The average American home loses 25% to 30% of their energy through low quality or leaky windows. Energy star released a study that states if you replace your single pane windows with energy efficient windows you could save upwards of $400. Replacing windows can be overwhelming with all of the design choices on the market but Remodeling Masters are here to help.
Where do I start?
Start by drawing a simple layout of your house and mark where the windows are on it. It doesn’t have to be perfect; it just needs to be legible enough for you to understand it. Then walk around your house and write on the drawing what type of window you have in each room using the following guide.
8 types of windows you may need
- Single Hung Window – A classic looking window that slides up from the bottom within its frame. These are cheaper than the similar double hung window but provide the same look.
- Double Hung Window – These windows look a lot like the single hung but each section can slide up and down within its frame. You could slide the top section down to let out the hot summer air (or the smoke when you burn the biscuits) or the bottom slides up to let the cool air in.
- Slider Window – Sliding horizontally left or right in their own frame, these windows can add a modern or contemporary look to a house as well as being easy to use.
- Casement Window – A
hinged window that opens and closes with the turn of a crank. The hinge is located on the left or right of the window causing it to swing out. These windows hold a lot more design choices since their design does not affect their function. A casement window could have grills, a glass design or even mimic the double hung look.
- Awning Window – Similar to a casement window but they are hinged atthe top and the window swings up creating a glass awning. This type of window works well in rainy climates because they can be slightly opened for circulation but keep out the rain.
- Picture Window – This is a stationary type of window that lets in the maximum amount of light and an unobstructed view.
- Bay Window – This window is a window that protrudes from the house’s exterior. They give you more space inside a room and are usually a combination of a stationary window flanked by two double hung or casement windows.
- Storm Window – An additional measure of protection against the elements (or the neighbor kids baseball). These windows that can be made out of glass or plastic and are mounted on the outside to protect the more costly main window.
Wow, that’s a horrible drawing but it’ll get the job done.
Now that you have your drawing labeled sit down and think about each window one by one. Do you wish that the small window over the sink opened up? Do you want a more unobstructed view of your beautiful backyard? Or do you just want the windows in the living room to open up? Great! Now on your drawing (or make another if your first one is looking a little cluttered already) label each window with the type of window you would like it to be. Congratulations you have the beginnings of a plan. There are a few more options you need to decide on but we’re still here to help. Let’s move on to window frame materials.
- Vinyl – Window frames that are made out of rigid, impact-resistant polyvinyl chloride (PVC) the same stuff your water pipes are made out of. This material can be used to make most window styles as well as being affordable and a good insulator. Vinyl frames also do not require painting and they will not fade or rot.
- Aluminum – Strong and long lasting, this frame type has almost all the same advantages as the vinyl except they are not as energy efficient. They also can be a little more expensive than vinyl but still cheaper than wood.
- Fiberglass – These frames don’t usually crack, bend, warp, rot or corrode. They are made of a similar material as the glass and so they expand and contract at the same rate. Like the vinyl they do not conduct heat easily so it makes them a strong contender if you are going for efficiency.
- Wood – The most classic of the materials and as durable and long-long lasting as the other options. Wood frames do not conduct much heat and do not allow a lot of condensation, but without proper maintenance will not stay as nice for long.
Last but not least window efficiency
As we said in the beginning windows are where most of your heat will be lost but there are features that can combat the energy loss.
Energy Saving Features
- Double or Triple pane glass – These windows have two (double) or three (triple) layers of glass with argon in between the panes because the gas is more efficient at stopping heat transfer.
- Low-emissivity glass (Low-E) – This glass has a coating that lets in visible light but blocks uv rays which slows heat transfer down.
We are Here to Help
Now that you have your beautiful drawing with all your notes, give us a call with your questions. Even though you are now a master in all things that pertain to windows we are still more than happy to help you plan. We have experience in new builds, old builds and anything in between, you can trust Remodeling Masters to deliver a quality final product.