Walk into any home improvement warehouse this week and you will find people scurrying about looking at different products to remodel their homes. Kitchen cabinets and counter tops are always a popular area, but where are you remodeling dollars best spent? Nothing dates a home like old windows. Replacement windows not only can update your homes appearance quickly, but the proper choice for replacement windows can begin to pay dividends immediately in energy costs.
Choosing replacement windows should begin with reaching the energy savings possibilities with each window manufacturer. Technology for window design has advanced significantly in recent years. Now not only can you choose replacement windows that are aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but very beneficial to your monthly energy budget.
The Government’s ENERGY STAR website labeled windows, doors, and skylights are twice as efficient as the average replacement windows manufactured just 10 years ago. They help cut your heating and cooling costs and can make your home more comfortable without compromising cost, comfort, versatility, or style.
These high-performing windows are available in virtually every window type, including single and double-hung, casement, horizontal slider, fixed, picture, and patio slider. Additionally they are manufactured and constructed with the most common frame materials, including aluminum, fiberglass, vinyl, and wood.
These Energy Star rated windows may qualify for tax credit benefits so it will serve you best to investigate and find out what qualifications must be met to receive the credit.
No doubt you will find cheap replacement windows in your shopping for windows. Cheaper is not always better with replacement windows. Remember energy costs will not be going down and it is best to consider your replacement windows as an investment in your home and in your future energy expenditures. High quality , Energy Star rated windows will also help with the resale value of your home, and one of todays most benefical home improvement ideas.
Choosing Replacement Windows
With heating and cooling costs always on the rise, outdated windows can really create a dent in your budget. If you find your windows are drafty and ultimately costing you money, its time to think about choosing replacement windows. Not only will you add value to your home, you’ll save yourself money in the long run. There are many styles and types to choose from, and all bring different advantages and disadvantages with them.
Clad windows give you the look of wood inside your home with the durability and quality of weatherproof aluminum on the outside. They are the most expensive of the replacement windows but are really the best of both worlds. Clad windows come in two options for the outdoor side, aluminum or vinyl. Vinyl is wonderful for upper floor since they are nearly maintenance free. They insulate better than most, so if you live in an extreme climate they will have the biggest impact. Scratches don’t usually show since the color isn’t just on the surface, it penetrates all the way through the material. Aluminum is better for mild climates since it doesn’t insulate as well as vinyl. But they do outshine vinyl by a mile when it comes to being resistance to damage and overall durability. They do need more maintenance, as scratches will usually need to be painted over.
Pure aluminum is also popular when choosing replacement windows. Since they are not liable to split, warp, or shrink they are a good investment. They are also lightweight, which is great for do-it-yourselfers. The biggest disadvantage is that they are not good for insulation against condensation, so definitely not a proper choice for your beach house.
If you have unlimited funds on your quest for choosing replacement windows, you can’t get a much better option than steel. They are mostly used in commercial projects and are very expensive. But they are by far the most durable and resistant to weather than anything else. Steel will outlast any other choice by many years.
Fiberglass windows are among the newest on the market. Because of this your options for color, style of size may be more limited. Despite this they outrank every material besides steel in terms of durability and overall quality. If you have large windows fiberglass is your best choice. They are especially capable of supporting very large panes of glass. Even if you can’t find the right color, it can be painted without warping or peeling so feel free to invest with no reservations.
Regular vinyl windows are unlike clad windows because they are hollow inside, while stile being strong. They are sturdy but keep in mind that they can warp in extreme heat or cold. They are the most affordable choice and will certainly provide many years of quality for your home.