Energy Savings Pay For Home Improvements Replacement Windows

In this article I’ll explain why dual pane replacement windows and other energy-saving home improvements are like money in the bank. Contractors like to point out an almost 100% return on investment when installing more energy-efficient windows, and they are right.

The problem with windows is that glass has poor heat insulation properties. Old single pane windows are hardy better than no windows at all when it comes to heat loss. And even older dual pane windows develop leaky seals that lead to condensation and reduced thermal protection.

Replacing that old glass with new Energy Star compliant windows reduces utility bills, provides better sealing to ward off pollen and other pollutants, insulates better against noise, and also drastically reduces the load on your heating and cooling system.

In addition, the replacement windows can be ordered with tempered and shatterproof glass for extra protection, tinted glass for privacy and additional insulation, and even color options for special effects. Further, the extra ultra violet protection provided by specially coated and reflective glass can keep your furniture and floors from fading.

Sometimes existing frames can accommodate more efficient replacement windows. If the frames need to be replaced, you can select from high-quality vinyl that never cracks or peels, or sturdy, elegant aluminum. While you’re at it, you may consider replacing flat standard windows with bay or decorative windows or add other architectural touches and enhancements.

Windows, of course, are not the only way to save energy. Up to 40% of a home’s exterior is roofing, and properly installed roofs can reduce heating and cooling bills in a number of ways. Shingles may reflect heat instead of absorbing it. Proper ventilation removes heat in the summer and quickly cools down your home. And whole-house fans efficiently remove the heat accumulating in attics.

Siding is important as well. Exterior painting not only improves the appearance of a home, but it also seals cracks through which heat can escape. Materials like Hardi Plank fiber-reinforced concrete siding are more durable and weather-resistant than wood or vinyl, again contributing to good insulation.

Properly built sunrooms can provide warmth in the winter and, through venting at night, cooling in the summer. Covered patios can provide shade, again reducing the load on the air conditioning system. The same goes for certain types of pergolas that are both decorative and provide shade. Decks and terraces, too, can shield windows from the sun, perhaps with the addition of plants, while adding quality living space to a structure.

So, the next time you think of home improvement projects, don’t stop at replacement windows. Take it as an opportunity to make your home a more environmentally friendly place with lower heating and cooling bills. Improving the value of your home and saving money at the same time…who could argue with that?

New Construction Windows OR Replacement Windows

When a new home is being built,the windows are nailed to the wood studs that make up the house frame.In order to accomplish this, new construction windows have a fin around all four sides of the frame that rests against the outside of the stud and nails are driven into the studs through the nailing fin.

After that, flashing paper is applied to prevent water leaks, then the exterior material is applied. That material can be stucco, brick, siding, etc.

Now,imagine 10 or 20 years later when you want to replace those windows. If you were going to install your replacement windows the same way the original windows were installed, you would have to remove the exterior material around each window in order to get to those nails holding the frame in there.

You can see how this procedure could cause many problems, not to mention all the labor involved. I have seen homes in california with stucco exteriors where the homeowner had the stucco cut out in order to remove the old windows.The problem was they were unable to match the stucco colors after patching. Its just not a very efficient way to replace windows. So the replacement frame was designed.

In most parts of the country it’s simply a new construction window frame with the nail fin removed. In the west, where stucco is a common home exterior,a retrofit frame was designed

If you’re going to be replacing the exterior material on your home, then you might want to consider going with the new construction window, since the nailing fins will be exposed anyway. Also, chances are that a contractor will be doing your exterior replacement,and it would be wise to let the contractor install the windows as well.Since my installation videos deal with window replacement only, these articles will focus on replacement frames and retrofit frames.

Using these two frame styles,a do it yourselfer can replace their old windows without any damage to existing interior and exterior surfaces. And the job can be done using common tools such as a drill,tape measure, and caulking gun.