Today’s blog comes from a guest blogger Jim Oursler.


New windows are more efficient, tilt in for easy cleaning, won’t require unsightly storm windows, and won’t be drafty. They’re also one of the biggest investments you’ll make for your home.

However, before replacing your old windows there are a couple of things you should consider. They are as follows:

1.    Consider your children’s safety.

Single hung floor-to-floor ceiling windows can be dangerous to have open if you have young children.

To solve this problem, you’ll need windows that can let in air without posing a safety risk. That means installing double-hung windows.

Also, if your windows don’t lock well, your home could be at risk for a break-in. In addition, windows that are too close to the floor need to have tempered glass, and older windows might not be up to code.

2.    Compare window frame materials.

It’s important to know the benefits and disadvantages of each window frame, as each functions and ages differently.

  • Wood frame (natural)

Pros: Beautiful, high energy efficiency

Cons: High maintenance to preserve durability, most expensive

  • Fiberglass frame (glass fiber)

Pros: Thin, high energy efficiency

Cons: Can deteriorate over time, expensive

  • Composite frame (fibrex)

Pros: Thin, doesn’t expand or contract, high energy efficiency, durable

Cons: Expensive

  • Aluminum frame (metal)

Pros: Thin, solid and strong, inexpensive

Cons: Very low energy efficiency, not very durable

  • Vinyl frame (PVC)

Pros: Energy efficient, least expensive

Cons: Weaker material means a thicker frame (less “window”)

3.    Check if your home’s foundation is in good condition.

One of the signs of foundation problems are cracks in windows. So, if you’re replacing your windows because you see cracks in your windows, it may mean your home has foundation issues. It may also mean you have foundation problems if your windows suddenly begin to stick or won’t close completely. If you notice any of these problems, please seek professional help. Left unattended, foundation problems can become costly. It’s advisable to have your foundation inspected before replacing your windows. If you replace your windows only to find out you have foundation issues, you’ll have wasted a lot of time and money.

new windows should match your architecture

Photo Courtesy of Jim Oursler

4.    Take note of your home’s architecture and landscape.

How much you can save on utilities with upgraded windows depends on how light and heat enter your home. For instance, upgrading your windows will make dinner much more comfortable if you have a window on the west side, where the setting sun shines into your dining room as the day ends. Also, energy-efficient windows will reduce your cooling costs in summer significantly if you don’t have trees to block the sun and many large windows on the south side of your home, with no eaves or overhangs.

5.    Understand what efficiency means in Energy Star Windows.

All Energy Star windows have different degrees of performance. According to the National Fenestration Rating Council, you need to take note of the following features.

  • Condensation Resistance – Shows the window’s ability to resist condensation (water build up or fogging). The higher the number the better.
  • Air Leakage – Represents how much air passes through the window cracks and joints. The lower the number the better.
  • Visible Transmittance – How much natural sunlight is let in. Here, the higher the number the better.
  • Solar Heat Gain Coefficient – How the window blocks or keeps out heat. The lower the number the better.

6.    Consider the type of glass.

The type of glass is also worth considering. If you are considering buying energy efficient windows, an insulated glass unit (IGU) is an ideal selection.

The following are four advantages of insulated glass:

  • Insulated glass windows can act as a safety and security window. Unlike a single pane window, it’s difficult and takes a longer time to break an insulated glass unit.
  • There is a reduction in the amount of UV rays and direct sunlight that enters the room through the windows. This prevents sofa fabrics, carpets, curtains, paintings and photographs from fading.
  • Insulated glass also helps in sound insulation and improves the acoustics of the place.
  • Another advantage of insulated glass is that it increases the energy efficiency in buildings.

Replacing windows is not only a big expense but is also a huge chore. That’s why it’s important to do some digging first. Hopefully, with these six tips, you’ll be able to get the most buck back on your investment when the time comes to replace your windows. If you have questions or would like to discuss any of these before replacing windows, give us a call at (817) 264-6509 or fill out our contact form.

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