Did you know that leaking and inefficient windows and skylights account for a whopping 25% of the average homeowners energy/utility bills? That’s straight from the U.S. Dept of Energy. If you improve the windows in your home by using a Virginia window specialist that installs double-pane insulated glass, you can cut your energy costs by approx 15 percent.
Not bad when you consider the low cost of window replacements!
Here are 24 things you should know about window replacement in North Virginia.
1. By having a Northern Virginia window company install insulated or double pane windows that feature ¼ to 1 inch of air (or argon) between the panes, you can cut down on large amount of ambient noise from outside. The greater the air gap between the panes, and the thicker the glass, then the greater the reduction in noise.
2. Checking for failure – Homeowners should seek out replacement windows in Virginia after about 20 years of life. Signs of window failure include drafts, condensation between panes, ice, frost and windows that have been painted or sealed shut.
3. For the love of skylights – Skylights provide up to 30% more light than a vertical window of the same size and are just as easy to install by window contractors in Virginia.
4. Custom Grilles – Having a special grill made for your replacement windows won’t significantly boost the price, and most grilles can be made from a sketch so you can easily get your custom idea put into play by a Virginia window specialist.
5. Solid Wood windows – Beautiful, and they are great for insulating against heat and cold. These types of replacement windows are costly and require a lot of maintenance. They’re also subject to swelling and contracting depending on the temperature which can lead to damaged glass, stuck windows, mold and drafts. Talk with a window contractor in Virginia to find out what’s best for you.
6. Aluminum – This is a strong alternative for windows and it’s low-maintenance. It does however conduct heat and cold.
7. Clad- By far the most expensive type as it utilizes wood frames in an aluminum or vinyl shell on the exterior. Thanks to this design, the exterior is low maintenance while the wood provides superior insulation. A great choice for replacement windows in Northern Virginia.
8. Vinyl – This is extremely affordable and a great option for most homeowners. Vinyl windows will fade over time depending on the sun exposure around your home. If you intend on upgrading your home with regular window replacements, this is a good option for you.
9. Composites – The price is comparable between Wood and Vinyl but it’s stronger and more durable than those two options. It can also be easily painted to match the home, making these Northern Virginia replacement windows a great choice for DIY’ers
10. Low-emissivity (Low-e) glass – This type of glass has a thin metallic coating that is capable of reflecting heat back at the source. If you opt for this in your replacement windows, you’ll retain heat during the cold months but block the exterior heat in the warm summer months. This coating also filters out harmful UV rays while still allowing over 90% of the natural light to shine through into your home.
11. Shatterproof glass – This glass has a piece of plastic sandwiched between the glass panes. It provides added security against break-ins and is extremely helpful during severe weather situations where normal windows can easily shatter due to pressure changes or debris in the air. This type is as efficient as Low-e glass and helps reduce noise transfer.
12. Special coatings can be applied to replacement windows in Virginia that will reduce glare, save energy costs and can reduce the UV rays that cause floors, fabrics and furniture to fade and discolor.
13. Special dual-action coatings can also be applied to replacement windows that will break down and destroy organic matter as it settles onto the surface of the glass. The result is a cleaner, safer home for you and your family. Think about all the times you put your mouth on a window to blow a kiss or make a blowfish at someone. It’s nice to know that the glass you’re licking is clean, unless you like it when the snozzberries taste like snozzberries.
14. Suspended particle device technology – This is great for those who can shell the money out when considering window replacements in Northern Virginia. These work through the use of a dimmer switch, and lets the homeowner control the level of tint in the glass, thus adjusting the level of light coming in.
15. Instead of limiting yourself to covering your new replacement windows with bulky privacy curtains, consider getting special glass treatments when you put new windows in. Frosted, bubbled and glass block styles all capture plenty of necessary light while limiting visibility. These are great for ground level bathroom or bilevel homes that are half-sunk.
16. If you have an older home with window cranks, you know how much they can get in the way of your window treatments. When you’re looking for Northern Virginia replacement windows, consider casement and awning units that have a fold-down handle. This provides plenty of clearance for window treatments, shades and mini-blinds.
17. The R-value of a window measures the level of resistance to heat flow that the glass has. The higher the R value, the more efficient that particular window is. Subsequently, the U-factor is the rate of heat transfer from the inside of your home to the outside world. The lower this number is, the more efficient the window. Lastly, the SHGC (Solar Heat Gain Coefficient) measures the amount of heat your home regularly gains from the sun. The lower the SHGC, the less heat is gained.
18. Windows typically make up 15% of the wall space within a home. Consider whether or not you want to increase that or decrease that based on your desired light levels when seeking window replacements in Northern Virginia.
19. When decorating your new replacement windows, consider that lightly colored shades reduce the solar heat gain of a window by as much as 43%. An awning can reduce it by as much as 77%.
20. Gliding windows – Just as efficient as single and double-hung models but they don’t disrupt the usable living space on porches, walkways or patios. These are fantastic choices for ground level and basement windows because they make for easy egrees in emergencies.
21. Fixed windows – Architecturally sound, these are one of the simplest choices in Virginia replacement windows. Perfect for letting in light without worrying about function or usability.
22. Single/double-hung – This is the most classic style of Northern Virginia replacement windows. Due to functionality, they make for easy cleaning and opening and they won’t interrupt your outdoor living areas.
23. Casement – This is a popular design that is easy to crank open. It works well with transom and picture windows. People install these more often than not into kitchens and dining areas, such as over a sink, countertop or appliance. Essentially, any place that would make leaning to open a window somewhat difficult.
24. Awnings – particularly popular to install over window replacements in Virginia. They can shield you from rain, allowing you to keep your windows open to allow the scented breeze of spring in despite a little rain. They work especially well for fixed windows.
With just the right amount of knowledge you can make sure that whatever window replacements you order, you’ll know what you’re getting yourself into. You’ll be able to do more complete research to work in tandem with your Virginia window specialist to install exactly what you want for your home