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When Is the Best Time of Year to Replace My Home Windows?

Did you know that you can actually replace windows any time of year? Some people mistakenly believe that the task of installing windows can only take place in the summer. And while summer weather might be ideal for some people, sometimes your windows will need to be replaced during the colder winter months, too. Here is a basic breakdown of what it’s like to replace windows during different times of the year so you can pick the best time for your residential window installation.

Installing windows in the Spring and Summer

Installing your windows in the spring and summer seems to be ideal for most homeowners. As long as it’s not too hot, installing windows in the spring or early summer prevents cold air from getting into your home during the installation process. One of the downfalls of installing new windows in the warmer months is that excessive heat can get into your home (bugs can too if your window contractors aren’t careful). Plus, window installers are usually busiest in the summertime, so you want to make sure you get your windows ordered in plenty of time so you aren’t waiting around for long.

While the comfort of your home is important, that’s not the only reason to opt for warm weather window installation. If your window replacement company is using caulk to seal your new vinyl or aluminum windows, then the ideal temperature range is between 40 and 80 degrees. Caulk may not cure properly if the temperatures outside are above 80 degrees.

Installing windows in the Fall and Winter

Installing windows in the winter may sound like a nightmare to a lot of people. The caulk might not set well if it’s too cold, the moisture from snow or a fall rain can prevent a tight seal, and the cold air can get inside your home. While this is true, there are advantages to installing your new windows in the colder months. You don’t have to worry about heat or bugs getting into the house. Plus, window installers usually have more availability in the fall and winter. This will save you on time and energy costs.

That being said, winter installation may require some extra preparation, which is why it’s important to work with an experienced residential window installation company. The two most popular materials for modern window frames, aluminum and vinyl, can expand slightly in warm weather. If the seal holding your windows in place is too tight, the materials could expand and crack in the summer heat to come. Likewise, your contractors may need to warm up the calk prior to installation to ensure a proper cure.

What’s the best time of year for window installation?

There really is no time that is better than another when it comes to installing new windows. It all depends on what is best for you and your home. If you have an emergency window break and you need it replaced tomorrow, it’s going to need to be done even if it’s the middle of winter. Everyone has preferences, and if you have a choice, you can go with your own convenience.

Old and drafty windows that let air escape can increase your energy bills by 10% to 25%, so don’t wait too long to contact local window contractors. No matter the time of year, installing new windows can help you save on your energy bills, and they can help increase the value of your home, too.

Looking for experienced and reliable window installation contractors in Chicago? Contact Best Windows Inc. to replace your home’s windows — no matter the time of year!

3 Compelling Reasons to Get Your Windows Replaced Before Winter

window installation companiesThere’s no denying the benefits that come with replacing outdated windows and doors: According to the National Association of Home Builders 2012 Remodeling Market Index, 44% of renovation jobs that year were involved window or door replacement. But what many homeowners may not be aware of is that getting this job done prior to the start of winter may be one of the best times of the year to invest. Here are just a few compelling reasons to consider contacting window installation companies for new windows prior to the start of winter.

Better Insulation

It should come as no surprise that replacing outdated single pane windows with dual pane windows is much more efficient in terms of energy and heat insulation, which makes an even bigger difference during the winter months. According to the Department of Energy, 45% of the average energy bill goes toward heating, but the right windows can reduce this percentage by keeping heat in for longer. This isn’t just speculation, it’s fact: Dual-paned windows are about two times as effective at retaining heat and air conditioning compared to single-paned ones.

Tax Credit Potential

In general, you’ll save up to 15% a year on your energy bill if older double-pane windows in a 2,600-square-foot house are replaced with energy-efficient windows with low-E coatings, according to the Efficient Windows Collaborative, a coalition of government agencies, research organizations, and manufacturers that promotes efficient window technology. However, many homeowners don’t fully understand the tax credit possibilities that come with eco-friendly investments like new home windows. Tax credits vary depending on a number of factors, but in order for you to be eligible to claim the credit for the current tax year, you have to make sure they’re installed in time.

Decrease Injury Risk

There’s no denying that winter weather can bring with it some seriously dangerous conditions, from blizzards to hailstorms and more. Old windows are more susceptible to damage in the event of a windstorm or other serious winter weather-related event. The glass becomes increasingly brittle and cold, and getting them replaced will keep your family safe and comfortable all winter long.

Ultimately, there’s no bad time to get your windows replaced, but understanding the benefits of hiring window installation companies prior to the start of winter can help you make the best decisions for your home.

Energy Star Tax Credits: Which Home Improvement Projects Qualify?

energy star tax creditsTaxpayers who upgrade their homes to improve energy efficiency may be eligible for tax credits to offset the costs for those upgrades. Here is a basic guide of which home improvement projects qualify for the energy star tax credits.

