How to Choose New Home Windows
When you set out to choose new home windows there are two distinct factors that you want to consider: style and efficiency. While the style is what will be most pleasing to the eye, the efficiency of the windows is what will be most pleasing to your wallet over the long haul.
When it comes to style, there are basically three types of windows that you can choose from. Here are the three styles of windows you can choose for your new home:
1. Casement: These are the most energy efficient windows. Casement windows open from a hinge by way of a crank operation. This enables the sash of the window to stay tight and let very little air though.
2. Double Hung: A double hung window has a lower panel of glass and an upper panel of glass and will open from the bottom by sliding the lower panel up. The drawback to these windows is that over time the weather seal usually gets damaged from opening and closing the window and this allows for more air to get through.
3. Sliding: Sliding windows are much like the double hung, only they open by sliding one panel to the side of the other. The same weather seal problem that plagues double hung windows usually persists with the sliding windows as well.
After you have chosen the style of windows for your new home, you then need to consider how efficient those windows will be. There are two efficiency guides that can help you choose the best window efficiency wise for you, these guides are:
1. R-Value: This measures how much heat loss your windows are capable of losing. This is important to the overall efficiency of the windows so you will want to go with windows that have at least an R-3 rating or better. Of course the higher the rating, the higher the efficiency, but also the higher the price.
2. U-Factor: This is a measure of how well the windows will prevent air from coming in the windows. U-Factors that are less than 0.35 are desirable and considered efficient. This factor is especial important during the hottest and coldest times of the year.
There are also different types of glass treatments that affect the overall efficiency of the windows you will select for your new home. A regular panel of glass will not offer any protection and will therefore be the least efficient for windows.
You can also get glass that is treated with a glaze either on one side or both. The glass with one side glazed will be a little less efficient versus the glass with both sides glazed and this will again affect price.
The cream of the crop in window glass is Low-e window glass. These windows feature two panes of glass per panel and in-between the glass there is an invisible gas, such as argon, that keeps heat in or out depending on what you want. While these windows have the tops in glass they also carry the top price.
In the end it is all up to you and you have to weigh the overall savings due to the efficiency of the windows to the overall cost of the windows. A good rule of thumb when selecting new home windows is to go with ones that are as efficient as possible, but that still fit in your budget.