ENERGY efficient replacement windows are an effective way to cut down on your monthly utility bills and give your home a fresh new look. Replacement windows come in a wide variety of materials and styles to meet your specific needs. You can choose from vinyl replacement windows, storm windows, custom wood windows, bay windows and bow windows. An investment in replacement windows could cut down on your energy costs and give you and your family significant savings every month.
Finding replacement windows that meet your needs and your budget is easy. Simply enter your basic information and you will be contacted by local replacement window professionals who will answer your questions and present you with the products you need. What do you have to lose, besides drafty windows and high energy bills? Get your free quotes on replacement windows today!
Vinyl Replacement Windows
Vinyl replacement windows are an ideal choice for many families for a variety of reasons. Vinyl replacement windows are the most widely used in the market because they are highly energy efficient, affordable with a wide range of styles, easily customizable and maintenance free.
Vinyl replacement windows provide energy savings because of their moderate to high R-values, which means they are resistant to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the resistance and the greater the energy efficiency; which equates to more energy savings for you. This applies to both heating and cooling costs.
Affordable and Easy Installation
Vinyl replacement windows are one of the least expensive options when it comes to replacing your windows. There is a wide range of prices so you are able to find just what you are looking for regardless of your budget. Plus, the installation process of your new vinyl replacement windows is rather quick and easy, further reducing your overall expenses.
Vinyl replacement windows can be found in a wide range of styles, shapes, sizes and colors. You are basically only limited by your imagination. Vinyl windows have clean lines and are perfect for older or new homes.
Vinyl replacement windows are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). This means that they never need to be scraped, painted or stained and they are almost completely scratch resistant. Depending on the quality, your new vinyl replacement windows will stand the test of time. They will not quickly fade and are sure to look great for years to come.
How to Spot Quality
Vinyl replacement window are very popular because of their clean lines, their maintenance free characteristics and their energy efficient qualities. However, when looking at replacing your old windows or shopping for windows for your new home, you need to be aware of the difference in quality of vinyl windows. Although they may look identical, there can be huge variations in quality, which can make a big difference in the long run.
It is important to do your homework before purchasing vinyl windows because it is difficult to notice quality simply by outward appearance. There are three main areas you need to look at before purchasing your vinyl replacement windows, which are as follows: the quality of material, the number of chambers and how they are assembled. Unlike wood and aluminum options, vinyl can bend easily, can be effected dramatically by the heat of the sun, and can yellow with time. To avoid these areas of concern, it is important to research the vinyl replacement windows you are interested in before making your purchase. If you buy the cheapest vinyl replacement window without researching a few key areas, it can end up costing you much more in the long run. By trying to save a few bucks on your purchase upfront, you may need a replacement again in a few years - defeating the purpose of your initial savings.
Quality of Materials
Vinyl replacement windows are made out of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is made from combining many different chemicals, fillers, plasticizes and pigments. This is the same plastic that is used in electrical pipes, plumbing pipes and other household items. The ingredients to make PVC comes in different levels of quality. Manufacturers that use higher quality materials, thus more expensive materials, pass the higher costs on to the consumer. Meaning, you will pay more for the higher quality materials to this manufacturer than to that of their competitors with low quality, lower priced goods.
The quality of materials is an important factor in color change. There are two ingredients that make PVC stay pure white for many years, which are titanium dioxide (TiO2) and an organic form of tin. TiO2 is a pure white chemical used to tint vinyl white and is used by the paint industry to make pure white paints. TiO2 is expensive but must be used in specific minimum amounts to produce high quality vinyl for replacement windows. If it is not a non-chalking grade, your replacement windows will start to dust after a few years.
