Replacing Your Windows? 4 Ways You Will Save Money

vinyl replacement windows

While replacing your residential windows requires an initial investment, this project will likely pay off down the line. Not only will your home look better, but you will see major savings due to multiple factors. If you are on the fence about replacing your windows, consider these proven benefits.

  1. Improved Resale Value: Should you decide to sell your home in the near future, potential buyers will be thrilled that you recently replaced your windows, as it is one less project they will have to take on themselves. High quality vinyl replacement windows will also improve aesthetic, structural integrity, and energy efficiency. With features like these, buyers will surely be willing to pay more for the home.
  2. Energy Savings: Drafty windows can increase energy bills by 10 to 25%. By investing in the best windows for energy efficiency, you can seal in air and watch energy costs plummet. Be sure to ask your window installation professional how you can better maintain your windows and optimize efficiency going forward.
  3. Fewer Maintenance Costs: If you have been pouring time and money into repairing, cleaning, and maintaining your windows, newer models will eliminate these costs. While this cost assessment is a delicate balance, it’s important to know when repair costs are no longer worth it. Once you install your new windows, you will be able to sit back and enjoy them without having to constantly address recurring issues.
  4. Tax Credits: You may be able to write off some types of windows on your taxes through programs such as Energy Star. Ask your window replacement and tax specialists if you might qualify for these write-offs.

If you are having any doubts about how this investment will benefit your financial situation, be sure to talk to a window professional. They will advise you about the best type of window for your home, budget, and projected savings. Also be sure to ask about how to maintain your vinyl replacement windows, as you don’t want to continue losing money on air leaks and maintenance costs. By considering all of these factors, you will reap the benefits of quality windows for years to come.

A Few Things to Consider When Choosing New Home Windows

home windowsReplacing your home windows might not be the first item on your home renovation list, but it could be extremely beneficial to your home. Simply switching to dual-paned windows could make your home twice as effective at retaining heating and air conditioning.

That being said, it’s important to take your time when making this decision. Here are a few things to take into consideration when you’re choosing new residential windows.

New or Replacement?
These two terms are often used interchangeably, but they may not always mean the same thing. Here’s what new and replacement actually mean when referring to home windows:

  • New Windows
    New windows are typically installed when a homeowner wants to change the size, shape, or structure of the current window opening. In this case, additional carpentry is usually needed before window installation.
  • Replacement Windows
    Replacement window installation only involves replacing old windows. Unlike putting new windows in, there is no work done to the surrounding structure or trim.

If you’re happy with the appearance of your current windows and want to promote a more energy-efficient home, replacement windows are probably going to be a better option for you. And while new windows generally don’t cost any more, it’s important to take the additional work cost into account.

Window Glass
Once you’ve decided whether you’re in the market for new or replacement windows, it’s important to consider the type of glass that will go into the frames. Aside from being able to choose from double-, triple-, or even quadruple-pane glass, you can select the type of glass used. Here are two of the most popular options:

  • Low-Emissivity Glass
    Low-emissivity (Low-E) glass is designed to reduce the amount of heat that flows through it. It’s created using a microscopically-thin layer of material applied directly to bare glass.
  • Impact Resistant Glass
    This is an especially helpful feature if you live in a neighborhood with a lot of kids who play baseball. And impact resistant glass not only holds up against baseballs, it’s excellent in extreme weather conditions.

No matter which glass you choose, make sure you’re taking your interests for your home into account.

Windows are an important part of your home, and they should make you feel good about it. So next time you need new home windows, don’t forget to take these things into consideration.

Do I Need To Replace My Windows?

replacement windowsYour windows are a central part of your home’s overall energy efficiency. This is why it is important to know when they need replacing. Buying replacement windows is a $300 to $700 investment on average, creating additional payoff in other areas. If you notice any of the following signs, it might be time to give your local window company a call.

  1. Your energy bills are increasing
    If you notice a sudden spike in your utility bills, your windows could be to blame. This could be a sign of air leaks, faulty glass seals, or dislodged frames. By locating and replacing the problematic windows, you will better insulate your entire home.
  2. You notice significant damage
    If parts of your window are broken or displaced past the point of repair, replacement is likely in order. It is important to address these problems quickly, as they can spread into more serious damage.
  3. The windows don’t fit your home decor
    When renovating a room or your entire home, you might notice that your windows look out of place. In this case, consider upgrading your windows along with other aspects of your house.
  4. Your rooms are feeling drafty
    If you suddenly find yourself shivering while sitting in your favorite chair by the window, it’s time to check for drafts. Do this by moving your hand or a lit match in front of the window frame.
  5. Your home experiences severe weather
    Living in a hurricane or tornado prone area puts your home’s exterior at high risk for damage. If your house weathers these types of storms regularly, it will likely require more frequent residential window replacement.

