Whenever your windows are tough to open, leaky or have only one pane of glass (single-glazed), they should be replaced. The window market is filled with energy-saving options for a conscious consumer. If you’re considering replacing windows or are choosing them for your new home, here are a few guidelines.
Is it necessary?
Firstly, you want to know for sure if you need to replace your windows. It’s a huge undertaking both financially and temporally. Single-pane glass windows with temperature-conductive frames should absolutely go. They do not manage energy well and you are likely throwing away money every month.
Windows in poor condition should be replaced as well. Bug infestations, cracked glass or frame, water leaks, rot, etc., are all issues that call for a replacement. These issues will just grow the longer they are left alone. If your window is a safety hazard because it won’t open or won’t stay shut, you may have some problems. These are all good reasons to start shopping.
If your windows don’t meet one of the above reasons to replace, you might consider other options to have a more energy-efficient home. While the desire to save money is good, you don’t necessarily need to replace your windows to do it. Retractable window screens by Phantom Screens are a great way to save. These screens come with a variety of mesh options that block UV rays from entering your home, saving you money on energy bills. They are invisible when closed and can be automated or motor operated to your specifications. So before undergoing a huge construction project, considering retractable window screens is a good option.
If you’ve decided to go ahead with getting new windows, you’ll want to start by deciding on a frame. Material options all come with positives and negatives, so you’ll want to take a close look at these and others to see which works best with your home.
Vinyl: Vinyl frames are cost effective and, when paired with proper glass and installation, can also be energy efficient. However, there are not as many color options and many people simply do not like the way vinyl looks.
Wood: Wood requires a lot of upkeep, but doesn’t conduct energy the way metal does, making it an energy efficient choice. As wood is subject to rot, homes in high-humidity climates may want to avoid this material.
Composite: Constructed from scrap wood and plastic resin, these frames can be made to look like wood but without the maintenance needs. As they are made from recycled material, composite frames are eco-friendly.
If you’re opting for new windows and retractable screens, Phantom Screens can design a system that blends in with the window frames you choose. That way, you’ll have great UV protection and added privacy that matches your new windows.
For those looking to reduce energy bills, the best way to go here is double-pane windows. These provide an additional layer of insulation. Be sure to look for windows that have been given the Energy Star seal so that you know you’re getting what you asked for. You may also want to consider windows filled with argon or krypton between the panes. This feature keeps out air and water for optimum insulation.
Now that you have your materials chosen, you’ll want to consider your options for installation. Be sure your contractor fits the windows well and does some pre-sealing.
Double hung: With these windows, the bottom portion slides up to open. They are energy efficient, though perhaps not the best for extreme weather climates.
Casement: Casements use a crank that swing the window open outward and seal themselves tight when the wind pushes against them.
No matter what window you choose, retractable window screens can be fitted to ensure energy efficiency in your home.