Like any component of a home, especially those that face the exterior, windows will absorb damage, age, and eventually need replacement. Unfortunately, many homeowners fail to act on this need, and persist with inefficient windows that have long outgrown their usefulness. Despite the fact that many people consider windows purely a cosmetic feature, they actually provide for a range of beneficial services. Most of these services relate to energy efficiency, a structural characteristic that reflects the conservation or waste of energy. The greater a home’s energy efficiency, the lower its utility bills. If you want to save money month after month, consider some energy efficiency improvements. Of all those available, replacing windows represents one of the most valuable.
Are Replacement Windows Worth It?
The range of benefits that replacing windows can afford is lengthy. A partial list includes:
- Improved Indoor Air Quality
- Heightened Energy Efficiency
- Deflection of Destructive UV Rays
- Retention of Warm or Cool Air
- Less Penetration of Cold or Hot Air from Outside
- Improved Curb Appeal
- Increased Property Value
- Lower Insurance Premiums
- Greater Comfort
When it comes down to brass tacks, most people choose window replacement for monetary reasons. This makes sense, as the procedure will afford substantial savings month after month. Old, inefficient windows actually account for 70 percent of the energy a home loses. This leads to an increased workload and higher energy demands from your home’s HVAC. The cost of heating and cooling an average home can account for 50 percent or more of the monthly energy bill. If you are still unsure about replacement windows, consider this: the procedure generally accounts for a 25 percent reduction in your HVAC’s energy usage. This leads to savings over the course of many years that will eventually offset the cost of replacing windows.
As for other benefits, windows equipped with a low-e coating can effectively prevent the entry of UV radiation into your home. Aside from health risks, UV radiation will fade upholstery and damage fragile objects like documents, photos, wood furniture, and musical instruments. As for indoor air quality, proper sealing on replacement windows will prevent the entry of outside contaminants like dust, dirt, allergens, and mold. Sturdy windows can also lower your insurance premiums, since they are less susceptible to forced entry. Your new windows will additionally improve your home’s appearance and raise its overall value. Last but not least, replacing windows will simply make your home more comfortable. Your house will retain air from your HVAC and become much less susceptible to temperature variations outside.
What Replacement Windows Are the Best?
It’s impossible to say unequivocally which brand of windows represents the best choice for replacement. While many people associate brand recognition with quality, that is not always the case. Furthermore, there exist many regional window manufacturers who lack name recognition, but make excellent products. In terms of recommendations, however, a recent guide from Consumer Reports listed the following quality brands:
- American Craftsman by Andersen
- Integrity from Marvin
- Ply Gem
When shopping for replacement windows, rather than focus on brands, you can carry a list of ideal features. Once you find a window within your budget with the qualities you want, you’ve identified your best choice. You should also check for and compare NFRC labels. These summarize a window’s energy efficiency capabilities, and allow you to quickly compare various brands.
What to Look for in Replacement Windows:
- Energy Star and NFRC Labels
- Gas-Filled for Heat Retention in Cold Climates
- Low-E Coatings for Reduced Heat Gains in Hot Climates
- Low U-Factor for Heightened Thermal Resistance in Cold Climates
- Low SHGC for Less Heat Gain in Hot Climates
- Low U-Factor AND Low SHGC for Temperate Climates
- Whole Unit SHGCs and U-Factors for Total Assessment of the Window
Benefits of Professional Window Replacement and Installation
At Mast Roofing and Construction, Inc., we offer a full selection of window replacement and installation services. When it comes to a service as important as window replacement, we wholeheartedly recommend the employment of experienced professionals. Choosing a professional comes with a wide range of advantages.
Assumption of Risk: With professional installers, any mistakes or accidents become their responsibility. If you attempt to install windows on your own and wind up breaking one or scratching up a frame, you’ll have zero recourse.
Hole Sizing: Enlarging or creating a hole for a new window can become quite complicated. Incorrect sizing can lead to a hole that’s too big, or uneven, two issues that will completely negate the window’s energy efficiency.
Insufficient Sealing: If you do not know how to seal your window properly, you’ll have numerous problems. Rain can enter and rot the frame, while insects will treat an improperly sealed window as a practical thoroughfare. Your new windows could actually worsen your home’s energy efficiency, thanks to the loss of cool and warm air.
How to Window Replacement Tips
Despite the numerous advantages of hiring a professional for your window project, we understand that some people cannot afford the service, or are simply committed to the DIY ideal. In either case, we suggest the following:
- Make Sure to Remove and Replace Any Rotted Wood
- Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions
- The Window Must Fit Square, Plumb, and Level with Its Opening
- Use Shims for Small Adjustments
- Insert Every Installation Screw
- Seal All Joints, Both Interior and Exterior, with Caulk
- Insulate Any Gaps Larger than 1/8 Inch
Window Replacement FAQ
What Is Window Replacement?
Window replacement is a process where old windows are removed, typically frame and all, for newer windows. The typical reasons for this practice include a desire for improved energy efficiency, visual aesthetics, or security.
Can You Do Window Replacement Without a Frame?
Yes, you can install replacement windows in an existing frame. However, the process is fairly involved and difficult, and not recommended for non-professionals.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Window?
The average cost to replace a window, including professional installation, falls between $450 and $600.
How Often Should You Replace Windows?
Correctly installed windows that benefit from necessary repairs and maintenance should last for around 25 years. Improvements to manufacturing processes and the development of new energy efficient technology can make it worthwhile to replace windows sooner, however.
What Is the Best Material for Windows?
In terms of pricing and all-around durability, it’s hard to top vinyl windows. Aluminum does not insulate well, while fiberglass has a higher cost. Wood also falls at the high-end of the price spectrum, and has greater susceptibility to pests and the elements. However, many people prefer it for aesthetic reasons.
Need Help Replacing Windows? Give Us a Call!
Replacing windows can become surprisingly difficult, with costly consequences for improper work. The next time you need window replacement, whether for a single unit or an entire home, reach out to a local, trusted contractor. If you need help replacing windows in Oley and Philadelphia, PA, contact the expert team at Mast Roofing and Construction, Inc.. We’re always ready to assist new clients, and remain available for a variety of home needs at 610-689-3737.