Upgrading Windows In Your Home
– Looking for a quick and easy way to add value to your home and potentially save on your home’s energy costs? Then look no further than upgrading the windows in your home. Did you know that new windows are one of the top five things that potential buyers ask about a home?
Why upgrade your windows?
Your home may not be operating at its peak efficiency. By upgrading the windows in your home, you can add considerable value by not only increasing energy efficiency but also contribute to the curb appeal and resale value of your home.
Here are the top signs that your windows need to be replaced:
• Mold or rot
• Cracked caulking
• Condensation build up
What to look for when upgrading windows
When shopping for windows, you will come across a few common values and types of windows. The first is if the window is low emissivity or not. This means that the window can reflect the heat from the warm side of the glass. A U-factor gauges a window’s insulation value and additionally the solar heat gain coefficient which measures how the product protects heat transfer from the sunlight. The other item to pay attention to is the High R-Value. This measurement determines how well a window prevents heat loss. The majority of window manufacturers have an energy efficient component added to most windows produced. Look for the federal government’s Energy Star program when shopping for windows as those approved by the program will carry the Energy Star label. Windows come in all shapes, styles and sizes as well as prices.
The price of windows varies ranging from the cheaper white vinyl window that can be found at most home improvement centers and has a low-E coating and insulating glass. The price rises as you upgrade to a fiberglass frame and argon gas-filled triple glazing. Other specialty coatings and window sizes will raise the price even further. The most common window sold is vinyl which accounts for roughly 67 percent of all residential installs. Vinyl can combine energy performance, durability and reliability coupled with low cost that makes it a great choice for any homeowner. It is also rot- and insect-proof and is virtually indestructible. About 3 percent of windows sold are made up of fiberglass. This type is maintenance-free and durable, but does come with a higher price tag than that of vinyl. Another alternative is aluminum. However, it does not insulate well and is susceptible to expanding and contracting. The last alternative is wood which is more susceptible to damage from insects and does come with an increased cost.
If you are not in the market to upgrade windows
Consider other measures to make your windows more efficient if you are not able to do a full window replacement. For instance, applying a fresh coat of paint can prolong the life of the window and also its appearance. Another alternative solution is to install weather stripping to help with drafts.
One study back in 2006 estimated that nearly half of all U.S. homes still had single pane windows. While upgrading the windows in your home is an investment, it is a good long-term solution especially if you plan to stay in your home for a long period. A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Energy noted that the installation of energy-efficient doors and windows can reduce monthly heating and cooling bills by 15 to 20 percent. Known as one of the most popular home improvement projects, upgrading your windows can lead to energy efficiency and ultimately cost savings through your investment.
Boston ProbateUpgrading Windows In Your Home