Energy-conscious homeowners, nowadays, are always trying to minimize the cost of cooling and heating their homes. Choosing the right type of windows is a crucial step in that direction. There are four factors that are involved in the process of choosing energy efficient windows: Frame, Glass, Design, and Installation. Each factor comes with its own set of pros and cons.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT FRAME


VINYL FRAMES:

Vinyl frames reduce air leakage when they are installed correctly and well-constructed. They are an inexpensive choice that still offer energy efficiency measures. However, vinyl frames are limited in color choices.

WOOD FRAMES:

Wood frames require more upkeep than vinyl, aluminum, or wood clad frames. They can easily rot and are not recommended for extremely rainy or humid climates. If cut right, wood frames can stand the test of time, depending on the quality and species of the wood used.

ALUMINUM FRAMES:

Aluminum frames can be practical in rainy, humid climates, and are sometimes recommended in hurricane-prone areas. However, they are not the best materials in terms of heat transfer and loss.

WOOD-CLAD FRAMES:

Wood-clad frames offer a low-maintenance exterior enclosing a temperature transfer-resistant interior. However, these frames are not recommended for wetter climates because they are prone to water incursion, which causes rotting.

CHOOSING THE TYPE OF GLASS

Double-pane windows with Low-e glass and vacuum-sealed argon fill are the number one requested glass type for energy-efficient homeowners. They provide significantly more insulation than single-pane windows. Double-pane windows prevent heat from escaping during cold months and protect the inside of the house from the sun’s heat during hot months.

CHOOSING THE DESIGN

DOUBLE-HUNG WINDOWS:

Double-hung windows are the traditional units in homes across the country. On double-hung windows, the bottom slides up to open the unit. They are efficient, but in extreme climates, they may cause air intrusion between the sliders.

CASEMENT WINDOWS:

Casement windows open by using a crank that swings the window outward when opened. These types of windows are popular in windy climates. They typically require maintenance on hinges and seals to ensure efficiency and stability.

PICTURE WINDOWS:

Picture windows do not open and are found in a variety of shapes and sizes. Glass type and gas-filled interiors play a huge role in the efficiency of these larger units.

PROPER INSTALLATION

Even the most expensive, energy efficient window unit won’t perform properly if it is not installed correctly. Some contractors rely on expanding foams and sealants to get a window to fit well – these materials can lead to many problems because they are not waterproof. It is best to waterproof long before the windows are being installed. If caulking and flashing are not done with enough detail, you are more likely to face water intrusion problems.

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