Window Shopping?

From on March 30, 2007 in Window Replacement

When it comes to updating your home, one of the best possible investments is replacing your windows. According to Remodeling Magazine‘s annual Cost vs. Value survey for 2006, window replacement is one of a handful of improvements that pays for itself in your home’s resale value.

It’s also one of the most effective ways to spruce up your home’s appearance without doing anything too drastic.

But there’s more good news, particularly if you have an older home: replacing those windows can really cut down on your energy bills. If you have old-style single-pane glass windows, you’ll be amazed at how things have changed and insulation properties have improved. Whether wood, fiberglass or vinyl, frames have become far more effective at keeping drafts, dust and allergens out. Double-thick glass, double-pane windows, and inert gas sealed between panes all help buffer the home’s interior against the elements; innovative coatings keep heat in during cold weather and out in hot weather.

Elias Arreola of American Vision Windows in Sunnyvale reports that vinyl window replacements in particular are very popular among Bay Area homeowners these days. “They’re low maintenance and installation friendly with little mess,” he says, “and the thermal efficiency is the same as new construction.”

If you’re starting to shop for windows, Arreola recommends a visit to the National Fenestration Rating Council’s Web site to see how your potential candidates stack up. (If you’re shopping at your local home improvement store, check the NFRC label.) “They’re like the FDA for windows,” he says. In particular, he says, look at the window’s U-rating and solar heat gain coefficient - the lower the number, the better the performance. Also, these days many windows carry the federal EnergyStar label.

The other factor in the window’s performance, says Arreola, is the installation. A poor installation can drastically reduce performance, and many windows have strong warranties that will not apply if installed incorrectly.

If you have questions about energy-efficient windows, or if you’re looking for a specialist to do the job right, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help.

Other Resources:

Vinyl Windows - Get information, pictures and free cost estimates from local, certified window contractors. Free services in all 50 states.

[tags]windows, vinyl windows, buying windows, window shopping[/tags]