One of the best steps that you can take as a homeowner to improve the cosmetic appearance of your home as well as improve its energy efficiency is to invest in replacement windows.
There are now a greater number of stylish and highly energy efficient models of windows for you to choose from, and this makes it easier than ever to find the right windows to install on your property.
How Energy Efficient Windows Work
Before you invest in new energy efficient windows, it is important to understand how they work. Many windows in older homes are single-paned windows.
They may have an energy-efficient coating on them, but even this offers minimal benefits. New models have a heat reflecting low-E application. They also may have a fiberglass frame and double panes with argon gas between them.
This innovative design is available in numerous styles, and all styles can help you to save a considerable amount of money on your home electricity bill. In fact, some homeowners may be able to reduce their energy bill related to heating and cooling costs by as much as 25 percent per year by making an upgrade.
Understanding Energy Efficiency Ratings
When selecting new windows for your home, it is important to note the energy efficiency ratings for these windows. These windows are rated with a U-rating system, and this system measure the conductivity of heat through the window. Generally, a lower U-rating means that the window is more energy efficient.
The right U-rating for your home will vary based on where your home is located. If you live in a warmer climate, it is preferable for you to purchase windows with a U-rating of 0.40 or less.
If you live in a cooler climate, it is best to purchase windows with a U-rating of 0.55 or less. In addition, these windows are also rated based on VT, or visible transmittance. Generally, the lowest VT rating you can find, the better.
Today’s models of replacement windows have been designed according to ASTM requirements and standards. Nationally, ASTM recommends that windows not be permitted to open more than four inches, but there are design features that allow adults to open the windows wider for safety purposes in the event of a fire.
If your current windows are older, they may not have this important feature that your replacement windows will have.
Which Installer To Use
After you have determined which windows you want to install in your home, you will then need to find a professional window installer. Replacing windows in your home should be done with skill and the proper technique to ensure that the windows are both airtight and watertight.
Furthermore, some window manufacturers require that their windows only be installed by authorized professionals. If not, the warranty on the windows may not be valid.
In addition to reviewing the credentials of your installer, be sure to learn about the installation techniques. For example, installers should use acrylic-latex caulk for the windows rather than silicone caulk.
If you have been thinking about replacing windows for home energy efficiency or cosmetic benefits, it is important to thoroughly research the options as a first step. Then, find a great installer to use to complete the work for you.
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