Replacing the windows on your home can be both an exciting and stressful process. On one hand, you’re imagining how great your home will look with new windows; on the other, you’re worried about making the right choice for an expensive upgrade you’ll be using for years. If you want to improve the chances of making a decision you’ll never regret, follow these steps as you consider which windows (and installers) to choose for your home.
Choose windows designed for your climate
Did you know that windows are designed to excel in specific climates? If heating your home is a bigger concern than keeping it cool, you’ll want windows that are designed to gather heat. If your air conditioning bills are bigger than your heating bill, get windows that are designed to block out heat. Not sure which category you fall into? Just ask your local window expert which climate you live in. There are four climate zones in the US. Make sure your windows are designed for your climate, and you’ll be off to a great start.
Don’t overspend on energy efficiency
Maybe there’s no such thing as being too energy-efficient, but that doesn’t mean that the most efficient window is the best value for you. Some window upgrades, such as triple-paned glass, are expensive relative to the energy savings they offer. If you don’t live in a severely hot or cold place, you may find that less expensive double-paned glass is more than adequate for your needs – especially when you consider the cost of the upgrade. Your local window retailer should be able to give you an idea about how much money and energy each possible window upgrade could save you.
Compare window warranties
Energy-efficient windows can reduce your utility bills every month, but these savings pale in comparison to the cost of replacing your windows. If you’re intent on saving money in the long term, you’re going to want to invest in windows that last. How can you tell if a replacement window if built to last? Do your research. Look online for third-party reviews of windows. Another useful way of determining reliability is to compare the warranties that accompany the windows.
Here is an example of a strong window warranty from Renewal by Andersen of Central NC, on renewalnc.com: Replacement windows backed by superior warranties are likely to outlast those that are not;
Don’t skimp on installation
In order for a window to perform effectively, it must be installed with care and precision. For example, if shortcuts are taken during the sealing process, the performance of the most energy-efficient window will be compromised by leaks; if a window if not installed plumb and square, it might always be difficult to open and close. If you want to improve your chances of choosing a skilled and reliable window installer, there are several things you can do:
- Get referrals (and actually check them)
- Check their BBB rating
- Confirm licenses (a state contractor’s, for example)
Invest a little time to ask questions, check referrals, and do some comparison shopping. Your reward will be replacement windows that make you smile for years to come.