Drafty windows can often be fixed by adding caulking or weatherstripping, but there may come a time when your windows are worn enough that the only option is to replace them. Here are some factors you should consider when choosing replacement windows for your home.
If you have never replaced your windows before, you may not be aware that there are several different types of window glass available. There is no one type of glass that is universally better than the others; instead, there are several specialized glass types that are designed to fulfill specific needs.
If you are looking to improve the energy efficiency of your home, low-emissivity (or low-e) glass is a good option. Low-e glass is coated with a thin layer of silver or tin oxide that makes your windows more insulative. If you live in a place with very warm summers, low-e windows will block more of the sun's heat, allowing you to save energy by running your air conditioner less frequently.
Tempered safety glass is another popular option for replacement windows. Tempered glass is heated and rapidly cooled during the manufacturing process. This step makes tempered glass considerably stronger than normal glass and prevents it from shattering into dangerous shards when it is broken. This type of glass could be a wise investment if you live in an area with high winds or frequent storms, as it can protect your family from injury if a window is broken.
The frame material of your replacement windows will have an impact on more than their appearance. The frames you choose will affect the energy efficiency, durability, and maintenance requirements of your windows.
Aluminum window frames are one of the most affordable options, but they have certain weaknesses that are not found in other materials. Aluminum facilitates condensation that can lead to mold growth around your window, and it is also a poor insulator.
Wood and vinyl are now the most popular choices for replacement windows. Wood frames are slightly more insulative and durable than vinyl frames, but they also require occasional scraping, painting, and sealing to prevent rot. Vinyl frames require virtually no maintenance after they are installed, and they are also available in a wide variety of finishes to complement the appearance of any home.
With the wide variety of window replacement options that are on the market, it is not hard to find the replacement windows if you know what to look for. Keep these factors in mind so you can find the perfect replacement windows for your home. For more information, contact a window installation company in your area.