Window Replacement: The First Steps
So you’ve decided to replace your windows. Perhaps they’re cracked, lack insulation or are simply outdated and don’t fit the style of your home. Window replacement has become a popular home remodeling service recently due to the advent of ENERGY STAR windows that better insulate your home and thus lower heating and cooling costs. Signs that you may need to replace your windows include:
– Rotting window frames
– Difficulty opening and closing them
– Condensation on the panes
– Feeling a draft coming in from the outside
– Energy bills are too high
Window replacement can be a large cost, but it is a necessary procedure for your home that can save you money in the long run. Below are the first steps to take when you determine that window replacement is needed.
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Window replacement is a large project that homeowners want done right. Before the days when almost everyone had access to the Internet, most people found window replacement services in the phone book or through referrals from friends and family. Though referrals will certainly give you more information about the professionalism and reliability of the service than the phone book, the Internet will help you to flesh out average prices and additional information. Furthermore, consumer websites will give you a broader range of reviews that can help you to decide on the best window replacement services in your area.
Once you have gathered a list of three or four services that you find reputable, it is often a good idea to schedule an interview. Speaking directly with the service will give you a more personalized idea of the company. Ask the company about your specific window replacement issues, whether it be for cracked windows, poorly insulated windows or simply outdated windows. Be sure to ask about pricing and warranties. Only hire a window replacement service when you feel completely comfortable with the company’s professionalism, timeliness, cleanliness, licensing and insurance.
Types of Windows
Choosing window types from your home can be overwhelming. Dozens of different types exist including bay windows, jalousie windows, porthole windows, round top windows, obscure glass windows, and the list goes on and on! However, service professionals from the company you hire to install your windows should be able to help you decide which windows are best for your home.
What Does R-value and U-value Mean?
Think about the R-value and U-value of the chosen windows. The R-value is a measurement of the window’s ability to insulate your home and to prevent heat loss. The higher the R-value is, the less heat you will lose from the window, and thus the lower your heating costs will be. The R-value of a window is sometimes measured at the center of the glass, and most glass now is sealed and insulated to further prevent heat loss.
While R-values are a measure of heat flow resistance, U-values are a measure of heat conductance. U-values generally range from.0 to 1.1, and you should look for a lower U-value. When looking for the R-value and U-value of a window, make sure that the ratings are based on current standards set by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and that these values represent the same style and size of window that you are considering purchasing.