17 Things to Know About Home Windows
1. In general, window manufacturers recommend replacement after 20 years. Replacement warning signs include draftiness, difficulty opening and closing window, panes collect condensation and just general wear and tear.
2. Homeowners can reduce unwanted outside noises with double-pane windows. Thicker glass and wider air spaces will yield greater noise control.
3. Solid wood home windows provide solid weather insulation. However, they tend costlier and require more maintenance than other types of windows due to moisture induced swelling and contracting.
4. Vinyl home windows require little maintenance and are affordable but overtime the color is likely to fade.
5. Composite home windows are more durable and stronger than vinyl or wood windows. The cost tends to fall somewhere in between the cost of wood and vinyl windows.
6. Aluminum home windows are budget friendly, strong and require little maintenance. The main downside is they conduct cold and heat.
7. Clad home windows, the most expensive type, have inner wood frames and exterior aluminum or vinyl. The benefit is that the wood reduces heat/cold transference and the exterior allows for low-maintenance upkeep.
8. According to the U.S. Department of Energy inefficient and leaky windows and doors account for more than 25 percent of the average household’s energy bills. Homeowners are able to cut these costs through energy efficient windows, coatings and frames.
9. A window’s R-value measures its resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the more efficient the window.
10. A U-factor is the rate of heat transfer from inside to outside of your home. The lower the number, the more efficient the window.
11. Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) measures how much heat your home gains from the sun. The lower the SHGC, the less heat is gained.
12. Concerning energy efficient windows, Low-emissivity (low-E) glass can keep heat inside a house in the winter and outside during warm summer days. Consequently, Low-E coated windows help to reduce energy costs, while blocking potentially harmful UV rays. Low-emissivity glass has a thin metallic coating that reflects heat back to its source.
13. Shatterproof glass, which is two to four times stronger than regular window glass, offers additional protection during severe weather and against possible break-ins. These windows are now required by code in some hurricane-prone areas. They also offer the added benefit of being as energy efficient as low-E glass, while also offering some noise protection.
14. Opening windows and letting the light stream through is a pleasant way to create the day. However, overtime the sun’s UV rays can cause fading to furniture, floors and fabrics. Some homeowners chose to use professionally applied window coatings to block UV rays, cut glare and reduce energy costs.
15. Home Energy magazine reports that light-color shades reduce a window’s solar heat gain by as much as 43 percent, while awnings reduce it by as much as 77 percent.
16. Here’s some interesting technology. Suspended Particle Device technology, allows homeowners to use a dimmer switch to tint glass panes to regulate the light coming in. This smart system can be applied to new and existing windows.
17. Routine, regular window cleaning can protect and extend the life of home windows. It also offers a way to detect small problems before they become costly issu