What to Look for in Replacement Windows
With the current financial economy, people are looking for ways of saving money. While replacement windows require an initial investment, the long-term savings is tremendous. Instead of paying outrageous utility bills every month, new windows help keep cold or warm air inside the home, which greatly cuts down energy consumption. While many reputable companies sell replacement windows, others advertise that they have great windows at ridiculously low prices but as a result, the homeowner ends up with poor quality windows and bad installation.
The good news is that replacement windows on the market today are made with high quality materials and new technologies that make a home far more energy efficient. These windows are more affordable than ever before with many designed to fit into even tight budgets. In addition to saving money on the high cost of utility bills, replacement windows have another serious benefit. By lowering energy use, levels of air pollution are also lowered. This means the environment is better protected against the green house effect and global warming.
One of the most popular materials used for replacement windows in today’s market is PVC or vinyl frame windows. These windows are made from recyclable materials and they offer a sustainable lifespan. Without the windows being made with petroleum products, they support a healthier environment. In addition, these windows are virtually maintenance free, which is great for homeowners that have little time. With the vinyl composition, the windows would never have to be sanded, refinished, or painted.
The key when choosing replacement windows is for the homeowner to work with a reputable company, one that custom makes windows that fit the exact opening. Obviously, this would result in a great, seamless look while also providing a perfect seal for better efficiency. To prevent any kind of air leak, water penetration, or energy loss, the installer would use fusion welding. Typically, other replacement windows are sealed with screws or glue but by using the fusion welding option, the structural integrity of the new windows is far greater.
Another decision the homeowner would have in choosing replacement windows has to do with the panes, which come in double or triple. For homes with single pane windows, energy efficiency is horrible. However, switching to a double pane replacement window, the R-value, which is the insulating value, improves by a staggering 200%. Along with choosing thicker panes, replacement windows also come with options for warm edge technology, insulating gas, or low emissivity coating.
Replacement windows designed with low emissivity coatings work as a type of filter. Known as “Low E”, this technology allows more light to pass through the glass but also blocking ultraviolet and infrared solar energy. As a result, the interior of the home remains cool during hot summer months and warm in the cold winter. Using double pane replacement windows with this technology increases overall efficiency by 300%.
Then some replacement windows use gas. In this case, gas is added in between the panes, serving as a type of insulator. The most common gasses used include krypton and argon. Both of these gasses are non-toxic and have no color or odor. However, as a part of the replacement window design, these gases act as a thermal barrier, which increases insulating value dramatically.
Finally, replacement windows that have the warm edge technology are designed with a special kind of spacer system whereby the glass is sealed. In this case, condensation is reduced significantly while keeping the interior of the home comfortable. The bottom line is that to enjoy serious energy savings, replacement windows are a great investment.