Is it time to replace your windows? Sometimes the answer is an obvious, yes. Cracked window panes or leaking, rotting frames are definite signs that it’s time for new windows. If your home contains single-pane or temperature-conductive windows, you might upgrade to a more energy-efficient window. In any case, replacing your windows is an important decision. Especially considering the cost of the purchase and the fact that most expect new windows to last for twenty years or more. So if you’re thinking about purchasing new windows, it’s a good idea to know what your options are.
Your choice for window style depends on the structure of your home and function of the window. The most basic and popular window styles include:
- Single or Double Hung Windows: Most homes contain these windows. They are made of two separate sash which open or close by sliding up and down. A single hung window only opens from the bottom up, while double hung windows open from the top and the bottom. Double hung windows create better airflow and are great for homes with small children because they make it difficult for the child to climb out of the bottom window.
- Casement Windows: These windows are made of one large sash that is hinged vertically and swings open using a lever or other similar mechanism.
- Awning Windows: These windows are hinged at the top and open from the bottom. They are very popular in coastal areas and bathrooms.
- Slider Windows: As the name suggests, these windows open by sliding from side to side, ideal for small spaces.
Window Frame Materials
You have several options when it comes to window framing. Most choose wood or vinyl, however there are three materials that work well depending on your needs.
- Wood Windows: Wood windows offer great style and are resistant to heat and cold. The downside is that wood requires maintenance including painting, staining, and weather treatment.
- Vinyl Windows: Vinyl is nice because it looks great and is virtually maintenance free and reasonably priced. They do require cleaning from time to time.
- Aluminum Frame Windows: Not very energy-efficient, these window frames are not as commonly used. However, they are very durable, affordable, and require low maintenance.
With recent technology advancements, you now have many more options when it comes to window glass. Not only can you choose between double, triple, and quadruple-pane glass, you also have to think about the space in between the panes. This spacing does more for insulation than adding more panes. The most popular and efficient window glass includes:
- Low Emissivity (Low-E) Glass: This glass is made with a thin layer of material on the surface that reduces the amount of heat and cold that can flow through the glass.
- Impact Resistant Glass: Great for areas that are prone to extreme weather conditions such as hurricanes, impact-resistant windows are very durable and shatter-resistant.
There you have it. Are you ready to get rid of those old windows and high energy bills? Now’s the time to replace your old windows with new, beautiful and energy-efficient windows.