How to find the right re­place­ment win­dows

The Prince George Citizen - The Citizen - Real Estate Weekly - - Real Estate Weekly -

Re­plac­ing old win­dows is of­ten a worth­while in­vest­ment for home­own­ers. En­er­gy­ef­fi­cient win­dows can pre­vent heat­ing and cool­ing loss and keep homes more com­fort­able through­out the year. Such win­dows also can im­prove a home’s re­sale value, prov­ing a good re­turn on in­vest­ment for home­own­ers who want to up­grade their homes be­fore put­ting them on the mar­ket.

Ac­cord­ing to the U.S. Depart­ment of En­ergy, home­own­ers might find it more cost­ef­fec­tive to re­place very old and/or in­ef­fi­cient win­dows to im­prove their en­ergy ef­fi­ciency. Such an up­grade can save home­own­ers sub­stan­tial amounts of money on heat­ing and cool­ing costs.

Win­dow re­place­ment projects can be costly, so it pays to get the job right the first time. Be­fore be­gin­ning a win­dow re­place­ment pro­ject, home­own­ers should re­search which win­dows will meet their spe­cific needs, learn­ing the sub­tleties be­tween fin­ishes and features, as well as com­par­ing prices for the win­dows and in­stal­la­tion.

Choose the right time of year

The best time of year to plan win­dow re­place­ment is when the weather will be warm, ideally in the spring or early sum­mer. However, home­own­ers do not want conditions to be too warm, as each room where new win­dows will be in­stalled will tem­po­rar­ily be ex­posed to the el­e­ments. Fur­ther­more, caulk ad­heres bet­ter in warmer weather and will dis­pense eas­ily.

Con­sider avail­able features

When re­plac­ing win­dows, home­own­ers may want to in­stall the same style win­dows they cur­rently have. But the prob­lems that led to the need to re­place win­dows may still ex­ist even when new win­dows are in­stalled. When re­plac­ing win­dows, con­sider en­ergy per­for­mance rat­ings based on the lo­ca­tions of the win­dows in the house. To make sure they make the most ed­u­cated de­ci­sion, home­own­ers can in­ves­ti­gate the so­lar heat gain co­ef­fi­cient, U-fac­tor, vis­i­ble trans­mit­tance and light-to-so­lar gain. Ex­pla­na­tions of these rat­ings are avail­able at En­ergy.gov.

Don’t ig­nore main­te­nance needs

Main­te­nance costs in­volved with clean­ing, re­pairs and paint­ing can add up. When shop­ping for win­dows, con­sider the amount of main­te­nance they will need. Wood­framed win­dows may re­quire more up­keep than alu­minum, fiber­glass or vinyl. Also, con­sider if cer­tain win­dow types, such as dou­ble-hung win­dows, case­ment win­dows, awning win­dows, or slider win­dows, would be prac­ti­cal.

Keep home style in mind

A poor match be­tween win­dows and the style of the home can pro­duce un­wanted changes in the ap­pear­ance of the home. Re­place­ment win­dows should match the style and ap­pear­ance de­sired.

Ex­pect min­i­mal dis­rup­tion

When home­own­ers hire pro­fes­sion­als who are good at their craft, win­dow re­place­ment projects should not be a ter­ri­ble in­con­ve­nience. Ac­cord­ing to Amer­i­can Win­dow Prod­ucts, Inc., sea­soned pro­fes­sion­als will be able to com­plete a re­place­ment win­dow up­grade in a short amount of time de­pend­ing on the size of the home and the num­ber of win­dows be­ing re­placed.

Re­plac­ing win­dows can be a costly task, but one that will pro­vide a more en­ergy ef­fi­cient home that can help home­own­ers save money in the long run.

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