Home improvement projects are done for many different reasons. In some cases, the homeowner wants to improve the condition of the home to make it ready for sale. In other cases, they may want to make the home more comfortable for their family. There are also times when the homeowner wants to improve the energy efficiency of the home. This can easily be accomplished with an energy-efficient window replacement. Here are a few things to consider when making these changes to the home.
Quality of Window Manufacturing - There is a reason why there are a wide range of prices available for replacement windows. In many cases, it comes down to the quality of the window, and this can make a difference in the energy efficiency. It is always a good idea to go with a high quality window from a reputable manufacturer, such as Ply Gem or Certainteed. Replacing the Windows in the home with inexpensive, builder's grade windows is not going to boost the energy efficiency. High-quality windows from reputable manufacturers tend to be more efficient at reducing the exchange of energy from inside of the home to outside of the home.
Check for Upgrades - It is a good idea to opt for some of the upgrades when replacing windows in the home, which can add to the energy efficiency. An example of this is low-E glass, which is included as an upgrade through many window manufacturers. Low-e coatings increase energy efficiency by reducing how much infrared and ultraviolet light is able to pass through the glass. In essence, it blocks the energy (heat) from the sun without blocking the visible light that enters the home. This also has the additional benefit of reducing damage from sunlight to your furniture, flooring and walls.
Choose Your Contractor Carefully - Although it is important to consider the quality of the window, it is equally important to choose the quality of the contractor. The installation of the window is going to make a large difference in the energy efficiency and consequently, in the reduction of your energy expenses. Many of the ratings for energy-efficient windows only take into consideration the window and frame, not the installation. Because of the efficiency of many upgraded windows, and the fact that they seal tightly, air leaks may occur at the building envelope, causing uncomfortable drafts that will increase your energy consumption. Be sure that the contractor who is installing the windows pays careful attention to how they are sealed at the building envelope.
Consider Window Repair - For some homeowners, the expense associated with replacing the windows is out of their reach. It may be possible for you to improve the energy efficiency of the home by replacing the windows and ensuring that they are sealed properly at the building envelope. Many contractors who replace windows, including the frame, also offer repair services which will increase the energy efficiency of the home and improve the comfort for the family without the expense of a total window replacement.
Paul Doh is a professional home architecture specializing in green home design. Sources collected for this article can be found at http://www.aaawindows4less.com/guide-selecting-energy-efficient-windows-homes-san-francisco-california.