photo courtesy of Andersen WindowsConsidering a home improvement project this spring? There are many reasons why home improvements are done - the owner is looking to improve the condition of the home to make it ready to be sold, or sometimes the motivation is changing something to make the home more workable or comfortable. And then there is the issue of improving energy efficiency. One of the best ways to do this is by placing energy-efficient windows throughout the home, since windows can be a major source of heating or cooling loss. If you intend to replace your windows with new energy-efficient models, here are some considerations to keep in mind during the process.
- The quality of the window manufacturing is a big thing to consider. There are wide variations in price, and generally the price translates into quality of the window. Quality can make a big different in the energy efficiency of the window. This is one place you shouldn't try to economize, since wasted energy means higher utility bills. Always go with a reputable replacement window company that sells a high quality window.
- Find out if the windows that you're purchasing come with upgrade options, since these can be ways to increase the energy efficiency of the windows by choosing to upgrade with some of those options. Adding low-e coatings to the windows can greatly increase energy-efficiency throughout the home. Triple-pane glass for northern exposure windows is also a good choice for our climate.
- Always make sure to choose the contractor carefully with this project, since installation needs to be done right for the windows to work the way they were intended. If the windows are not put into the home the right way, there will be drafts and leaks. This is something that you're going to have a problem with, and those leaks in your new windows can actually raise the price of heating and cooling the home.
- Consider repairing the windows in the home before replacing them. This might be something that can increase your efficiency throughout the home without costing you too much in the process. It may be that all you need are insert windows if the surrounding structure is still sound.
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