Many responsibilities and decisions come with being a homeowner. Renovations and maintenance being one of the highest priorities, often with a goal of increasing a home’s value. There are several reasons to consider home improvements and updates, increased energy efficiency is a main consideration. With the cost of utilities increasing, homeowners are always looking for cost-efficient investments that will help them save money long-term. Window replacement is one of the best ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency.
With flooring, roofing, kitchen upgrades and updating your outdoor living space, a home’s windows can often be overlooked. Unless there is a major issue with a few windows in your home you may not consider the need of a window replacement. Maybe some rooms in your home are draftier than others or there is a lot of condensation present. Replacing the windows in your home can make a significant difference to your comfort and your home’s aesthetic appeal.
There are many signs that can indicate your windows may need replacing, but what else should a homeowner know before diving into a window replacement project?
Do Windows Have a Lifespan?
Luckily window replacement isn’t a project that has to be done often. The average lifespan can range anywhere from 15 to 25 years, and sometimes longer depending on the quality and manufacturing of the windows. Although many manufacturers offer a “Lifetime Guarantee” there are many factors that can contribute to a shorter window lifespan.
The material windows are made of can affect their longevity, along with the overall quality. There are many benefits of each, whether you choose wood, fibreglass, or vinyl windows, but some may be more durable than others. Your local climate, natural wear, and tear, or even poor installation can all affect the lifespan of your home’s windows.
Do All Windows Need to be Replaced at Once?
Although there are many advantages to replacing all of the windows in your home at once, it isn’t a necessity. The overall condition of your windows and your renovation budget all have a say in it. Many times, during a quick renovation or to update your home’s curb appeal, homeowners will only replace the windows on the front of their home. This makes the replacement project less costly and can increase the home’s value slightly on its own. This is also a great way to break up the costs into smaller projects over time. Of course, some people will choose to replace only one or two windows at a time, based on the overall condition of their other windows.
Purchasing windows for your home all at once can save you money in the long run. Manufacturers and retailers may offer volume discounts when you buy a minimum quantity of windows. Also, if your budget can accommodate the upfront investment, the energy efficiency of your home will be significantly increased. Ultimately, it’s up to each homeowner to decide what best suits their current needs.
How to Choose New Windows
There are many aspects to consider when purchasing new windows for your home. No matter how many windows you’re investing in, understanding the different features and qualities will be helpful when choosing between the many options available.
There are a vast number of windows available on the market. Aside from the specific designs of the frames themselves, there are also many styles. From windows that open vertically or horizontally to those that are hinged or even fixed. The options are plentiful. Below, we have outlined the most common styles to help you become more familiar with the different styles and what may work best for your home.
- Single-hung windows slide vertically, and only the bottom of the window opens.
- Double-hung windows slide vertically, but open from both the top and bottom.
- Casement windows pivot open from side, hinges and are usually operated with a crank.
- Awning windows are similar to casement windows, except they are hinged at the top.
- Picture windows are stationary. Although they don’t open, they let in ample sunlight.
- Slider windows they open from both sides by sliding horizontally.
With so many options available, knowing which window is the most efficient may seem difficult to determine. However, it’s been made quite easy, as the Government of Canada has partnered with ENERGY STAR to uphold a specific standard. When it comes to efficiency there are a few key factors to consider.
- ENERGY STAR Certification: Look for the blue symbol!
- U-Factor: This metric represents the amount of heat/cold transmitted through the window. The lower this figure, the more efficient the window.
- Professional Installation: A pro will use the proper methods and materials to ensure windows are sealed to be air and watertight.
There are a few different materials used for window frames, each with its own benefits. The three most common materials used for frames include:
This is generally the most popular frame material as it’s known to be less expensive than other options, they require less maintenance, are more durable, and are very energy efficient.
These frames are known to be one of the more durable options and depending on weather conditions in your area, may be a great choice for your home. Being the strongest of the material options, fibreglass typically has the longest lifespan, but come at higher cost than vinyl.
With a classic look that is easy to customize, wood frames offer more style choice and variety. However, wood is more susceptible to weather damage, mold, and rot and requires more maintenance than other frame materials. There are many energy-efficient wood frames on the market as well, but be sure to look for the right certification.
Of course, many homeowner decisions come down to the allocated budget. That being said, it’s important to consider the long-term gain of installing energy-efficient windows. Where one window option may be cheaper upfront, if it is not energy-efficient and results in increased energy costs, it may cost you more in the long run. Investing in ENERGY STAR Certified windows doesn’t always have to be an expensive endeavour. Speak with a window replacement professional about the condition of your windows, so they can help determine your immediate needs.
Best Time for Window Replacement
It may seem like common sense to replace windows in the warmer summer months, however, the disadvantage is you’re not the only one who thinks so. Since, this is the busiest season for window replacement professionals, there may be an increased cost or an increased wait time. If you’re patient and can schedule strategically around weather conditions, it can be more cost-effective to arrange for spring or fall window replacement. The other advantage of off-season installation is you’ll get to enjoy all the benefits of your new windows during the summer.
Keep the hot air out, and the cool air-conditioned air in with a fresh new set of energy-efficient windows!
If you are interested in replacing your windows and doors, let ThermoBILT windows and doors help you get started. Call us today at 866-512-4782.