Having choices should be positive but, how do you make a smart buying decision regarding replacement windows? You must sift through all of the companies' claims, products, and terminology while wondering if you have enough information to make the best choice.
Homeowners buy windows with the intent to see through them however, important window components which help us save energy, provide lasting durability and increase overall quality are sometimes not visible at all. The truth is most homeowners want to arrive at their buying decision with fortitude and serenity.
According to the Wall Street Journal, "When buyers are empowered with information, they make higher-quality purchases." So here are the facts:
Infiltration: 1/16 of a gap in a standard size window will allow as much air to enter your home as a missing brick.
Conduction: ½ of each dollar spent is lost. Heat moves to the coldest area. Conduction wastes three times more energy than infiltration.
Radiation: The sun radiates heat into your house. 25% of total heat loss is caused by radiation through window panes. Your furnace and air conditioners are working overtime!
Heating & Cooling: Typically, 56% of utility bills are spent here. 53% of homes use natural gas for heating.
Vinyl Windows: According to numerous sources, hollow vinyl frames are subject to durability problems. Although vinyl is more energy efficient, it softens and expands seven times more than glass.
Strength & Rigidity: Vinyl frames which are fully reinforced with aluminum are 7.2 times more rigid than wood and 23.2 times more rigid than hollow vinyl.
Glass Pack Technology: Soft Coat Low E, Thermal Gases, and Warm Edge Spacing Systems are critical if energy savings is your goal. If your home has the original "builder grade windows", regardless of how new your home is, energy efficiency is lacking.
"Better" Is Often Worth The Bucks: USA TODAY says, 81% of homeowners surveyed agree that it is smart to pay more for some premium quality products.
Guarantee: The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten!
Sources: US Dept. of Energy, National Renewable Energy Lab; The Wall Street Journal; Popular Science; This Old House; Aluminum Extruders Council; USA TODAY