Equipment upgrades

  • Solar panels, or photovoltaics, for generating electricity. The electricity must be used in the home.
  • Solar-powered water heaters. The water heated by the system must be used inside the home, and at least half of the home’s water-heating capacity must be solar. (Solar heaters for swimming pools and hot tubs do not qualify.)
  • Wind turbines that generate up to 100 kilowatts of electricity for residential use.
  • Geothermal heat pumps that meet federal Energy Star guidelines.
  • Fuel cells that rely on a renewable resource (usually hydrogen) to generate power for a home. The equipment must generate at least 0.5 kilowatts of power.

Qualified energy efficient improvements

  • Home insulation
  • Exterior doors
  • Home windows
  • Certain roofing materials

Residential energy property costs

  • Electric heat pumps
  • Electric heat pump water heaters
  • Central air conditioning systems
  • Natural gas, propane or oil water heaters
  • Stoves that use biomass fuel
  • Natural gas, propane or oil furnaces
  • Natural gas, propane or oil hot water boilers
  • Advanced circulating fans for natural gas, propane or oil furnaces

You can claim Energy Star tax credits for 10% of the cost of qualified energy efficiency improvements and 100% of residential energy property costs. With that being said, there are some limitations. Those include:

  • This credit is worth a maximum of $500 for all years combined, from 2006 to the present.
  • Of that combined $500 limit, a maximum of $200 can be for replacement windows.
  • The maximum tax credit for a furnace circulating fan is $50.
  • The maximum credit for a furnace or boiler is $150.
  • The maximum credit for any other single residential energy property cost is $300.

Replacing different features of your home can be costly at first, but it really pays off in the long run. This is especially true for new windows. When you replace your old windows with new ones, your energy bills will likely decrease a lot, saving you money every month. Then, you get to claim Energy Star tax credits on your income tax return for replacing your windows, giving you a higher return. Finally, homeowners can see up to 80% of their investment back when they replace their windows, according to the National Association of Realtors. So, you really win in many different areas just from replacing your old windows.

Why Are My Energy Bills So High?

install windows

Do you complain every month that your energy bills are too high? While it’s natural for your energy bills to fluctuate from season to season, there are some things that can cause them to be unusually high.

You need to install new windows
You might notice that your windows are old and drafty. This allows air to escape and means your HVAC unit needs to work harder to regular the temperature in your home. The simple way to fix this is to install windows that are new and energy efficient. Dual-paned windows are roughly two times more effective at retaining air conditioning and heat compared to single-paned ones. So, call some window installers to replace your home windows.

Your home needs to be insulated
So you’ve decided to install windows for energy efficency. Great! But if your home’s insulation is weak, you may face the same problem. When it’s hot out, it’s going to be hot in your house, and when it’s cold out, it’ll be cold in your home. This will also cause your HVAC unit to work harder to regulate the temperature inside. All you have to do is beef up your insulation and your energy bills should go down.

Your appliances need replacing
So, let’s say your windows and insulation are up to date and energy efficient, but your bills are still high. It could be because your appliances are old and inefficient. Your hot water heater, washer, dryer, oven, furnace, and dishwasher all suck your energy when in use, and if they’re old, they might be sucking a little too much energy. Look into getting newer, more energy efficient appliances to fix this problem.

You need to unplug things
Even when you’re not using them, your electronics are drawing electricity from the outlets when they’re plugged in. This is especially true for larger things like the coffee maker, a gaming console, or an air conditioning window unit. So, try unplugging things when you’re not using them and see if that brings your bill down.

If your energy bills seem unusually high, try testing your windows, insulation, appliances, and electronics to fix the issue. It could be something as simple as unplugging the gaming console when it’s not in use, or it could mean you’re getting all new windows.

4 Helpful Tips For Taking Care Of Your Home Windows All Year Long

home windowsYour windows protect your home as well as let beautiful natural light inside. High-quality windows are durable and long-lasting, but they still need to be cared for. Here are some great tips to help you take care of your home windows all year long.

Clean them often
One of the most important things you can do to take care of your residential windows is also the easiest: clean them often! If dirt and debris build up on your windows, especially in the tracks, they will wear much faster. It can even get more difficult over time to open and close them. Plus, no one likes looking at a dirty window. Wipe down the wooden or vinyl frames with a damp cloth and clean the glass with soapy water or glass cleaner on a regular basis.

Complete regular inspections
While you’re cleaning your home windows, you’re going to want to inspect them. Every season, you need to take a close look at your windows to see if they are in need of repair or replacement. Check for signs of moisture buildup, warped frames, peeling paint, gaps in the sealant, broken glass, and chips in the glass. Even the best windows will wear over time, but the sooner you catch the issue, the sooner you can get it resolved.

