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Tips For Replacing Your Home s Old Windows

The main reasons why homeowners replace their windows are because they either want to get rid of their cold, drafty windows or because they are looking to enhance the overall appearance of their house. Replacing old windows is also one of the easiest and most apparent forms of energy savings. Regardless of why replacement windows are needed, the process of selecting the right windows is a little tricky. You want to be sure to put some careful thought and planning into this project because replacement windows are a significant investment.

Replacement windows come in many shapes, sizes, and styles to match your home. There are several types of windows which include awning windows, bay and bow windows, casement windows, double-hung windows, fixed frame windows, sliding windows, and skylight windows. Each window differs in the way that it opens and looks. The type you choose will depend heavily on the purpose of the window. Is the window meant for energy savings? Are you just trying to let more light into the room?

In addition to picking a window based on its desired function, you should also be selecting replacement windows that have been fabricated to match with the architecture of your home and provide maximum insulation. Certain materials work better as insulators than others. For instance, double and triple pane windows will save you a lot of money on your heating and cooling bills because they are designed to significantly reduce heat loss in the winter and reduce heat gain during the summer. Keep in mind; you can further reduce air conditioning and heating costs if you replace the air in between the panes of glass with a gas called argon.

There are several different materials that your new windows can be made from. Common materials include aluminum, composite, fiberglass, steel, vinyl and wood. Wood windows are the most common for homes. Vinyl windows are inexpensive, durable, and remarkably energy efficient. Steel windows are common in industrial buildings. Aluminum windows have many of the qualities associated with steel windows, except you don't have to paint them, and they wont rust. Fiberglass windows are relatively new, however the material itself has been around for a long time. Lastly, composite windows feature a sash and frame that are made from more than one kind of material.

During your search for the right windows, be sure to visit showrooms and test out how 'user friendly' the windows are. Make sure the window opens and closes with ease. Also, make sure to look for a National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) label on your windows. The NFRC has created industry-wide standards. They guarantee credible information on the energy performance of windows. It is also recommended that your windows have low solar heat gain co-efficient (SHGC) to maximize energy benefits. The ENERGY STAR® logo is the first sign that your window is equipped with all of these energy saving aspects.
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Article Added on Sunday, December 17, 2006
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