The advantages of well-insulated windows have been known for years, and now the technology is in place so manufacturers can deliver on the promise of more attractive, more efficient windows.
Besides that, with the economic stimulus package offering tax breaks to homeowners who opt for more environmentally sound windows, the time to jump on replacement windows may have arrived. However, remember nothing is so simple.
Here are 5 things to consider concerning window replacement
a) Vinyl windows can get the job done rather inexpensively. Vinyl windows have become very popular, as they can offer an upgrade without spending a fortune. However, homeowners should remember that you will be getting what you pay for.
While new vinyl windows may represent a step up, they are not perfect in their resistance to air leakage. On top of that, the visual impact of vinyl cannot compare with the options available in wood windows.
b) The more efficient models will carry a higher price tag but in the end may come out ahead. The combination of wood and fiberglass seems to be the most effective at keeping out unwanted air and weather, though it carries an appropriate price tag.
In terms of energy, over the long haul this might even out the difference in upfront cost. Of course, in terms of appearance, the wooden models will go a long way to beautifying your home.
c) Do not overlook the installation process. Once you have done your research and decided on the right windows, you should not stop working. Your replacement windows should only be installed by someone with a good deal of experience with that brand.
Having the installation poorly handled will come back to haunt you, and potentially nullify some of the benefits in comfort and energy savings you should receive.
d) Do not look for all the benefits in cost alone. Doing the math, you will see that there is no escaping the cost you will incur when buying replacement windows. While energy savings should certainly factor into your calculations, you won’t see that return overnight, as the process takes years of accumulation.
However, you will have the immediate impact of comfort and aesthetic appeal, not to mention watching your home’s value increase.
e) For the total package, review your HVAC system’s efficiency. Great insulation at the apertures will keep your energy costs down, but every homeowner should review the entire package. Your HVAC system may be as much of a culprit as your old windows in terms of energy escapement.
Have a technician look over your system to make sure you are not getting hurt by your heating and cooling apparatus on a daily basis.
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