Are Dollars Flying Out Your Windows?

With our nation’s focus on energy conservation and energy savings on the rise, it’s no surprise that upgrading windows has become one of the most popular tasks for remodeling projects. Not only do today’s modern windows offer better appearance and function than their predecessors, but their modern materials and design can provide better performance than ever before. That translates into lower bills and dollar savings for you.

So how can replacing old, worn windows put money back into your pocket? Let’s take a look at today’s energy-efficient choices for homeowners:

An Array of Window Frames Homeowners have long selected wood frames for their natural beauty and classic look, as well as their ability to insulate well (since wood is not a good conductor of heat). But, extra care must be taken to keep them from fading, cracking and warping when exposed to the elements. Be prepared to pay a premium price for quality wood frames with a high level of craftsmanship.

Today’s metal frames use a “thermal break,” a built-in separation between inner and outer frames, to fight temperature changes that lead to condensation. Metal has the advantage of being strong and standing up to the elements, with new finishing technologies providing more color choices than ever before.

Vinyl frames are a popular choice that can offer great performance for an affordable cost. The plastic-type material will stand up to exterior influences of weather, yet show a neutral finish inside. Well-made frames from reputable companies can be sturdy and well functioning.

A newer hybrid design option is to combine two frame materials. These frames have an exterior of extruded aluminum and an interior of finish-quality wood. This creates a “best of both worlds” design. The aluminum will stand up to exterior forces while the wood can offer a rich appeal and flexibility for finishing.

Window Glass Made for Performance One of the most important advances in glass construction is the double-paned window, which creates another type of “thermal break” between interior and exterior environments. This benefit is enhanced by filling the spaces between panes with inert gas, and adding performance glazing and coatings to cut down on heat gain.

Installation Is Key But remember, getting top-of-the-line windows will do you no good if they are not installed properly. Sealing of windows is key in order to support good performance in your home. Windows are one of the major areas where leakage and air intrusion can happen, negatively impacting other systems. Properly installed insulation or heating/cooling equipment can suffer from poor window installation and cause unneeded utility usage.

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