There is a way to spot an insufficient amount of TiO2 in a new window, but it can be tricky. If a window manufacturers does not use enough high quality ingredients, they will often tint their product with a light blue color to buy themselves some time before the window begins to turn yellow. Steer clear of vinyl replacements with a polar blue shade instead of bright white. This can be hard to spot, so if you are unsure, ask for a sample of the vinyl material to bring to another replacement window showroom. Compare the most expensive ones with your sample. You may see a dramatic difference. But beware; some high quality vinyl replacement window manufacturers purposely tint their vinyl a slight shade of blue because people find the coloration more attractive. To be sure of high quality, check for a label of certification from the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) on the frame of the window.
The Number of Chambers
When shopping for replacement windows to buy, ask for a cross section of the frame material. You will see that there are various sized chambers and a different amount of chambers in each cross section of the replacement window frame. The highest number of chambers equals the highest quality of replacement window. The number of chambers in the replacement window frame is important because this shows the strength of the window frame.
Heat can make vinyl soft, which can lead to deformation of your a window. If you have a window that is facing the sun, the heat from the sun can soften the vinyl and the weight of the glass can put pressure on the vinyl while it is soft, making it sag. Your replacement window can harden in this deformed state. High quality vinyl replacement windows have frames and sashes (the part of the window that frames the glass) that are engineered to withstand the heat that causes deformation. A high quality replacement window will have sashes and frames with extra chambers at stress points, which are generally shaded, remain cooler and are not effected by heat in the same way. High quality replacement window frames can have up to 15 different chambers.
Assembly of Replacement Windows
There are two main ways that vinyl replacement windows are assembled, which are mechanically fastened or heat welded. Mechanically fastened replacement windows use screws, brakets and caulk to hold the individual pieces together. Although this method does work, everything must be done to perfection in each step of your window replacement project - from the time the window is made to the time that the windows are replaced in your home. The caulk may not last the life of your replacement window. If your new purchase is dropped, twisted or racked during shipment or installation, the caulked seams could break and develop leaks. If a screw in your replacement window is over-tightened, it can strip the vinyl.
A heat welded replacement window utilizes the chemistry of the PVC and create one piece of vinyl rather than having multiple moving parts, as is done in the mechanically fastened replacement option. There are advantages and disadvantages in using heat welded options. Welded corners on frames and sashes generally look better; however, a welded replacement window will sometimes have drainage chambers that are hidden. These allow rain water to drain to the exterior. Occasionally, there is difficulty blocking air movement in these channels and small amounts of air can drift into your home. The strength of the connection between each individual piece can be stronger. Leaks at the corners are nearly non-existent. To avoid any leakage in your replacement option, you can check on the strength of the welded connection. The strength is a function of how much PVC is touching one piece to another, which is measured in square inches. Ask aforementioned, the numbers of chambers is important. This is true in assembly as well. Again, you want the highest number of chambers in your replacement window as possible. The more chambers in the sash or frame mean the more PVC is available for the welding process, meaning there is more surface area to connect and diminish the possibilities of leaks. When getting quotes on replacement windows, be sure to ask about how many square inches of PVC are in contact at each corner. Again, look for the highest amount.
Storm Replacement Windows
Many homeowners are interested in storm windows to lower their energy bills. Unfortunately, many of these new, energy-efficient options are extremely expensive. However, you can find storm windows that are affordable, high quality and attractive. Storm windows and window panes come in a variety of materials, such as wood and aluminum, so you can find the look you want within your price range.
Storm windows are a good investment because they can lower your energy bills significantly. Home loose a large amount of their vaunted climate control through their windows. Older homes can give up as much as 25% of that energy through a single-pane option. By considering replacement storm windows, you can significantly reduce the amount of heat and cold loss to elements. Some studies have found that savings as high as 30% by replacing old ones with storm replacements. In addition to energy savings, storm windows also block noise and protect your prime windows.
There are many types of storm replacement windows for your to choose from. Your choices will depend on your original frames, how you plan to use your replacement windows and your personal style. You can choose between double hung, double pane, aluminum storm and interior storm. There are seven basic types of storm windows.
