What to Look for When Buying Windows
We are in the market for new replacement windows – what should we look for when selecting a product?
First and foremost, you should work with a window company that is reliable and has a proven track record, has certified installers on their staff and it is important to obtain references. What is your goal with the new windows? Are you after total energy savings? Are you concerned about less fading of furniture and household items and blocking of UV rays, what level of low-emissivity do you want? Are you concerned about sound transmission? Are you after protection from the stray baseball or golf ball?
During the summer, direct sunlight strikes people and surfaces, creating overheating and discomfort. Windows with low solar heat gain coefficients will reduce the solar radiation coming through the glass. Are you after convenience? Tilts out windows make an easy cleaning option. If you are concerned about dust control, there are windows on the market that offer triple weather stripping. Some windows have interlocking meeting rails which removes the direct air path where most of the dust penetrates the window. There are windows that have baffled and offset weep slots which create a one-way path for water to drain out of the window seal without allowing air to flow back in. There are different types of window locks and various types of window materials, in addition to an assortment of window architecture from single hung, double hung, casement windows, picture windows, and different frame face widths and frame depths. There are frames and windows to meet every installation scenario and criteria for your home needs.
In addition to selecting the right window for your home there are some other important things to consider making your home as energy efficient as possible. If you are involved with a new build, of course the window orientation is critical and it goes without saying that proper installation and flashing techniques are imperative to a properly functioning window. Window installation is a science and that is a good thing because if you put the highest-rated window in your home and still feel cold next to the frame then the installation instructions were not followed. Window installation techniques used to be somewhat simplistic and were even considered the builders responsibility. Now that had changed. Several window manufacturers have poured a lot of research into educating the installers about their products. The building science of installation has improved alongside new flashing systems, foam sealants and clad and composite window frames. There are best practices on the market now that will save you labor, keep you from having to have a window reinstalled and even improve energy efficiency and improve the window durability.