Need help deciding which windows are right for your home? Here’s what you need to know before you buy.
Bad windows can mean bad news — leaks, poor insulation and infestations. You might find that your frames have rotted, that your heat runs nonstop or that highway traffic leaves you with sleepless nights.
There are four main reasons why people replace their windows, says Dave Lincon, a home improvement expert for Sears Home Services:
The wood or metal frames in older homes have become inoperable.
The existing windows let heat leak out of the house, slashing energy efficiency.
People, especially in urban areas, worry about forced entry.
Too much noise intrudes into the home.
So you’ve decided you need new windows. How do you decide what type of window best suits your home? Our guide helps simplify the process so you can find the best windows based on your priorities and location.
Trying to determine which new windows you need?
Ask yourself these questions to start:
Does my property see a lot of storms?
How well does my house insulate heat?
Do I worry about a burglar breaking through the window?
What type of look do I want my house to have?
“At the end of the day, a window’s pretty simple,” says Lincon. “Putting new windows in your home gives you better efficiency, sound reduction and a lot more hidden benefits, like saving on cooling costs.”
New window material considerations
“A lot of the windows you’re replacing are old aluminum windows, which, due to the fact they’re aluminum, expand and contract,” Lincon says.
Vinyl frames, however, do not expand or contract with temperature fluctuations, preventing both bugs and the heat and cold from entering your home. Double-pane installations, like the outstanding line of windows offered by Sears, can also help regulate temperature in your home.
“All of our windows have two panes of glass, sealed and filled with argon gas,” Lincon says. “Argon reduces the transference of heat between the two panes of glass by acting like an insulator.”
Moreover, an interlayer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) plastic in the glass will provide your windows with security and added strength. “You can hit it all day with a baseball bat,” Lincon says. “Even if you shatter the glass, the glass will stay intact, and you’re not going to get through that interlayer.”
Location, location, location
“We install double-pane windows with a laminate layer in coastal areas a lot, where you’ve got tremendous storms picking up rocks, sticks and branches,” Lincon says.
Those who live in larger cities might have other safety concerns.
“In urban areas, customers have security on the mind,” Lincon says. “Some of their older windows are fairly easy to open or gain access through. While the window’s glass may shatter, that PVB interlayer will hold together and remain intact.”
Laminating the glass will reinforce the strength of a window to near impenetrability.
More densely populated areas also benefit from our window’s panes in regards to noise transmission.
“As houses are being built closer and closer together, closer and closer to urban areas, airports and highways, you find a noted increase in sound transmittance ratings,” Lincon says. “It is notably quieter inside your home after window replacement jobs.”
No matter where you live, the right windows will help keep your house safe, comfortable and quiet. Learn more about which windows best suit you and your budget to improve the efficiency, design and resale value of your home.