- double hung (two track)
- double hung (triple track)
- patio storms
Perhaps you've heard the term "double glazed" or "double glazing." "Glazing" is a specialized term. A double glazed option means that there are two panes of glass sandwiched together to create a buffer in the middle. This buffer can be dead air or a special gas, generally argon. Argon creates a better buffer than air because it is more effective in inhibiting passage of heat or cold into your home. The double glazing is also known as double glaze, double pane or double paned. The idea behind this method is to create an inter-mediated buffer zone that provides a better barrier against outside temperatures than a single paned replacement option. Double paned options use to be only used for extreme temperatures but now are used in any climate.
When you decide on the type of storm windows you want for your home, you will want to compare finishes and features. When considering your frame finish, the mill finish will be your most affordable choice; however, you should consider a painted finish to coordinate with your trim color for a more complete look.
When it comes to your corner joints, the quality of construction is important. It affects the strength and performance of your storm windows. The best place to look to evaluate the quality of the construction of your potential choice is to check that the corner joints are strong and air tight. This shows a high quality, easy installation and energy efficient replacement window. Finally, be sure to evaluate the sash tracks and weather stripping. The main reason people consider storm windows is for their ability to reduce air leakage, adding to their energy efficiency. Check the weather stripping and the depth of the sash tracks, which are the metal grooves at the sides of the replacement window. The sash tracks and weather stripping on a replacement window are directly responsible for how well the storm windows perform.
Wood Replacement Windows
Wood replacement frames have been around for centuries, and even with all the new choices in replacement window materials, custom wood still remain a popular choice amount traditionalists. Since homes loose a large portion of their heating and cooling through their windows, it is important that your wood replacement frames are thermally non-conductive.
Wood frames naturally have exceptional insulating qualities simply and offer an attractive look. There are several other benefits to choosing wood frames, which are as follows:
- You can maintain the visual appeal and use modern weather stripping and hardware to improve the insulation and increase your energy savings.
- Most replacement window manufacturers offer pre-primed wood options, which can be painted virtually any color you choose. The color of your wood replacements can change as easily as adding a new coat of paint.
- Custom wood can be used for any style of home, whether you are renovating an old landmark home, striving to maintain the integrity of a traditional home, or have a new home but love the traditional look.
Although wood replacement windows are beautiful, there are a few drawbacks. Wood requires a lifetime of maintenance to keep paint looking fresh and to ward off rot. Wood is natural, and as such, can be more effected by the elements than other replacement window materials. Wood rots, shrinks and swells. Moisture and sunlight can take their toll of wood replacement windows. In order to keep up their appearance, wood frames need to be repainted occasionally. In addition, wood generally cost more than other frame materials. When considering the cost, be sure to factor in maintenance costs as well. Also, be sure to find high quality wood replacement windows that will not warp or twist. You also need high quality hardware and locks. You can also look into custom wood to get exactly the look you want.
Aluminum Replacement Windows
Aluminum replacement windows are a popular for homes, commercial and industrial buildings. An aluminum option have many benefits but also have some drawback, depending on your specific needs. If you are looking for dramatic, large picture-windows, aluminum may be the best choice for you.
There are many advantages to choosing aluminum over others. Aluminum has a good ratio when comparing strength versus weight. As such, countless custom designs can be achieved. Additionally, aluminum models have functional benefits. They are highly resistant to moisture and control noise better than most other options. Aluminum models are also economical, from the initial acquisition costs and because of their very little need of maintenance.
Although there are many benefits to an aluminum option, there are some drawbacks. Aluminum options are not insulated well so they do not protect against the heat or cold as well as other choices, like vinyl. Other choices may be more energy efficient; however there are engineering elements that can help add to energy efficiency. These are referred to as thermally-improved aluminum models. Thermally-improved aluminum models are achieved by adding a strip of foam or vinyl to separate the inside of the frame from the outside to gain better energy performance.
Benefits of Vinyl Replacement Windows
- Save on heating and cooling costs
- No need to paint or stain
- Durable and long lasting
- Wide range of styles
- Quick and easy installation
- Increased curb appeal
Types of Windows
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