We all want the best replacement windows available for our homes, but how can you tell that the window belongs at the top of the list? We know that we should only look at three categories as homeowners. It is only worth it to examine beauty, comfort, and craftsmanship to determine which window is right for you.
Beauty Matters in Replacement Windows
Are you ready to part with your current windows because they look old and their frames have faded? If so, then you’re going to want new windows that reflect your home’s style while boosting its curb appeal. When choosing your ideal replacement windows, look for a product that offers a wide array of customization options so you can design the perfect windows to fit your vision for your home. Decorative grids, simulated rails, decorative glass, and premium interior trim are some of the options that should be available. You should also be able to select from several different frame colors and interior frame finishes that mimic the look of natural wood.
You Deserve To Be Comfortable In Your Castle
Improved comfort is often one of the critical goals of homeowners in the market for new windows. Getting rid of drafty windows is the No. 1 reason people replace the windows in their homes. That’s because drafty windows affect comfort levels year-round. While you would expect that all new windows would take care of this issue, that’s unfortunately not the case. One of the most essential “comfort” ratings is the air leakage rate. While it’s a reasonably technical conversation, make sure you see proof (not just company literature) of the air leakage ratings for the window products you evaluate for your home. As a general guide, most vinyl replacement windows have a rating of around .30, but the best replacement windows are up to 10 times better, with ratings for a double-hung window as low as .02.
If someone offers you a triple-pane product, make sure that it qualifies in the climate zone that you live in. In terms of energy efficiency, and ENERGY STAR® rating is usually the sign of a good window option. However, ENERGY STAR certification requirements vary based on what part of the country you reside in. For example, if you live in the south, a triple-pane window may not only be overkill in the winter but also could allow more summer heat into your home than you bargained for. For this reason, you should look for a product that is ENERGY STAR certified for every climate.
Another factor to consider in terms of comfort is the spacer system used in your windows. The spacers perform several different functions, and your window dealer needs to talk intelligently about each of them. The most important might be protecting against seal failure. All brand-new windows provide a certain comfort level, but long-lasting coziness requires a spacer system that guards against seal failure. The other “must-have” is a spacer system that takes advantage of edge deletion. This technique requires that the low-E coating be ground off along the edge of the glass when it comes into contact with the sealant. This ensures a proper seal with the glass and no adverse interactions between the low-E coatings and the seal.
Expect Exceptional Attention to Detail
Let’s face it—once you look at several white vinyl replacement windows, they all begin to look the same. This is where you should look for attention to detail. How are the frame corners joined? Is the window screen cheaply made? The best replacement windows are constructed with care and a long-term view.
One trick for determining window quality is looking at the glazing beads. Glazing beads are, in essence, strips of vinyl that help to hold the insulated glass unit inside the frame. In your standard replacement window products, these glazing beads are typically just rectangular vinyl pieces that look plain. The best replacement windows cope their glazing beads to look like a piece of fine, milled wood and even go so far as to miter the corners just like the interior window and door trim in your home.
Maybe the best way to determine the overall quality of the replacement window product that you are considering is a thorough evaluation of the warranty. Words like “limited,” differing amounts of warranty availability dependent upon the age of the product (proration), and strict limits on transferability of the warranty are all signs of products that don’t meet the “best of” smell test. Also, long warranties with lots of fine print should be concerning, as they might be more interested in protecting the producer than the consumer. Lifetime (not limited), non-prorated, and fully transferrable (to a second homeowner) warranties represent the best of the best when it comes to new windows.
Replacement Windows from Family Home Improvements
One way to ensure that you’re choosing replacement windows engineered to provide long-term protection and energy efficiency—no matter what part of the country you live in — is to select Family Home Improvements as your window and patio door installation company. Our windows are not only ENERGY STAR rated for all climates and completely customizable, but they’re also backed by our lifetime non-prorated transferable warranty. Contact our Family Home Improvements team at (562) 464-0684 to learn more about replacement windows, or click here for a free quote today!