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OTHER/NOT SURE
Select this option if you need multiple types or assistance in determining the best type for your project.

SKYLIGHTS
Allow natural light into top floor rooms such as attics that may not have walls for windows.

AWNING WINDOWS
Like casement windows, they crank out, but the sash opens upward instead of sideways.

STORM WINDOWS Protect older windows against energy inefficiency and are an economical option.

SLIDER/GLIDER
These windows feature a sliding track allowing the sashes to move left and right.

SINGLE HUNG WINDOWS Only the bottom sash opens. The top half of the window is stationary.

DOUBLE HUNG
Both sashes move up and down. Generally both sashes will pop in for easy cleaning.

BAY/BOW WINDOWS Generally protrude out from the exterior wall of a home, creating a wide view and wide window sill inside.

CASEMENT WINDOWS These windows crank out and allow maximum air flow in and out of a home.

BASEMENT EGRESS These maximize light in a basement and are also used for safety.

Some brands our contractors use

The Loop Replacement Windows

The Loop replacement windows give residents an unparalleled view of one of the liveliest areas of Chicago, IL. The Loop community area is situated in the heart of the historic commercial district that defines the Windy City's skyline. Most residences in The Loop are high rise condominiums, studio apartments and lofts that overlook the IL city landmarks like Grant Park, City Hall and the Magnificent Mile.

Building and homeowners' associations may require that The Loop replacement windows conform to community standards. These guidelines enhance curb appeal by giving the building's exterior a uniform look. While the size and frames of the windows may have to conform, there are measures you can take to increase the efficiency of The Loop replacement windows and maximize their lifespan.

Energy Efficiency

A major consideration when selecting replacement windows should be energy efficiency. There are several glazing and frame options that will ensure optimal heat retention. The easiest way to select Chicago efficient window is to look for an Energy Star label.

The Energy Star label is a government program that certifies energy-efficient products and practices. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) develops specifications for products to be Energy Star certified. To earn the Energy Star label, a product must contribute significant energy savings nationwide, perform according to consumer expectations and save the consumer the difference in cost of a less efficient product through utility bill savings. The product's efficiency must be achieved through technologies available to more than one manufacturer and must be measurable and verifiable.

The Loop replacement windows must meet certain specifications for the climate of Northern Illinois to be Energy Star certified. U-factor refers to the degree of heat transfer a window experiences. Energy Star requires a U-factor of 0.30 or less. Energy Star also specifies glass coatings, frame profiles and warm-edge spacers. The Loop replacement windows meeting these requirements are labeled with a blue Energy Star decal.

Another rating agency that reviews the energy efficiency of The Loop replacement windows is the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). NRFC-certified products are marked with a label that includes the NFRC logo, a description of the product and specific figures for the various aspects of window performance that are tested. Ask contractors in The Loop about efficiency-rated products.

In addition to the U-factor, the NFRC lists the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), a measure of how much solar heat the window admits. The Loop experiences frigid winters, so a higher SHGC can lower heating bills during the colder months. Visible transmittance (VT) measures how much light the Illinois home window admits. Tints and glazes can obscure the natural light that comes through a window, so a high VT is desirable. Finally, the label lists air leakage (AL), so look for a low AL measure.

Maintaining Replacement Windows

The Loop replacement windows are investments that can add value to the property, reduce utility bills and enhance a home's appearance and function. Once you put in the money to initially install the replacement windows, you can maximize that investment by maintaining the windows so they last for years to come. With proper care, they can last for decades.

The average lifespan of The Loop replacement windows is 20 years. According to the National Association of Home Builders, the glazing typically lasts 10 or more years. Aluminum window frames, which are not recommended for the cold climate due to high conductivity, last 15 to 20 years. Wood frames, with proper maintenance, can last more than 30 years. [1]

In addition to cleaning your replacement regularly, you should inspect the runners to be sure dirt and paint are not blocking them. This will make the window easier to open and close and prevent sticking over time. During the warmer months, keep the tracks lubricated for ease of opening. Also clean the weepholes of aluminum frames that allow water to drain to prevent leakage and rust. If you have casement windows, lubricate the hinges periodically to keep them opening smoothly so you can freely view The Loop.

Always be sure the weatherstripping is in good shape. The keeps the window sealed to preserve cold air in the winter and heat in the winter. Poor weatherstripping allows heat and air conditioning to escape, causing utility bills to skyrocket, not to mention the wear and tear on your heating and cooling system from the additional burden.

Good quality wood frames will last for years, but have your replacement window inspected at the first sign of condensation. If a window is improperly glazed or poorly sealed, condensation can form on the surface when the warm interior air meets the outside frost. Continual condensation will cause rot in wood frames, making for imminent replacement. Protect your investment in The Loop replacement windows with a few maintenance measures, and you can enjoy your view of The Loop for years.

[1] http://www.nahb.org/fileUpload_details.aspx?contentID=99359 Retrieved 2011-08-07

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