In this post you will learn …
- What you should look for when replacing your home windows.
- What options are available for replacement windows.
- How windows are rated and what ratings you should look for.
When purchasing replacement windows for your home, knowledge is key. Windows can vary drastically, from their energy ratings to the quality of construction and even the level of professionalism that is taken when making a selection and handling installation.
Homeowners who can identify key terms and specific details about replacement windows will be better able to choose the best replacement windows for their home. To help you out, we have created the following tip sheet to reference when searching for your home replacement windows.
Choose the Most Energy-Efficient Materials
Energy efficiency is often a top consideration for homeowners who are replacing windows. The more energy efficient the window, the lower the cost of utility bills, and the more comfortable you’ll be inside of your home from season to season.
When it comes to energy efficiency, vinyl construction is one of the best. These windows do not grow hot or cold to the touch like aluminum windows do, and unlike wood they will not warp or rot over time. But be careful, not all vinyl windows are created equal. Unplasticized PVC (or uPVC) is eight times more impact-resistant than plasticized PVC and has just one-eighth of the expansion and contraction properties. And since vinyl is a pliable material, you’ll want to search for vinyl windows that offer full structural reinforcements so your windows don’t bow and lose their shape over time. Look for a warranty that covers against warping and sagging.
If you’ve grown to love the look of wood windows, but do not want the maintenance and headache, check out Stanek Windows' woodgrain interior finishes. Unlike real wood, these woodgrain interiors never need sanding, staining or refinishing.
Understand Important Rating Terms
Prior to beginning your search, learn the terms NFRC, U-value, SHG, and Energy Star®.
The NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council) label denotes certain ratings for the window, such as U-factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC). This label may also list additional testing ratings.
The U-value relates to the amount of heat that is lost through the window; the lower the number the better. According to the NFRC, most window U-factors fall between 0.15 and 1.20, with Stanek Windows’ Comfort-Gard ® XTREME High Performance Glass offering U-values as low as .16.
The SHGC, or Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, measures how much heat the window blocks from the sun. For those who live in hot climates, such as the southern states, the ability to block more heat is important. The lower the number, the more heat gain the window is blocking. The SHGC value will fall between 0 and 1.
Your home’s new replacement windows should also have an Energy Star® label. The Energy Star label means they have met the minimum standards for insulation by the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency. Match the zone in which you live to the zone in which the window has been labeled, since climate zones and insulation needs vary depending on where you live.
Quality Construction and Installation
A top quality window will last you – and your home – for years to come. Don’t skimp when it comes to buying quality constructed windows. Sashes must be reinforced, fusion welded and multi-chambered frames to ensure longevity and durability. Look for glass that offers maximum insulation and that blocks the sun’s harmful UV rays, which will help protect the interior of your home.
Additionally, a window is only as good as the company in charge of fitting and installing it. An improper fit can mean leaking water, bowing, and potential damage to the window itself in years to come. Because windows are not a one-size-fits-all purchase, Stanek Windows are always custom made specifically for your home.
If you are replacing your windows during the cold winter months, make sure precautions are taken to minimize your home's exposure to the cold. Stanek Windows are installed with our Cold Weather Installation Process. We seal the room being worked in to minimize drafts to the rest of the home and we utilize a two-person installation crew so the removal of the old window and placement of the new one is seamless.
Custom Colors and Designs
While it’s important to locate a high quality window and a professional company capable of top notch installation, you also want your new replacement windows to look great, right? When shopping for new windows, choose a company that can customize the windows for your home.
Here are some questions to ask:
- Do you offer fade resistant color?
- Can you replace uniquely shaped windows, such as trapezoids or half rounds?
- Do you offer woodgrain (if desired)?
- What colors do you offer for both interior and exterior?
- Can you create custom exterior options if needed?
- Do you offer hardware options such as bright brass, antique brass or satin nickel.
Want to learn more about what you should ask when researching replacement windows for your home? Download our free window buyer’s guide today and get helpful tips on what to look for in replacement windows.
If you’re in the market for home replacement windows, contact a Stanek Windows professional today. We offer over 25 specially shaped windows and unlimited custom exterior colors. In addition, our windows are superior in quality when it comes to energy efficiency, blocking UV light, and withstanding strong winds and water penetration. When it comes to home replacement windows, we stand behind our products.
Call us today at 1-800-230-8301 for a free in-home consultation.
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