When you start the search for quality replacement windows for your home, knowledge is key. Windows vary drastically, from the quality of construction, to their energy ratings, and even the care handled during installation.
Homeowners that are able to ask the right questions and identify certain details about their replacement windows, will be able to purchase the best quality for their home. Here’s a quick cheat sheet to reference during your replacement window search.
Energy Efficient Materials
Efficiency in energy is a top consideration for homeowners looking to replace their windows. When it comes to energy efficiency, vinyl constructed is up there with the best. Vinyl windows do not become cold or hot to the touch like aluminum windows, and contrary to wood they will not rot or warp overtime. But since vinyl is pliable, you want to search for impact resistant windows that offer full structural reinforcements.
When you begin your search for efficient windows, there are a couple terms you will want to be familiar with.
- NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council) – Denotes certain ratings such as SHGC and U-factor, in addition to other ratings.
- U-value – relates to the loss of heat a window experiences. Most windows fall between 0.15 and 1.20. You want this number as low as possible
- SHGC (Solar Heat Gain Coefficient) – is the measure of how much heat a window blocks from the sun. This is especially important for those in southern climates. The lower the number the better; values fall between 0 and 1.
- Energy Star – your windows will also have an Energy Star label. This means that they have met the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency’s minimum standard.
Quality Window Installation and Construction
A quality window should last your home for years to come. When it comes to purchasing quality materials, you don’t want to skimp out. Sashes should be fusion welded, reinforced, and frames should be multi-chambered to ensure durability and longevity. Search for glass that blocks harmful UV rays and maximum insulation to protect the interior of your home.
Additionally, windows are only going to be as good as the company that installs and fits it. Improperly fitted windows can be bowing, leaking water, and damage to the window and your home. Consult with a trusted contractor for a professional window installation.
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