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Increase Home Comfort With Replacement Windows

With the increases in utility rates over the past few years, replacing windows is a popular activity in many established neighborhoods as Dekalb County homeowners seek ways to shore up the house to conserve energy. Windows represent the weakest defense against heat and cold in any house.

Energy efficient windows not only save energy but also insulate against traffic and other disturbing noises. They increase the attractiveness and value of the house and protect furnishings. When considering replacing windows features to consider include the frame material, style of window, kind of panes, grid options, hardware, cost and complexity of installation.

Frame material

The choices of window frames include non-conductive solid wood, aluminum-clad wood with a thermal break, vinyl, wood-clad vinyl, a composite of vinyl and wood fiber, and fiberglass. Wood costs more than vinyl and requires painting or staining. Frames made from a composite of wood fibers and vinyl give the strength and durability of wood with the low maintenance of vinyl. Exterior maintenance can be minimized if clad in vinyl or aluminum. Vinyl may warp and has minimum options in colors. Aluminum frames conduct heat readily but better quality windows are "thermally broken" with insulating material between the interior and exterior components.

Styles of windows

In selecting replacement windows the style should be compatible with the house design and with other windows if not all are to be replaced. Styles include picture window, casement, horizontal slider, awning, and single and double hung windows. Even double hung windows that tilt for easier cleaning are available. Casement and awning types seal better when closed than sliding window and may be more expensive.

Panes

Double paned windows are treated with "Low-E" (low emissivity) coatings (such as metal oxide or microscopic layers of silver) deposited in a thin layer on the glass; or, a suspended plastic film is inserted between the two panes. Panes may have air, argon gas or argon/krypton gas between them. The coating must be on the inside of the sealed window unit to protect it from degradation by moisture. These coatings allow light and solar energy into the house, but reduce heat radiation through the glass. Heat flowing out of the house in winter, or into the house in summer is reduced. Other advantages of this reduced radiation are greater comfort, reduced condensation and reduced fabric fading.

Several ratings or numbers are used to measure the performance of a window. The U-factor measures thermal performance or ability to conduct heat; the R-value describes the insulating ability, the inverse of the U-factor. The higher the R-value, and the lower the U-factor indicate the better performing window.

If you are looking for a Dekalb County replacement window company please call us today at 815-754-7663 or complete our online request form.

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