Did you know that heat gain and loss through windows are responsible for 25-30% of residential heating and cooling use?
If your windows are old and need to be replaced, you could save a lot of money by updating them now. But how do you know what is the best window material for your home?
Luckily, there is a wide range of materials and styles to suit every budget and need.
Here are the top five options to consider to help you pick the perfect new windows.
If you are looking for affordability and energy efficiency, vinyl may be the right choice for you. Many vinyl windows have the option of foam insulation which can increase their insulating properties and energy efficiency.
Plus, vinyl windows can withstand high impact and buffer noise, which makes them an ideal candidate for urban homeowners.
One of the biggest benefits of choosing fiberglass windows is that they can withstand sub-zero temperatures and extreme weather. They also won’t rust, rot, or bend.
Not only are they durable, but they are also energy-efficient and can help reduce your monthly utility bills. While they cost a bit more than vinyl, you can trust that they are built to last.
One of the oldest and most common window materials is wood. Prized for its natural look and beautiful finish, it can be easily customized to suit the color scheme in your home.
Just be sure to treat wood windows with a stain and sealants to protect them from insects, humidity, mold, and other damage.
Aluminum windows are a popular choice for warmer climates. While they are a very budget-friendly option, they are not recommended for the Northeast or other very cold areas.
These windows are strong and durable and better suited to Southern coastal areas.
If you’re looking for different window materials that go beyond the usual, try a new proprietary blend called Fibrex. These windows are made of composite materials that outperform vinyl and wood by a longshot.
Fibrex is low maintenance, durable, resistant to decay, structurally rigid, and has insulating properties. You can try Fibrex from Renewal by Andersen in a wide variety of colors and styles.
How Do You Choose the Best Window Material?
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a replacement window material is the climate you live in.
If your home is located in a northern area, you’ll want a material that can withstand harsh weather conditions. If you are in a southern region, you might want to consider windows that keep out the heat.
Find Your Perfect Match
Now that you’ve learned about the different types of window materials, you can choose the best match with confidence.
Vinyl, fiberglass, wood, aluminum, wood, and Fibrex windows all have their benefits and can increase the value and lifespan of your investment. The best window material for your home will suit the local climate and your budget.
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There’s no hard and fast rule on how long windows last before you need to replace them, but the general rule of thumb is that quality windows should last somewhere between 15 and 20 years.
Window replacement can be an expensive project, however, is well worth the time and expense when the time comes. Windows that have passed their prime will likely cost you way more money than you’d like to spend in utility bills, and they can cause a number of other headaches as well.
Are you wondering when to replace your windows?
Let’s take a look at seven serious signs it’s time to give your home new windows to the world.
1. You Can Feel the Draft
One of the most obvious signs to replace your windows is when you can feel drafts blowing in from outside. Not only are drafty windows letting air from the outside in, but the air that you’re paying to heat or cool is also escaping.
There are a number of things you can do to deal with drafty windows. You can purchase plastic shrink film to cover your windows during the window to help keep the cold at bay and keep your energy bills down. You can also take the opportunity to replace weatherstripping that is old, brittle, or no longer serving its purpose.
Another thing you can do is caulk your windows where the air is getting through. This isn’t a permanent fix, but it can buy you some more time before you go with a full window replacement. You might also consider hanging heavy drapery or curtains to help keep your warm air inside.
2. There’s Condensation on the Glass
If moisture is frequently building up between your window panes, it’s most likely time to get new windows. Condensation between the panes is a clear indication that your seals have failed. Unfortunately, this is not a problem for which there is a quick, easy fix.
It is sometimes possible to replace the panes of glass, but often times it’s best to just replace the windows entirely. If it’s time for you to replace your windows, check out this window installation service.
3. Your Utility Bills Are High
When you’re windows aren’t working as they should be, it means that your HVAC system is going to be working a lot harder than it otherwise would. This is because it’s compensating for your leaky, old windows. If you haven’t noticed any of these other signals that window replacing should be in your near future, the high energy bills might capture your attention.
Take a look at what you paid for energy the same month the year prior. If it’s significantly higher, it might be an indication that replacing your windows is the right call.
4. The Glass Is Cold to the Touch in the Winter and Hot in the Summer
Modern windows are well-insulated so that your home can remain at a comfortable temperature even when it’s absolutely frigid outside. If the glass on your window is cold to the touch in the winter, however, it means that your windows are doing the best job they could.
This is true in the summer, too. If you notice that the glass is hot to the touch, it means that your windows are as insulative as you want them to be.
Air temperature is one of the things that keeps your home comfortable and cozy. When your windows aren’t effectively keeping your indoor air in and the outdoor air out, your energy system is working overtime trying to create a comfortable environment for you.
5. The Windowpanes or Frames are Cracked
If you have a crack in your windowpane, you’ll definitely want to address this issue right away. Cracks in the glass are unsightly but they also can get worse over time if you don’t deal with them. Whether or not you’ll want to just replace the cracked pane or if you’ll want to replace the entire window is a matter of personal judgment.
That being said, if your windows are more than fifteen years old it might be better to simply replace them entirely. Because they are so much more efficient and effective, the cost of window replacement still might save you money in the long run.
If you notice a crack in your window frame, it isn’t as big of an emergency as if there’s a crack in your windowpane. That being said, you’ll probably want to repair the crack before it becomes a larger issue. Otherwise, it could develop into a problem that requires window replacements.
6. They Look Outdated
Even if your windows are working fine, outdated windows can negatively impact your curb appeal and the vibe of your home. Whether you’re trying to sell your home or are just looking to give it a modern upgrade, replacing the windows can radically change the look and feel of your house.
7. They Are Difficult to Open and Close
Is it a struggle to open and close your windows? Do they not stay put when you’re trying to open them up? Windows should be able to open and close properly, and if they don’t, it’s both a safety issue and a convenience issue.
For these reasons, you’ll want to start thinking about replacing your windows if opening them and closing them isn’t a breeze.
Window Replacements: Is It Time For Your Home to Get New Windows?
When it comes time to replace your windows, it can be an expensive endeavor. Typically costing between $175 and $700 per window, if your home is a place where you get a lot of natural light you’re probably in for a steep bill. That being said, when it’s time, it’s time, and replacing your windows can end up saving you money in the long run.
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