7 Tips for Choosing the Right Type of Windows for Your Home

7 Tips for Choosing the Right Type of Windows for Your Home

December 13, 2019
Martin Whitmore, President of US Window & Door
type of windows

Imagine living in a home without windows.

You’d be living in the dark, inhaling stagnant air, and you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the warm natural light.

Okay, so windows not only play an important role but it’s essential we find the right type of windows for our humble abode.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, you’ll be a window expert after reading these 7 helpful tips.

1. Choose the Right Materials

You’ve heard vinyl windows are good. But then again, what about other materials?

There’s a huge variety of windows and the most common materials are  PVC, aluminum, fiberglass, and aluminum.

These different types of windows for homes have unique advantages.

For example, PVC is a high-quality, temperature-sensitive and cheaper alternative. Yet jambs and posts for larger windows may be steel-enforced to ensure they’re sturdy.

The quality of materials used for windows continues to improve thanks to new manufacturing processes.  That means great insulation for us!  But be wary if you live in a wet place as you must apply stain and water-repellent paint often so it continues to be weather resistant.

The future is paved with fiberglass as it’s only just broken into the world of windows. Fiberglass is premium quality, more durable, and is great regarding energy efficiency.  But it is very expensive and few manufacturers have this option yet.

2. Consider the Different Styles of Windows

There are many types of replacement windows and picking your favorite style is the best part. Here are a few to consider:

Casement Windows

These pivot on hinges on either side of the window frame so they open like doors. They’re often taller than they are wide and offer excellent ventilation.

Double-Hung Windows

Double-hung windows have a traditional style as they slide up and down. Instead of the weight-and-pulley style, these have a spring-mounted mechanism.

Sliding Windows

Sliding windows are the most cost-effective and need little maintenance. But, a major downfall, is that they don’t give you as much ventilation as half of the window is open.

Bay Windows

If you want to make a statement, bay windows are for you.

They also make your room look larger which is great for breakfast nooks, dining rooms, and an extra spot for your pooch to bask in the sunlight.

3. Pick Your Glass

Regardless of how effective your insulation is, glass is the number one suspect for leaking heat.

Nowadays, most homeowners install double-glazed windows as they have an R-2 insulation rating, and trap heat with their energy-efficient glass.

When browsing glass options, focus on the window’s orientation in relation to the sun. For example, choose higher quality glass for the windows that don’t get much sun exposure.

If you live in a cold climate, consider triple-pane windows as they are sealed with a combination of gases that include argon or krypton.

4. Consider Energy Efficient Windows

As you search for windows, look at the R-values of the ones available. This indicates the energy efficiency of the building materials in insulation and windows.

So the higher the R-value, the better the insulation properties. To put things in perspective, a single-pane window has an R-value of 1 whereas a double-plane window can rank as high as 4.0.

Also, check the U-factor as it is the rate of which the window conducts non-solar heat flow. So if the U-factor is low, the glass will be more energy efficient.

5. Match Your Windows to the Climate

Before buying a triple-pane window, check with the manufacturer’s ratings and focus on test results that apply to where you live.

For example, if your home is exposed to high winds and freezing temperatures, consider the best-rated windows in the low-temperature wind resistance category.

6. Don’t Get Carried Away With Different Options

Upgrades can drastically explode the cost of a window. If you live in a moderate climate, avoid splurging on a triple-glazed window but get a low-e coating to improve efficiency.

7. Things to Do Before You Install the Windows

Before you make the purchase, be sure to check the thickness of the wall. To do this, measure the jamb width on an existing window.

Once you have the figures, many manufacturers offer to customize the frame jambs to match with whatever wall construction you have.

Note that many good-quality windows have to be customized several weeks in advance so don’t set your heart on delivery date. Also, don’t remove your windows before they’ve arrived as you may wait around with a gaping hole on the side of your home.

When the windows arrive, thoroughly inspect them for any damage and to ensure they’re the right fit.

Which Type of Windows Will You Choose?

Windows are essential in letting in natural light, keeping out the elements, and tying your home’s aesthetic together.  Because of this, buying new windows is a big purchase so it’s important you’re prepared.  Look at the different type of windows, materials, types of glass, and your climate before buying.

Before ordering, know your measurements and keep your old ones in until your new ones have arrived. Also, make sure you’re working with a reputable manufacturer so you know you’re in good hands. Happy hunting!

If you’re in San Diego or Southern Orange County and want to upgrade your windows or doors, we’d love to chat. Contact us here for further details.