TIPS AND ADVICE FOR REMODELING
Selecting the Right Window for Your Home:
A how- to guide which will educate homeowners and help them to choose a window that is right for their next home improvement project.
Energy-efficient windows are at the top of the list for most homeowners looking to go green. This is due to an estimated 40% of the average homeowner's household budget going toward their heating and cooling bills. In order to help consumers narrow their choices and understand the benefits offered when buying energy efficient windows, the industry sets high standards and provides easily accessible online tools.
When choosing the perfect window we have found it is best if you follow these three key steps:
- Windows are classified by their efficiency ratings, therefore it is important that you know how to read these ratings and understand your specific needs
- It is always wise to shop around. Compare the different window manufactures and their vendors
- Choose a contractor that you trust and is in good standing
The Importance of Efficiency Ratings
When shopping, we often make choices based on the appearance of a product; new windows for the home are no different. We want our home to be beautiful as well as energy efficient. However, it is in your pocketbooks best interest that you look deeper than mere cosmetics. For example, you will find that if you have dual-pane windows installed you will spend much less on your utility bills then you are used to spending with your old single-pane windows.
- Low-E-factor - A thin coating on the windowpane that is usually made out of a metal oxide which reflects the heat. The Low-E is the rate of heat reflection. The higher the rating is, the more UV protection you receive. These coatings are usually trademarked by the individual manufacturer.
- U-factor - The U-factor indicates the quality of the window. A lower U-factor number means a higher efficiency rating. U-factor numbers range from 1.1 to 0.3.
- R-factor - R-factors range from 0.9 to 3.0 with a 0.9 being a higher efficiency rating. A higher R-factor number supports a lower U-factor.
Windows that have been certified by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Energy Star from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), or from the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), will have a label showing these certifications. Be sure to check your windows label.
When you're ready
It is important to know what your budget is before you begin shopping. Ask for a copy of the contractors warranty and a few customer referrals.
Always get a copy of the contract for your records and don't forget to request proof of insurance.