Replacement Windows: 5 Must-Know Basics

Replacement windows increase energy efficiency, the value of a house and add curb appeal; when shopping for new ones, there are five must-know basics homeowners should be aware of

Homeowners considering replacement windows will find greater energy efficiency, increased value of their home and a more attractive curb appeal. With so many options on the market today, homeowners may feel overwhelmed when going through the process of choosing a replacement window. Here are five basics that homeowners should know when going through their options.

1. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, inefficient windows and doors account for greater than 25% of an average household's energy bills. Energy costs can be reduced by up to 15% or 35% by installing energy efficient replacement windows. Homeowners should look for double-paned insulated glass, heat-resistant coatings and airtight frames.

2. Noise can be reduced with insulated or double-pane windows that are 1/4 inch to 1 inch of air or argon between the panes. These air spaces create a buffer, with the wider space or thicker glass reducing more noise.

3. The majority of manufacturers recommend replacement windows about every 20 years. The signs that it is time to replace windows are when a window is sealed or painted shut, they are drafty and the panes are collecting condensation, ice and frost.

4. A skylight provides 30% more light than a vertical window. These are especially useful in kitchens and bathrooms, where there is generally a smaller amount of room for natural light.

5. Homeowners can add custom grilles to standard sized new replacement windows. These will not significantly increase the price of a window, yet they can be made based on drawings. There are several options available.

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