When it comes to purchasing windows for a new home, there are many things to consider. There are several types, styles, and especially when you are building a home from the ground up, it may be an overwhelming process. What does every new home need in their windows?
Many homes these days benefit from having energy-efficient windows. People are becoming increasingly aware of how beneficial energy-efficient windows are for their home and on the environment. In the long-term they can help homeowners save on their energy bill, minimizing the costs of making sure that heat stays in during the winter and cool air during the summer. Aside from these forward benefits, there are four aspects to consider when you are looking to install energy-efficient windows.
The first aspect is to choose which frame is best. Wood is a typical, sturdy window frame that is less prone to transfer of cold and heat from home. Although they are the best value for insulation, they do require quite a lot of upkeep. If they don’t get appropriately maintained, wood frames can rot if left alone. It is also not the best frame for an environment that frequently gets snow and rain. However, if kept well and in the right environment, a wood frame can last decades.
While wood may be the most popular, three other materials are chosen for an energy-efficient window. Vinyl is another material used commonly for those homeowners that keep a tight budget. However, a vinyl window frame is not always poor in quality. It insulated glass well and prevents air leakage with their thorough construction. For those who want a more colorful exterior scheme rather than energy-efficiency, vinyl window frames may not be the best choice.
Aluminum window frames are most common in areas that are frequently humid and wet, such as Florida or Georgia. They are also the preferred window frame for the most hurricane-prone regions in the United States. However, they are not highly rated as far as energy-efficiency.
Wood-clad window frames are often called a high cross between the low-maintenance vinyl and energy-efficient wood. However, they tend to leak in wetter areas, so they do not serve well for those hurricane-prone regions as with exact aluminum frames. If you choose these windows, make sure to insulate them with rubber membranes to keep rain out. A sill pan may also be necessary to drain any water that collects.
Layers of Glass
More than the frame, what is inside of it? From basic cottages to multi-million- dollar homes, most homeowners choose double-paned windows. They have what is known as Low-E glass and vacuum sealed argon fill. While this is an added feature and can cost more, it helps homeowners to save a considerable amount on their energy bills in the long-term. Single pane windows may be cheaper, but these benefits make the extra cost worth it for most people. There are also triple pane windows, which are typically reserved for areas with harsh climates or those homes or rooms that require less light transmittance and visibility.
When it comes to the performance of a window, energy-efficiency is not the only thing that you should look for. The first is the U-value, which measures a window unit’s resistance to loss of air and heat. The second aspect is the SHGC or Solar Heat Gain Coefficient. It regulates how much heat enters your home through windows.
The design of new windows is something else that one should consider. There are window designs that are more efficient than others, and there are three common types. The first is the double-hung window: this is the most common unit used in new homes, and they are especially prevalent in older buildings. The bottom part of the window slides up to open it. This type of window is energy-efficient for the most part, but in extreme climates, it can have the opposite effect.
Casement windows are standard in areas where the windy weather is a significant issue. They work by a crank, and the window will swing outward to open. These hinges need extra maintenance but are highly stable windows. Picture windows do not typically open and come in various shapes and sizes. If you would like a window like this to be energy-efficient, consider the type of glass used.
The Best Home Possible
Whether you are having your home built for you or are a contractor trying to make a new pod of homes, windows are a vital part of any house. From energy-efficiency to basic design and weather resistance, consider everything about the home and its environment to install the best possible windows for each new structure.