Researching Replacement Windows before Purchasing

August 24, 2010

Installing replacement windows is a great investment in your home, and you can enhance your results by researching and comparing windows according to your needs. Make a list of what you expect from new windows, and have it handy when shopping online or visiting window dealers.

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Replacement Windows: What to Look for

Here are some examples of window features and benefits:

  • Energy efficiency: If you're tired of drafty windows and high energy bills, pay close attention to the NFRC energy performance ratings on windows you're considering. The NFRC provides standardized ratings indicating how well windows prevent heat flow, how they conduct solar heat, and how much light travels through a window.
  • Heat and light transmission: Window ratings offer information about how windows transmit light and how much heat they absorb and transmit from the sun. If you live in a forest or shaded area, selecting windows that transmit maximum light is important, but if you're a desert dweller, protecting your home's interior and climate from the sun's heat and damaging rays is a priority.
  • Air leakage and condensation resistance: These ratings are not required to appear on manufacturer's labeling, so if these qualities are important, ask to see windows that include these ratings. Air leakage compromises your home's comfort and energy savings, and condensation between glazing layers inhibits your view and indicates faulty quality. If you experience climate extremes and high humidity levels, evaluating these ratings can help prevent problems.

Knowing how you want your new windows to work and focusing on your priorities assists window dealers in finding windows meeting your expectations.

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