Be sure to call a residential window installation company and order your replacement windows soon after you notice these symptoms. By acting quickly, you are preventing any further damage or increased energy costs in the near future. The window professionals will also be able to inspect your windows to pinpoint the problem and recommend the best type of window for your home’s needs.

Best Windows Inc. offers high quality commercial and residential window installation in the Chicago area. Call us today to schedule your window replacement.

5 Tips for Maintaining Your Residential Windows

window company

You hired the perfect local window company and your beautiful new windows are installed in your home. While you are now able to enjoy improved energy efficiency and a better overall aesthetic, don’t get to comfy. To keep your home windows looking and working as good as they are right now, be sure to practice frequent maintenance. By following these simple window maintenance tips, you can help your windows last for years to come.

  1. Keep It Clean: Periodically wipe down the window frame with a damp cloth to remove dust and dirt. Use glass cleaner to keep the window panes shiny. Be diligent in your cleaning to prevent dirt and mold from building up.
  2. Seal Off Gaps: This is especially important if you live in a cold climate or if you run an air conditioner in the summer. When air sneaks through the small spaces between your window and frame, you could see a spike in energy bills. The best residential windows prevent energy loss, but keep an eye out for cracks.
  3. Mind The Exterior: While it is certainly more convenient to pay attention to the inside of your windows, don’t forget to check the outside, too. Your exterior windows are subject to harsher conditions, so they will likely need more cleaning and repair.
  4. Hire A Professional: Some jobs are too big for you to handle on your own. If you spot any major damage such as cracks in the frame, call a window company. They will be able to do a thorough inspection and determine exactly what your replacement plan should be. You don’t want to cause further damage by trying to fix this damage on your own. Likewise, you don’t want to damage yourself in a misguided DIY attempt to fix your second-story windows.
  5. Know When To Replace: With proper maintenance, high quality residential windows can last up to 20 years. With this said, not all windows are the same. Depending on the material and environmental conditions, your windows could need replacing sooner. A professional will be able to tell whether you need to schedule residential window replacement.

By keeping up with these maintenance practices, you can assure the longest life possible for your windows. Just remember that there is no perfect formula for keeping your windows in prime condition. When in doubt, call your local window professionals sooner rather than later to schedule an inspection. They will inform you on the precise condition of your windows and can recommend a new window installation plan if necessary.

Are My Windows Efficient? A Homeowner’s Checklist

window installation

If you are looking to cut back on energy costs, your windows are a good place to start. Old or damaged residential windows are highly inefficient, causing air to pass through with ease. This is especially problematic when running your HVAC systems, as you want the cooled or heated air to stay inside. Ask yourself the following questions to assess whether you need to schedule new window installation.

    • List Item: Description
    • Have my energy bills increased?: If your bill payments have been increasing over time, your windows could be to blame. Drafty windows can cause a 10 to 25% spike in energy costs. Flip through your payment history and take note of any upward trends.
    • Are there air leaks?: Move your hand around the edge of the window frame. Do you feel any air? Test this further by lighting a match and holding it up to the same spot. If you notice the flame bend or blow out, your window is leaking. Use these methods to test all of the windows in your home. The best windows should be sealed tight.
    • Is there mold?: Moisture accumulation often causes mold growth, which can be harmful to your family’s health. Mold can be difficult to control and clean, so if you see mold growing on your windows, it might be time for a replacement.
    • How are the frames and caulk?: Inspect the window frames for any damage and the caulk for any cracks. Any faults could be detrimental to the efficiency of your windows overall. If the damage is significant, it is time for new windows.
  • How old are your windows?: If your windows are more than 20 years old, it is probably time for replacement. Residential window installation, especially in the 1980s, was not as efficient as it is now.

If you are having any doubts about whether window replacement is the right move, call a professional to schedule an inspection. They will run a thorough test of your windows and the overall efficiency of your home. When your home windows are properly installed a sealed, your family will experience a more comfortable home environment.

3 Remodeling Projects to Add Value to a Home

Investing in a few key home improvement projects can help update the efficiency of a home and add resale value when the time comes to sell. Three projects, in particular, are sure to increase the property value.

Spruce Up the Windows

New windows can drastically improve the appearance and value of a house. A property owner can consider a dramatic transformation by investing in a bay or bow window, which can change the exterior and interior of the home, while also providing a desirable window seat. Additionally, investing in energy-efficient windows will help potential homebuyers save on energy bills.

