Windows are an integral part of your home. They provide crucial lighting to your home’s interior, facilitate indoor and outdoor air ventilation, and offer views of the outside world. Choosing the right windows is a major decision when building a new home or considering a total window replacement in your existing home. In this month’s blog post, we review key details regarding windows so you can make an informed decision about this significant home investment.
Replacing Existing Windows
Like most home components, your windows are subjected to wear and tear from the outside elements and ongoing use. If you live in an older home with window frames made of wood, you probably have experienced the onslaught of age. But even modern windows can age quickly because of faulty installation or defective materials. You may notice several signs indicating that it might be time for a replacement.
These signs may include:
- Challenges in opening and closing windows
- Condensation inside double-paned glass windows
- Increased drafts or noise coming in from the outside
- Rotting, warping, cracking, or crumbling frames
- Increased utility bills
These signs and others are a good indication to start planning for a window replacement project.
Types of Windows
There are many distinctive styles of windows that you can choose for your home, depending on your preferences, purposes, and needs:
- Single-Hung: The single-hung window uses a bottom window sash that can move up and down while the upper sash is stationary. Single-hung windows are a standard builder design due to the low cost; however, these windows provide limited functionality and ventilation for homeowners.
- Double-Hung: A double-hung window can move both the lower and upper window sash. With more functionality than single-hung windows, this style provides more ventilation, but cleaning them is still challenging for homeowners who can only access one side of the window from inside the home.
- Casement: A casement window is a unique style that uses a crank handle to open the window outward. Rather than moving up and down, the window is cranked open sideways and outwards to provide ventilation.
- Awning: An awning window opens outward from the top, typically preventing any rain from coming through the window.
- Sliding: A sliding window on longer walls can make a room look larger. The overlapping sashes are usually on a track and can slide left to right to open the window and provide ventilation.
- Picture: A picture window is a fixed window that cannot be opened. Picture windows provide unobstructed views outdoors and are sealed well to prevent moisture ingress.
- Bay: A bay window is typically part of an extension of the home that protrudes from an exterior wall. You may find a bay window in the dining area off the kitchen, or a study. This type of window provides a panoramic view of the outdoors.
Energy-efficient windows are an essential consideration for both new and existing homes. When choosing your windows, make sure to research the energy efficiency standards. Look for the ENERGY STAR label, which provides more details on the energy savings of your window choice. The more energy efficient, the more savings you will have on your heating and cooling bills.
Energy efficiency is driven by several factors, including:
- Thickness and amount of pane glass (for example, single or double pane)
- Low Emissivity (or lowE) coatings, which provide insulation to the windows to block or absorb thermal energy
- The type of frame materials, such as vinyl, aluminum, or wood
- Gas-filled windows, and
- The seal from the weatherstripping.
Replacing your home’s windows is a significant decision that requires careful consideration. By understanding when to replace windows, the different types available, and how to choose energy-efficient options, you can make an informed decision that will enhance your home’s comfort, increase your home value, and potentially save money on energy bills.
If you would like to have your windows replaced or you want to change them out with a home remodeling project, give us a call. The Prominent Builders and Design professionals have worked with homeowners throughout Bergen County, NJ. We can help you select and install for you the best windows for your home’s style and budget. Contact us today to talk about your next home renovation project.