With the economy in a rapid downward spiral and energy costs shooting through the roof, energy efficient windows are becoming a necessity to every person’s home regardless of the climate you live in.
No doubt wherever you are, it either gets too hot or too cold outside to be able to not use heat or air conditioning. If it doesn’t this writer wants to know where you live because he will move there ASAP.
As is the case with most household materials, you will have different options for a new home being built than you would have for an existing home where you would be replacing old windows. Here we will show you the options available for new home being built.
Energy Efficient Window Options for New Homes
One of the most important things to consider when buying windows for a new home is to make sure they meet local codes for energy efficiency. If you have not checked to see what your local codes are recently, or have not checked them at all, then you had best do so before buying your new windows. The reason is because they have been updated recently in many areas. It must have something to do with new federal standards for energy conservation.
Another important thing to consider is the house’s orientation on the landscape. For instance, you don’t want the side of your home with the most window coverage facing the sun most often unless you want the extra heat. That would be okay in colder climates, but not in warmer climates.
Ultimately, you want to maximize the window coverage on the sides of the home that do not get as much sunlight in warmer climates. Of course if you live in a colder climate, the exact opposite is true.
In colder climates you want to maximize the window coverage on the sides of the home that do get more sun so that you can let the heat from the sun in your house and save money on energy costs.
Preferably, you do not want a single side of the house to face due west, east, south or north. You want to put it at an angle to maximize the benefits possible by strategically placing your windows in the house for energy conservation.
You also could go with a window that is Energy Star rated, so that you know it meets or beats local standards and codes. Energy Star is said to guarantee that the systems state of the art techniques will pass any local energy saving code there is. So, put it to the test, but double check everything just to be sure. You never know what types of new codes there have been developed that even Energy Star may have missed.
Options for Existing Homes
The options available for existing homes regarding replacement windows are slightly different because you will have to match what was there before in at least size. One of the most important things to consider when buying replacement windows for an existing home is to make sure they meet local codes for energy efficiency too.
One good way to ensure that you are getting good energy efficient window while simultaneously saving money, is to simply make sure the replacement windows you get make you eligible for the federal tax credit that is currently in effect,. Other than that, there are three main options for ways to install new windows in your home.
The first option is to do a full window replacement. By full window replacement, we mean replacing the frame and glass as well as the accessories. This involves taking out the old window frame and installing a new one with often a one piece unit that has frame and glass all in one.
That makes installation rather simple really, so don’t be intimidated with replacing the entire window frame. Many people that have done it will tell you it is actually easier than replacing just part of it. Also take this opportunity to fix any water damage allowed by the old window frames.
The second option is to just put new windows into the old frames. You have to remove the old trim, sash and jambs, but the old frame stays in place with this method. You can get away with doing this to save a few bucks, but only if your old frames are in very good condition. If the old frames are not really good, it is recommended to go with the first option above or you will regret it later when the window frames cause problems later down the road.
The third and final option for replacement windows is to just replace the glass & sash and nothing else. This method is only recommended in cases that really have good frames still, but rotted or otherwise damaged sashes. The sash is considered the part of the window that frames the glass and is the moving part that opens and closes for those of you that are confused as to what the sash includes.
As you now know from reading above, there are different things to consider regarding your home’s windows depending on whether you are building a new home or just trying to improve an old home with replacement windows. We hope that we have provided some of the answers and advice you were looking for in either situation.
One thing that was barely mentioned above is the fact that there are currently Federal programs to help you pay for such improvements on your home because of their energy saving characteristics. So, be sure to look into whether or not you might be able to get a tax credit or even get your windows paid for by the federal or state government.
Many local areas have their own plans for neighborhood improvements in place as well, so do your research and it is sure to pay off! Good luck with your new windows and we hope you can get them free or at least some credit for the effort you are making to save the world’s limited and diminishing energy supply.