Reseal them when necessary
During your window inspection, you need to carefully inspect the sealant or caulking on your windows. If the sealant is broken, missing, or cracked, you should fix it right away because gaps in the sealant can cause a number of problems. Drafty windows that let air escape can increase your energy bills by 10% to 25%, so fixing the sealant will actually save you money in the long run.

Refinish the frames
The paint or finish on your vinyl or wood frames doesn’t just make them look nice, but also protects the windows from getting damaged by nature’s elements. The sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage the finish and compromise the protection you depend on. Repaint and refinish the frames when you notice it’s peeling or otherwise damaged.

Keep your home windows in mind while you’re performing regular maintenance on other parts of your house. Don’t forget to clean them, inspect them, reseal them, and refinish them when necessary. All of these tips can help you add years onto the lifespan of your home’s windows.

5 Awesome Things New Residential Windows Can Do For You

tax credit for replacement windows

Have you been thinking about replacing your windows? Maybe your old ones are broken, inefficient, or just ugly. Here are some ways you can benefit from replacing your windows and getting brand new ones.

Get you a tax credit for replacement windows
You can get a tax credit for replacement windows if they are energy efficient windows. The federal government implemented tax credits as an incentive for homeowners to complete energy efficient upgrades. You can get up to 10% of what you spent to replace your home windows. New windows can also reduce what you’re spending on energy bills, so you’re saving money all around.

Increase your safety
Replacing your home’s windows can make your home safer in quite a few ways. First, new windows won’t let the elements from outside come into your home like your old windows might have. This means you don’t have to worry about water or even pests coming into your home through your windows. Second, your old windows may have been hard to open and close, making it difficult to escape in case of a fire, but that’s not a problem with new windows. Finally, newer windows are harder for intruders to get through compared to old windows that might have broken locks or seals.

Make you more comfortable
New windows can make your home more comfortable in two major ways. First is that you won’t be disturbed as much by what’s going on outside. Your old windows could have been letting in too much noise, and you probably don’t want to listen to passing traffic during dinner. Secondly, new windows seal much better than old windows, keeping the temperature much more comfortable in your home.

Raise the value of your home
New windows can actually increase your home’s value by adding not only curb appeal but homeowner’s peace of mind as well. Your home will look and feel better inside and out, and the new owners will know that they don’t have to worry about window issues for years to come.

Increase the natural light
Finally, new windows can let in much more natural light than old ones. You can get bigger windows, or even just cleaner and clearer ones to let the light in. The increased light won’t make your furniture and carpets fade though, because newer windows are designed to block UV and IR rays.

You can get a tax credit for replacement windows, raise the value of your home, increase the natural light, increase your comfort, and finally, increase your safety. Plus, your windows can last 20 years or longer if they are of high quality and are properly maintained.

It’s Time To Throw These Window Replacement Myths Straight Out The Window

home windowHomeownership is full of decisions. There are the little, everyday decisions and the big, $10,000 new roof decisions. Of course, making any decision requires you to understand the facts, unclouded by myths and misconceptions. This is especially the case when making what’s potentially a major investment in your home, such as replacing your home windows. Well, it’s time to kick these false facts to the curb — here are just a few of the most common myths about residential window replacements.

New windows won’t affect energy efficiency
This is by far the biggest misconception homeowners believe regarding window replacements. According to the National Association of Home Builders 2012 Remodeling Market Index, 44% of renovation jobs that year were for window or door replacement, and the truth is that new windows can have a major impact on your home’s energy usage and your utility bills. Though it may be tricky to determine your exact savings potential, keep this in mind: in general, you’ll save up to 15% a year on your energy bill if older double-pane windows in a 2,600-square-foot house are replaced with energy-efficient windows with low-E coatings, according to the Efficient Windows Collaborative, a coalition of government agencies, research organizations, and manufacturers that promotes efficient window technology.

Replacement windows are expensive
Though this is certainly a subjective measurement, it’s important to keep in mind when determining new window costs that the energy and utility savings help to offset the initial investment over time. Though replacing a window costs an average of between $300 and $700 per window, you can expect your new windows to practically pay for themselves after a few years of use.

You can’t get your windows replaced during the winter
Finally, this is another false fact that deters many homeowners from investing in new windows. But it’s far from the truth — with today’s technology, window installers can easily replace your windows at any time of year. They’ll take all proper precautions to ensure your home is protected from the elements during the entire time, so it’s a virtually risk-free process for your home.

According to a recent survey, almost two-thirds of homeowners are planning on renovating. Now that you know the truth behind these misleading home window replacement misconceptions, you can decide whether or not new windows are the right investment for your home.

4 Homeowner Tip to Help You Get Your Windows Ready For Summer

windows

Summer is almost here! Just as you need to get your yard, your pool, and the inside of your home ready for summer, your windows need some preparation too. Here are some tips to get your windows ready for the hot weather.

