If the windows in your home aren’t what they used to be, these tips can be extremely helpful when it comes to replacing them. It’s tough to get good information on home improvement products sometimes, but consider the following when it comes to windows:
1 – Energy Efficiency: When you consider the energy efficiency of a window, think about how long you plan on using them for. Super energy efficient windows are a great thing to have, but the ratio between energy savings and cost may not be high enough unless you stay in that house for a long enough period of time. A triple pane wooden window may take substantially longer time to pay itself back than a similarly rated triple pane vinyl window. The most important measure of a window is always it’s U-Factor. Lower end windows may not pay themselves back at all. Windows filled with Krypton are the most energy efficient. If your window has a low enough U-factor it may even apply for a state or federal tax credit.
2 – The Warranty: Almost every window on the market is warrantied for an extended period of time. That being said, it is important to recognize the difference between a warranty for the window itself and warranty for the installation of the window. If you can’t understand the language in the warranty, don’t buy the window. If the installation is not covered than you may be dealing with a big problem down the road. Also make sure that if you are selling the house that the warranty is fully transferable (this will increase resale value).
3 – Insulated Installation: It sounds like something you hear all the time, but make sure you are working with a trusted contractor. They may skip small but crucial steps that can make or break how well your windows perform. Windows will only give you a maximum energy payback if they are insulated. Below is a video of A&A Services (Salem, MA) sealing even the smallest spaces on a window they installed.
4 – Options:make sure you discuss the options you have with whoever comes out to give you a window estimate. Ask questions like: What type of wood grains are there?, What does the divided light look like? (Picture to the right), What are the different types of windows and how do they open and close?, How much viewing area there will be?, how long it will take for the windows to pay themselves back?, What will the resale value be? You can answer a few of these questions by clicking on the links in the paragraph or by looking at remodeling magazine’s cost vs. value report. These four tips and questions to ask should help you choose the perfect windows for your home.
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