Although they often get overlooked, windows are extremely important parts of infrastructure. They can determine a building’s aesthetic, energy efficiency, and temperature control, making them both visually and practically useful. With this in mind, it is important to consider windows when sprucing up a home or starting a new business, as upgraded windows can cut energy costs.
Hiring professional installers is important because windows are the last line of defense against water damage. Improper installation can lead to leaks, drafts, mold and rot, condensation, damage to walls and framing, reduced energy efficiency, and asthma and airway problems in a building’s inhabitants. Up to 30% of a home’s heated or cooled air escapes through gaps around windows, so a properly installed window can prevent leakage, saving hundreds of dollars.
Deciding to install a window is just the first step; you will need to make several more decisions regarding the window. The first is frame material. There are several options from which to choose. Common options include wood, aluminum, composite, fiberglass, and new construction vinyl. New construction vinyl has emerged as the most popular choice due to its low maintenance and affordable nature, its improved energy efficiency, and its resistance to moisture.
The next factor is window operation, or how the window opens. The most common operation types are single-hung, double-hung, and sliding windows, all of which involve operating sashes that slide past one another. Other options include awning windows, hopper windows, and casement windows, which swing outward or inward. Finally, you can choose to install a fixed window, which is airtight but offers no ventilation or egress.
Glass is a vital component of a window. You will have to choose between single, double, and triple pane windows. Triple pane windows offer up to 48% more energy efficiency than single pane windows, making them the most efficient choice.
You will also want to consider the gas fills and spacers that go into your windows. Common gas fills include argon and krypton. Argon is the most common; it is affordable and works well in all dimensions of pane spacing. Krypton has a better thermal performance, but is more expensive and is only available in triple pane windows. As for spacers, the main options include non-metallic, metallic, and warm-edge.
The final consideration are window coatings, which serve as protection from harmful UV rays and solar heat gain. Low-E coatings are popular. They cost up to 15% more than clear glass, but also result in up to 50% of energy loss reduction. Specially selective is another coating that is designed for sunny climates. It reduces up to 70% of solar heat gain and filters out UV rays and infrared light.
All of these options are a lot to take in, which is another reason why turning to professionals is recommended. Window Nation is a company with a wealth of experience in window installation. On average, their installers have 10 years of experience. Window Nation has installed a million windows in more than 100,000 homes and prides itself on accuracy.
As you aim to improve your shelters, whether it be your home or your startup, consider how old the windows are and whether or not they can be improved to cut energy costs. Take care with the installation process and take advantage of trained professionals to ensure a perfect fit that will last for years to come.