Clean the glass
Over the winter, a lot of dirt and debris can build up on your residential windows. The dirt can break down the surface of even the best windows and cause them to prematurely age. In the spring, you should thoroughly clean your windows with soap, water, and window cleaner. This will not only make your home windows look so much better, but it will make them last longer too. Don’t forget to clean both sides of your windows, too.

Check the weather stripping
Weather stripping is the material between the sash and the pane of the windows. The stripping seals the windows so leakage does not occur. This feature is one of the first to start deteriorating, so it’s important to check its quality. If the stripping is wearing down, it can let hot, humid air into your home. This can potentially cause your energy bill to go up because you’ll be running your AC a lot more.

Check the caulking
Caulking is very similar to weather stripping in that it seals the windows; it just does so in different areas. It forms a barrier in the spaces between your windows and the exterior walls of your home. This can also deteriorate over time. Bad caulk will let the hot summer air in, impacting your energy bills, just like weather stripping. While you’re checking for air leaks, you also want to look for water leaks. Your stripping or caulk may have big enough gaps to allow water to enter your home.

Check the hardware
Finally, you want to check out the hardware of your windows. You want to make sure they open, close, and lock safely and efficiently. This is especially important for fire safety reasons. Replace malfunctioning hardware if it’s not allowing you to open the windows well. Sometimes, lubricating the moving parts is enough to keep things in motion for another season.

The average replacement cost for one window is between $300 and $700. Now, imagine the costs of replacing every window in your home. If you practice these maintenance tips, you will not have to replace your windows nearly as often. New windows will, though, give you better quality and efficiency so you can enjoy your summer even more!

3 Ways New Windows Will Put Money Back In Your Wallet

Your windows are getting old, and it’s time to replace them. You may be hesitant because it is a rather large investment, but it really is worth it. If you are suffering from new window price sticker shock, then here are some ways that new windows can put money back in your wallet and benefit you greatly.

You’ll save on energy bills

Old, drafty windows can let a lot of air in and out of them. For example, when you’re running your heat in the winter, a lot of that warm air is going right outside through your old windows. This can significantly raise your energy bills. According to Energy Star, you can save $125-$465 a year on energy bills when you replace single-pane windows and $27-$111 a year when you replace double-pane windows. On average, you can expect to save anywhere between 25% and 52% on your energy bills every month when you replace your home windows.

There’s a tax credit for replacement windows

In order to create an incentive for homeowners to be more energy efficient, the federal government offers a tax credit for replacement windows. The credits come in the form of deductibles when you file your annual income taxes. The tax credit is usually around 10% of what it cost to replace the windows. You can get anywhere up to $200 for getting new, energy efficient windows.

They boost the value of your home

Last but not least, getting new windows will increase the value of your home. Home buyers love to see new windows because it seems cost savings on energy bills. According to CNBC and ISoldMyHouse.com, replacement windows have about an 85% return on investment (ROI). So, if you spend $10,000 to replace your windows, you can expect to see the value of your home raise by about $8,500.

You can expect your new windows to last up to 20 years or more when you buy high-quality windows and maintain them properly. So, not only will your new window save you money in energy bills, tax credits, and home value, they will last a long time. For more information on replacement windows, tax credits, and more, contact us today!

3 Ways to Save Money on Your Monthly Energy Bills

replace windows

Your monthly energy bills can feel like Mother Nature is fighting for your money. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some smart things you can do to help reduce your energy bills and save money every month.

It’s time to replace windows
Your home windows can let air flow in and out of them when air should not be flowing. In fact, drafty windows that let air escape can increase your energy bills by 10% to 25%. If this is happening, its time to replace windows in your home with new, energy efficient ones. New replacement windows will keep in your cool air in the summer and your warm air in the winter. Then, your HVAC system won’t have to work so hard, decreasing your heating and cooling bills.

Watch your meter readings
Utility workers come and check your meters so they know how much to charge you every month, but they are human and can make mistakes just like the rest of us. However, their mistakes can be costly to you if they don’t read your meter correctly. You might notice when a huge error occurs, but you might not notice little errors that can add up. Make sure you keep on eye on your meters and compare the numbers to your utility bills to ensure they match up.

Do some landscaping
Trees can become your best friends when it comes you reducing your energy bills. You can plant them strategically around your house to provide shade. This will cool off your home because the sun will not be shining in your windows all the time creating a sort of greenhouse environment. What’s even better is that you are helping the environment every time you plant a tree.

Wouldn’t you love to have extra money every month? Maybe you want to get out of debt, buy a new car, go on vacation, or be able to go out to dinner more often. Whatever your reason, you can save some monthly money by cutting down your energy bills with these tips.