Our team at Texas window has compiled a few smart window selection tips that can deliver long-term value.
Tip 1: Understand the disadvantages of Low Quality Windows
Low-cost windows can be super affordable than they first appear. Like any weak link in the building envelope, poor-performing windows require a larger HVAC system and ducting, which is cheaper upfront and also more costly in the long run.
The analysis is easy, but not all builders and homeowners respond to it because people don’t know how much they pay for the energy and don’t really care. By the time a new homeowner complains about low quality windows, condensation, or rooms that overheat in summer, it’s too late to rip out under performing windows. Often the builder’s or homeowner’s objective is to upgrade the entire heating and cooling system. Interestingly, complaints about draftiness can usually be traced to low-quality windows with cold glass, not air leakage.
Tip 2: Understand Various Window Types and Their Performance Attributes
Windows are available in a wide array of types, designs, and packages. To get the most energy efficiency and durability for your dollar, you need to break down the window into components. The first consideration is the type of window itself— in other words, how it functions. Carry out research on any manufacturer’s website and you’ll find double-hung, casement, sliding, tilt-and-turn, and many more. Mostly these are aesthetic choices based on the style of the home and outside the scope of this article, but there are two types of air seals around the window that you should be conversant with.
Tip 3: Choose the Right Frame Material
Apart from basic functionality, the choice of frame material has the greatest impact on price and performance. Frame materials are generally the feeble connection in a window’s thermal performance, and at 15 percent to 20 percent of the general surface, the frame has a big impact on U-Factor. But there is also durability and climate capacity to consider. The lifespan of window frames, claddings, and finishes varies widely. Choosing suitable windows based on the environment is important—especially in areas with extreme weather.
Tip 4: Understand Energy Star Recommendations
ENERGY STAR® recommendations are given for four climate zones in the United States—the mostly heating zone (Northern); two combination heating and cooling zones (North/Central and South/Central); and a mostly cooling zone (Southern). Every qualified window will list the zones it is certified for. The ENERGY STAR standard is a good benchmark for energy-conscious architects and builders, but every house is unique.