PICK­ING THE RIGHT WIN­DOWS

Howler Magazine - - Community - By Jar­ryd Jack­son

Win­dows are one of the most im­por­tant com­po­nents in any home. Not only can they com­pletely en­hance the de­sign and ar­chi­tec­tural style, they also con­trib­ute to your home's in­te­rior en­vi­ron­ment and feel. High-qual­ity and en­er­gy­ef­fi­cient win­dows keep your home cool, not only by keep­ing the hot air out, but by also keep­ing the cool air in­side. The in­vest­ment will pay for it­self over the long term with lower main­te­nance costs, re­duced elec­tri­cal con­sump­tion and in­creased value of the home it­self.

In Costa Rica, we are now blessed with many win­dow op­tions from many dif­fer­ent sup­pli­ers, so check around.

win­dows are made of plas­tic, nor­mally PVC, in­cor­po­rat­ing UV sta­bi­liz­ers to pro­tect the ma­te­rial from sun dam­age. These types of win­dows have hollow cores that can be filled with ther­mal in­su­la­tion to make them more en­ergy ef­fi­cient. Many col­ors are avail­able, in­clud­ing white, black, brown and wood grain.

Vinyl/PVC

Alu­minum/metal

framed win­dows are light, sta­ble and af­ford­able. How­ever, the ma­te­rial it­self is a heat con­duc­tor, which can di­min­ish the cool­ing ben­e­fits of en­ergy ef­fi­ciency.

win­dows are sta­ble and strong. In many in­stances, they have air cav­i­ties that can be filled with in­su­la­tion, mak­ing fiber­glass an en­ergy-ef­fi­cient win­dow op­tion.

win­dows have been used in Costa Ri­can con­struc­tion for hun­dreds of years. Al­though wood in­su­lates rel­a­tively well, it does not com­pare to

Fiber­glass

Wood

in­su­lated vinyl and fiber­glass win­dows. The wood it­self is beau­ti­ful, but re­quires ad­di­tional main­te­nance to keep it that way, in­clud­ing refin­ish­ing every so many years. Wood's adapt­abil­ity to cli­mate con­di­tions is also a con­sid­er­a­tion. Wood­framed win­dows may be harder to close in rainy sea­son, and have gaps be­tween win­dows dur­ing dry sea­son.

WIth most of these frame op­tions, you can im­prove the win­dow's en­ergy ef­fi­ciency by us­ing dou­ble or triple-pane glass. This type of glass uti­lizes the air gap be­tween win­dow panes as in­su­la­tion, and ar­gon gas can be added to in­crease the in­su­la­tion fac­tor.

Al­ways keep in mind for any home de­sign that larger roof over­hangs not

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