What to Look for When Choosing a Window Replacement
If you are looking to replace your windows, there are a few things you can look for to help you make a more informed decision. These include Visible transmittance (VT), Condensation resistance (CR), Frame material, and maintenance.
Keep in mind also that some windows are more energy-efficient than others. Homeowners who install energy-efficient windows—or other qualifying, energy-efficient upgrades—can take advantage of federal income tax credits of up to $3,200 at the time of this writing. These tax credits are typically not realized until you file taxes. More often than not, a standard tax return can be filed for free depending on your preferred tax-filing platform. Of course, you can also consult a tax professional if you have questions.
Double-pane vs. Triple-pane Glass
If you’re looking for a new set of windows for your home, you may wonder what the difference between double-pane and triple-pane glass is. Some people say that triple-pane is the way to go. However, there are pros and cons to both of them. Choosing the right window for your home can affect your purchase price. Depending on your climate and your frame’s material, your window’s energy efficiency can be crucial to reducing your monthly power bills.
Double-pane windows are cheaper and do an excellent job of insulating your house. This is because they use insulating gas between the panes. Argon is a commonly used gas, but you can also choose to go with Krypton or a combination of both. In addition, double-pane windows are easier to install.
On the other hand, triple-pane windows provide more energy efficiency, which means lower heating and cooling costs. Specifically, installing these types of windows can save between two and three percent on your annual energy bill. While this is a small amount, it can be helpful. It is best to hire professionals who offer window replacement services in Kansas City.
When shopping for new windows, one of the first decisions you’ll have to make is which frame material to choose. This decision will affect both the looks and comfort of your home. There are various options, but each has its advantages and disadvantages.
The most traditional and popular choice is wood. Wood’s many advantages include its natural durability and versatility. However, it is also susceptible to moisture and insect damage. So, consider choosing another material.
Aluminum is another popular option. It is lighter in weight, but it also is less durable than some other materials. Therefore, it should be used with a thermal barrier.
Vinyl is another common alternative. While it may not have the same aesthetic appeal as other options, it’s cheaper and more efficient.
Composite siding is a type of window frame material that resembles natural wood. Many of these products are made from recycled materials.
You can also opt for vinyl or aluminum surfaces. These options are a great way to reduce maintenance. They also protect your window from corrosive air pollutants.
Visible Transmittance (VT)
Visible transmittance (VT) is one of the most crucial window energy ratings. This rating determines how much sunlight is allowed into your home. The VT rating ranges between 0 and 1. Choosing a replacement window with a higher VT score will allow more natural light to enter your home.
Unlike the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), which measures how much heat the window lets in, VT measures how much light is allowed into the room. It takes into account the entire structure of the windows.
The thickness of the frame and sash, as well as the number of panes, are all factors that influence a VT rating. Low-E coatings on the glass can also affect the VT.
Lower VT values can cause gray casts, as well as less light and a dimmer living room. On the other hand, high VT will give you more natural light and keep your home comfortable.
Besides determining how much light comes through the windows, the VT rating can also be affected by the grids, muntins, and other features. Some replacement windows feature grids that can decrease the VT.
Condensation Resistance (CR)
Condensation resistance (CR) is an essential factor to consider when buying a new window. Condensation is the buildup of moisture on the inside of a glass pane. This can damage the glass, the frame and the wall cavity.
A window with a CR of 50 or higher is a good choice. However, if you live in a cold climate, you should get a CR of at least 60. Getting a CR of over 50 means, you’ll be able to keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
Window manufacturers have various ways of measuring condensation resistance. For example, they might use a spacer that has low conductivity. These spacers can increase the window’s overall resistance to condensation. Another option is using Low-E coatings. Those coatings sacrifice visible light to provide better energy efficiency.
The National Fenestration Ratings Council (NFRC) developed a method for rating condensation resistance. NFRC places windows using a scale of one to 100. It uses an empirical measure of the frame temperature and weighting factors to calculate a value for the assembly.
Windows are an essential element of a home. They provide safety, security and energy efficiency. However, they are also susceptible to damage. Therefore, homeowners must perform regular maintenance on their windows.
Aside from maintaining a window’s function, it’s essential also to take care of the frame. Wooden frames are vulnerable to moisture and can become rotten over time. Cleaning the frame with a damp cloth can help prevent problems.
A proper window maintenance routine can extend the life of a replacement window. This is because it helps ensure that the window remains functional and maintains its beauty. A good cleaning can also help prevent costly repairs later.
Among the most basic tasks are cleaning and sealing. Using a mild detergent or vinegar, clean the glass, and use a soft-bristled brush to scrub away stains. Then, rinse and dry the glass.
Choosing the proper sealant is essential. If the seal is damaged, you could end up with air leaks, which directly affect your monthly utility bill. Moisture between gaps can also lead to rusting, rotting and energy loss.