vary by region, so you’ll get the best advice from retailers that have experience in your climate. Remember, as with anything, you get what you pay for. Go cheap and you’ll end up replacing your windows sooner than expected. To help choose energy-saving windows, here are some tips.

Wood

New window frames made of wood are the most popular and very energy efficient. They are easy to maintain and can be painted to your desired color. They are however, susceptible to rot and insect damage, but better window makers offer them clad in vinyl or aluminum. They tend to cost more, but they offer the best look for both inside and outside your home. 

Vinyl

With their good moisture resistance, vinyl windows are a good choice. they are equally energy efficient to wood windows if they are insulated. they are also low-maintenance but do fade over time, especially in darker colors, which can also become brittle as they age. you can restore the finish with a soft scrub cleanser should the frames become dull. They’re slightly lower priced than wood windows.

Aluminum

These windows are strong but not very energy efficient because they conduct heat. condensation can form, creating moisture issues, including frost in the winter. most often, these are the cheapest windows you can buy.

Fiberglass

Window frames made of fiberglass are offered by some of the major manufacturers as alternative to wood or vinyl. they are high maintenance, as they need painting. they are also more expensive than insulated vinyl windows.

Composite

Composite windows look like wood and most makers refinish them in a host of colors. They preform well, but you may not like the look of a full composite window on the inside of your home. To solve this issue, some makers use composite materials on the outside of the window and wood material on the inside. cost is about the same as vinyl windows.

Tips for Choosing Energy Efficient Windows

  • Look for Low-E coatings on the glass. These coatings reflect heat inside your house and reflect UV rays from the sun outside your home. 
  • Casement and awning windows are the most energy efficient because they clamp more tightly against the weather stripping in the frame than double-hung windows.
  • Look for windows with multiple panes of glass separated by low-conductive argon or krypton gas filling and warm edge spacers with tightly constructed frames.
  • The best weather tipping on any kind of operative window is a compressible gasket type much like your would find on your car doors. The weather stripping combined with a quality latch will effectively keep out cold air and rain, plus keep warm air in in winter.
  • Look for windows with Low U-values or U-factors. These windows have the best insulating properties.

Source: HGTV

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