Did you know that upgrading to energy-efficient windows can put as much as $465 back to your wallet? You read that right! Change those leaky single-panes to Energy Star-qualified products, and you can enjoy this kind of savings.
This doesn’t mean that going for such replacements automatically guarantees savings though. There’s a process to consider (think window location, materials, etc.) for you to reap these benefits.
So, before you choose the first provider on that list of “window replacement near me” Google results, make sure you understand these considerations first.
Don’t worry. We’ll go through all these with you. So, keep reading to arm yourself with the must-knows when it comes to window choices!
Replacement or Retrofitting?
First things first: Do your old windows already need a replacement? Or would a retrofitting job be a better choice?
Retrofitting can save you some cash, so long as they’re still in a functional condition. Otherwise, if your windows are in poor condition, a replacement may be a wiser choice. Especially if they’re quite old and let a lot of drafts in.
Location, Location, Location
As with anything real estate-related, window location influences how you choose windows. Consider the fact the United States is in the Northern Hemisphere. This means U.S. homes should have south-facing windows to maximize its solar or heat energy.
More than this, the exact window location dictates the orientation and size of windows you should install.
For instance, your living room windows face south, which means they get the most sunlight.
This makes large windows appropriate for them. They’re key to enjoying lots of excellent natural light. Their bigger size will also let you enjoy that beautiful deck you built or garden you look after with utmost care.
But this also means they can let more heat in than you’d want.
This brings us to the next step on how to choose windows. You need to ensure they have the right energy-saving features.
Ratings and Labels
Don’t forget to include energy-efficiency ratings and labels in your list of what to look for in replacement windows.
Energy-efficiency ratings vary by climate and jurisdiction, however. For instance, Maryland’s Anne Arundel county falls under Climate Zone 4. As such, your chosen replacement windows should meet these IECC Codes.
Make sure your window choices also boast of the Energy Star label. Products that have this label meet the strict guidelines enforced for all windows, may they be new, replacement, or retrofit.
Pay attention to the NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council) label too. This verifies that the windows indeed follow energy codes.
The Fun Part: Factoring in Your Style
Does your project involve window renovations? Or do you want a complete overhaul? In any case, don’t forget to consider your own preferences.
Say you want ease of window operation. In this case, you should look up your awning, casement, and sliding window choices.
Awnings and casements feature a convenient by-hand crank system. The sliding ones roll on low-friction sliders.
These features not only make them easy to open or close. They also make for a great option for harder-to-reach areas. There are the high bathroom windows or those behind your counter tops, for example.
What if you want optimal views of the outdoors with as little interruption as possible? Then consider picture or garden windows. An experienced window replacement contractor can help you make the necessary additions or upgrades to keep these larger windows from causing excessive heat gains/losses.
Pro Tip: Go Vinyl
Did you know that vinyl is so popular that 15 billion pounds of it see use all over the world? About two-thirds of this go towards construction activities alone. That includes window manufacturing.
Another fun fact: In the U.S., three-fifths of all windows sold are of the vinyl kind.
All these should already tell you that vinyl has proven its durability and cost-effectiveness. After all, it wouldn’t have dominated the market for more than half a century now if it performed poorly.
There’s their almost scratch-proof attribute. This means you don’t have to worry about preserving them or paying up for expensive maintenance. You don’t even have to shell out money for staining or repainting them.
They can also withstand common environmental elements, thanks to their corrosion and rust resistance.
Best of all, you’ll find them in a wide array of types (single or double-hung, sliding, fixed, etc.). This then gives you more choices and applications to use them for.
Consider Customization in Your “Window Replacement Near Me” Search
As you do your search on how to choose replacement windows, consider your existing ones that have odd shapes or massive sizes. Keep in mind that most ready-to-install windows come in standard sizes. This means you may have a hard time finding those that fit your needs.
This said you should look for window replacement contractors offering customization services. These pros have the technical know-how and equipment to manufacture windows, whatever the size or shape.
Yes, they may cost more than the pre-fabricated ones. But if these won’t fit your frames nor your preferences, then buying them will only cost you more.
It’s All about Window Quality (and Warranty)
Like with almost everything else you buy, you’ll get what you pay for with windows. As important though is the overall quality of the product. Companies that have the utmost confidence in their products provide warranties, so be sure to look out for these guarantees too.
So, as a final reminder, look up the history of contractors you come up with after searching online for “window replacement near me”. Read up on reviews about them, and make sure they have the necessary license for window installation jobs.
Want more tips and tricks like this to improve your home? Then please feel free to browse our blog!