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Tips From The Pros

The Best Windows to Choose for Your Home
Sunday, July 24, 2016

Replacing the windows in your home can improve curb appeal, increase resale value and enhance interior comfort and indoor air quality if leaks or moisture infiltration are a problem. High-quality windows reduce exterior noise and protect home furnishings from sun fading, and can also have a dramatic impact on year-round energy-efficiency and utility savings.

The keys to reaping these benefits are recognizing when windows need to be replaced and knowing how to choose the best window products for your home and climate.

Is It Time to Replace Your Windows? Here are signs it’s time to replace the windows in your home:
  • They’re more than 15-years old. Window technology has come a long way in a short time. The difference between the energy efficient windows of today and those of just a couple decades ago are significant. As your energy-efficiency decreases as the result of older windows, utility costs are typically on the rise due to higher energy consumption. For this reason, it often pays off to replace inefficient windows with Energy Star-qualifying counterparts.
  • Frames are old or rotten. Is there visible age, rot or functionality issues with your current window frames? In addition to interior comfort problems, this leaves interior wall spaces susceptible to moisture infiltration that leads to structural rot, mold and mildew.
  • Windows are foggy or wet. Is there a foggy buildup between window panes and/or condensation at peak times of the year? This is another sign windows are not sealed adequately or that windows were made using cheap, inefficient glass. High-quality replacements and proper installation eliminates these and other problems.
In most cases, window replacements are done house-wide to reap the total cost-saving benefits. However, you can also create a year-by-year replacement plan, starting with windows where heat gain and/or energy loss are the biggest threat and working your way through the list from there.

Choose the Right Windows for Your Home & Climate

Here are some tips for choosing the right windows for your home, climate and budget.

The Frame

Window frames are equally as important as the glass for optimal function and efficiency.
  1. Wood. Typically the most costly, wood frames are beautiful and offer insulation benefits. However, they are higher-maintenance and benefits are diminished if the frames crack, warp or rot.
  2. Vinyl. These are a practical option for those on a budget, able to provide insulation, durability and a tight seal. Color options can be limited.
  3. Wood-clad. Many consider wood-clad frames a win-win, offering the beauty of wood on the inside and the practicality/durability of vinyl or aluminum on the outside. If you go this route, use waterproof rubber membranes around the cladding as well as a stand-alone flashing assembly to minimize water damage potential.
  4. Composite. Composite frames are made from wood shavings and resin, creating a wood-esque look with the durability of vinyl. The resins are made from recycled plastics, making composite frames an eco-friendly option.
  5. Fiberglass. They are costly, but fiberglass window frames have low thermal-conductivity, making them highly energy efficient. Fiberglass can be painted, and re-painted – and is extremely durable and low-maintenance.
The Glass

Window glass should have:
  • Double-panes
  • Sufficient U-value for the climate (minimizing undesirable heat transfer)
  • Low-e glass that reflects UV light from the sun.
By selecting window products with the Energy-Star logo, you’re guaranteed all of the above. Working with a professional window installer will further ensure you select the right windows for the right locations.

Contact Midwest Property Pros to schedule a consultation. We’ll let you know whether your home would benefit from window replacements as well as which products will work best for your taste and budget.


 

 

 

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