Top Ten Buying Tips for New Windows

Top Ten Buying Tips for New Windows

At Sears Home Services, we believe in providing you with the resources and information that enables you to make an informed decision on choosing new windows for your home.

From the free consultation, to measuring, to the selection of color and material, and more—when you work with us, you’ll be helped every step of the way. We also provide a one-stop resource for turn-key projects, including timeline management, material measurement, permit handling and ordering. We’ll work with you every step of the way to ensure that the window replacement job is completed correctly. When it’s complete, we will continue to service and warranty the work. After all, we’ve been serving customers like you for over 125 years! Take a look at our ten tips for buying new windows.

1. Choose the Right Type of Window

There are many types of windows, ranging from wood, aluminum, vinyl, single pane, double pane and beyond. It’s not as simple as just measuring the opening and fitting for a replacement, because other factors may come into play. Consider the efficiency rating and maintenance costs, how easy it is to clean or replace—and environmental factors such as heat, cold, and severe weather. Make sure you work with a professional who can help you understand the options.

2. Consider Energy Efficient Windows

No matter the climate, a great deal of energy can transfer through your windows—and wind can end up increasing the size of your energy bill. By selecting energy efficient windows that feature double panes, insulated glass and efficient seals, you can save big on your energy bills in the long run.

3. Familiarize Yourself with the Window Installation Process

Make sure you fully understand what will be included when having your windows replaced. Does your contractor remove masonry, replace and trim? How are the windows removed and replaced? What kind of caulking is used? What if your windows are non-standard sizes or types? Will they clean up when the window installation is done?

4. Understand your ENERGY STAR® “U-value” The ENERGY STAR® program, established by the U.S. Government’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1962, provides energy efficiency ratings on products with the goal of saving you money and protecting our environment. All products that carry the ENERGY STAR® rating have met very strict energy efficiency guidelines. The U-value of your window is the measure that helps you understand its efficiency. It measures the rate of heat flow through a window—the lower that number, the more energy efficient the window is.

5. Know your Installation Contractor

Is your contractor licensed and bonded? Do they have adequate insurance? What warranties do they provide for materials and labor? Does the contractor obtain the proper permits and follow all local and regional codes and regulations? How reliable is the contractor? What work have they done in your area? Be sure to ask these questions before you hire!

6. Check for Low “E” Insulation For the comfort and protection of your home interior, ensure the window glass has a low-emissive coating. Not only does it protect pictures and wall coverings, but it can add 10% to your energy savings.

7. Recognize the Importance of Gas Filling If you purchase double-paned glass windows, the space between the panes can be filled with an inert gas such as argon or krypton. Since these gases are heavier than air they reduce the thermal conductivity, and keep the temperature inside your home stable during changes in temperature outside.

8. Be Aware of Warranties and After-Sale Service

One of the most important elements of new windows is the service you receive after the home installation is complete. Does your contractor offer a standard warranty? Does your window installation include product, labor and parts? Is there an extended warranty? What does it include? How long does it last? What does it cost? How are service calls requested?

9. Acknowledge Window Cleaning Requirements

Though window performance matters, the ease of maintenance is just as important. Does the windows feature tilt-in sashes that allow you to clean the outside without the need for a ladder?

10. Don’t Purchase on Price Alone

The natural inclination is to find the lowest price. While that should be a consideration, the most important part of your decision should be value and return on investment. Will they use quality materials? Do the features match your decor? In the long run, a lower price might actually cost you more in energy bills, replacements and home maintenance.