People are looking for ways to save money, and when it comes to your home, lowering your utility bills is paramount. There are all kinds of ways to make your house more energy efficient, but if you are also trying to remodel and update your home’s look, you can kill two birds with one stone when buying replacement windows.
Windows can be a double bane for homeowners; old-fashioned windows lose a lot of air and dramatically increase heating and cooling costs, as well as being so very visible and possibly a complete eyesore. Modern windows are a great way to improve the look of the house and save money on the energy bill at the same time.
The first thing to consider is the price. Triple-paned windows are simply the most energy efficient windows out there. Triple-pane means the window is made using three panes of glass and air sandwiched between the glass, as it does a better job of absorbing heat and cold than glass or metal does.
To get the best insulation, you can purchase windows in which argon gas is pumped into the layers, as it has the lowest heat exchange rate. This can greatly increase the cost when replacing the windows, and you want to be sure to get at least three quotes to get the best price. Right now there are many tax credits homeowners can take advantage of when they do upgrades that make their homes more energy efficient, so be sure to check with your installer to see if you can qualify. The tax credit can greatly offset the replacement cost.
The next thing to consider is the look of the panes. Vinyl is the best insulator for your window panes. However, many people feel they do not look as good as wood panes do. A relatively new option for homeowners buying replacement windows is fiberglass. Fiberglass can have many different looks, and as it is highly insulating, it offers more options. The classics are always available and for homeowners who want a more traditional look to their windows, wood panes made out of a variety of hard and soft woods are good options. Just keep in mind that wood is not as insulating as either vinyl or fiberglass; however, it is a much better option than aluminum. While aluminum is very strong, it is a terrible insulating material.
Finally, when buying replacement windows, you want to consider how you prefer the windows to open. There are several options: horizontal sliders, vertical sliders, and casement windows with hinges that swing out when you crank a handle. It all just depends on the ultimate look you are wanting to create.