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Things to Know Before You Replace Windows

WindowsNew windows can make your home quieter, more attractive, and less drafty, and they don’t need painting. They’re also easier to clean than old windows with combination storm and screens and can reduce your carbon footprint.

  • They will produce only about 20% to 30% percent total energy savings.

  • Replacement windows have great resale value when it comes time to sell your house.

  •  Newer windows have less frame and more glass, allowing a greater amount of natural sunlight to stream into your home.

Replacing windows involves many decisions. If you want new windows, we’ll help you choose the best ones for your home. Here’s what you need to know.

Window Structure

  1. Frame provides structure.

  2. Cladding protects the exterior of a wood or composite window and is made of vinyl, aluminum, or fiberglass, eliminating painting.

  3. Sash is the moving part of the window; it can be tilted in for easy cleaning.

  4. Insulated glass Double-glazed windows have a sealed space between two panes of glass filled with air or another gas that insulates better than air. Argon gas is standard on many windows, but the energy savings won’t justify paying extra for it.

  5. Low-E coating is transparent and improves the efficiency of the glass by reflecting heat yet letting light in. The coating is applied to the outside of glass in warmer climates to reflect the sun’s heat out; in colder areas, it’s applied to the inside glass to keep heat in.

  6. Grilles are decorative and are available in different patterns to match architectural styles.

Know the numbers 

You’ll see these numbers on Energy Star and National Fenestration Rating Council window labels:

  • U-factor, or U-value, usually ranges from 0.20 to 1.20. The lower the number, the better the window is at keeping heat in.

  • Solar heat gain coefficient is between 0 and 1. The lower the number, the better the window is at blocking unwanted heat from the sun. In warm climates, you’ll want the lowest number you can find; in cold areas a higher number is better.

  • Visible transmittance indicates how much visible light a window lets in and is between 0 and 1. As the number increases, so does the light.

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