Add a Deck or Sunroom

A sure way to add more value to a home is by adding more living space. Homeowners can convert their back porch into a deck or a sunroom. The new addition can add some impressive square footage to the livable space.

Lighten Up the Bathroom

Remodeling an outdated bathroom in the master suite can be a major selling point for buyers. Installing new windows over the tub will add natural light and make the space feel more like a relaxing spa. When combined with new fixtures or tile and a soothing paint color, the master bath can feel like an oasis when homeowners sell.

These remodeling projects make the home more functional, efficient, and relaxing. Plus, a homebuyer will continue to see the benefits of these investments when the house goes on the market.

How to Avoid High Pressure Sales Tactics When Hiring a Contractor

Home construction and remodeling projects are exciting for homeowners, but they also involve a significant investment. This combination makes it easy to fall prey to high-pressure sales tactics, and all the more important not to become a victim. Hire a contracting company that is respectful, transparent, and engaged in the process for the best results.

Look for Red Flags

Homeowners should be on alert for the following red flags, which can indicate high-pressure tactics.

– A contractor may try to get a homeowner to sign a contract immediately without allowing time to research and consider options. A common method involves offering a discount for a very short period without allowing consumers time to consider the contract.

– A contractor may fail to provide a detailed estimate for a project, leaving the full price undisclosed. A reputable contractor will always provide a detailed estimate that includes the final price for both labor and materials.

– Up front payment in full and in cash is another red flag. Ideally, a contractor might ask for a deposit and percentage of the job up front with the balance paid at completion.

Taking time to research contractor references and work history is an important step in the hiring process. This effort should also help ensure a positive outcome.

A Guide to Understanding Energy Efficiency Ratings for Windows

Energy efficient windows are practically the standard these days, with businesses and homeowners eager to invest in money-saving, eco-friendly items. Informed consumers and contractors alike often wonder how to compare different manufacturers’ products. Here’s a quick reference for the most common window ratings.

NFRC Certification

Look in the upper lefthand corner of the glass. The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) provides ratings for window manufacturers. Look for the NFRC logo; that label will have the certified numbers listed below.

U-Factor

The U-factor is a three-digit number, generally between 0.20 and 1.20. The U-Factor is an indication of how quickly heat escapes through the window. The lower the U-Value, the better the window is at insulating.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient

The SHGC measures a window’s ability to block heat from the sun. It is displayed as a number between zero and one, the closer to zero the better.

Visible Transmittance

VT is similar to SHGC, but it measures the amount of visible light from all sources. It is similarly expressed between zero and one with a lower number being better.

Air Leakage

The air leakage rating measures how much air will enter a room through a window. Look for a low number in the 0.1–0.3 range.

If you’re still curious about energy efficient windows, go with a reputable and knowledgeable window installation contractor who can answer all your questions.

How to Resolve Issues With Leaky Windows

Leaks around windows may allow air and moisture to flow into a home. Allowing air into the house can lead to significant heating and cooling expenses. Moisture leaks can also damage the walls and floors because they allow mold to grow. Replacement windows can resolve these structural problems.

Assessing Damage

Examining the interior and exterior of the home will provide important clues about damage. Damaged caulk will begin cracking and peeling away from around windows. This allows both air and water to enter the house, causing a breeding ground for mold.

Replacement Windows

Replacing windows will resolve leaks, often increasing energy efficiency with double or triple panes of glass. New windows also have innovative features such as argon gas between the panes and low-E coating to minimize solar energy in the home.

While it may be possible to repair some leaky windows, replacement windows are often the best solution. Windows are energy star rated, qualify for tax credit, and come with lifetime parts and labor warranty with Best Windows Inc. Not only do they enhance energy efficiency in the home but they also increase a home’s value.

Factors For Finding the Right Window Glazing

Window installation and replacement is eventually an issue most homeowners need to address. Of course, when replacing windows, the idea is that the new ones outperform the old. Selecting features like foam-filled window frames and sashes considerably improve insulation. But what’s the best choice in window glazing?

Performance evaluations for window glazing examine three qualities: how well the glazing insulates, how much light passes through it (visible transmittance, or VT), and how efficient it is at deflecting solar heat (solar heat gain coefficient, or SHGC). Triple-paned windows generally outperform double-paned ones on insulation and SHGC. Tint, on the other hand, affects all three measures. Most windows are gray – or bronze-tinted to allow in less light and heat. By comparison, blue and green window tints permit more light penetration.

The best choices for new window installation also factor in the home’s geographical location, the local climate, as well as the position, function, and directional orientation of the windows themselves. Southern exposure favors indoor plants, for example, but they strain to thrive behind windows with less than 70% VT. Different glazings may be better suited for the functions and locations of all the windows in a given home.