Four Tips for Choosing the Best Residential Windows

August 12, 2010

The high energy bills are getting old, and you've decided the days are numbered for the windows in your home that are contributing to those energy costs. How can you determine the best residential replacement windows? Consider these tips for making the right window selections.

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Appearance

The appearance of your new windows and how they fit in with the rest of your home's style is important. You want to choose windows that complement your house. Ask a window contractor to bring out some available samples, such as:

  • Aluminum
  • Vinyl
  • Vinyl Clad
  • Wood

All of these window types are available with different grill patterns or with no grills at all. Wood windows can be painted any color and the other three types are available in various pre-finished colors.

Window Costs

Window costs play a vital role in choosing replacement windows. A window contractor can provide you with cost information on various options and on pertinent installation charges. In general, aluminum and vinyl windows usually run from economical to mid-range prices, while vinyl clad and wood windows can vary from mid-range to upper-end prices.

Energy Efficiency Ratings

Many people make the decision to purchase new windows in order to reduce their heating and cooling costs. The U-factor rating and the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) rating help determine each window model's energy efficiency. Look for Energy Star ratings if you want to be sure the window has top-notch efficiency.

Ease of Operation

Be sure to test various windows and choose a model that isn't a struggle to raise and lower or lock securely. Ask your window contractor to show you how a selection of window samples operate and then try them yourself. Some models fold into the home so you can clean the window's exterior without leaning outside.

Keep these four considerations in mind and you should be able to make a solid decision on the best residential replacement windows for your home.


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