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Six Tips for Choosing Vinyl Windows

By Gates Dearen

Congratulations! You’ve made the wise decision to purchase vinyl windows. Vinyl frames are superior to wood and metal in many ways: They won’t pit, chip, rot, flake, or crack; they don’t require constant painting; they are more energy-efficient, keeping cold and heat out (or, alternately, in); and they are attractive. Just an occasional washing keeps them looking like new. But with so many options out there, how do you know what to look for?


If you plan to install your own windows, keep in mind that it can be tricky. Unless you are experienced in installation, you will likely find that it’s a rather unwieldy task. With large windows in particular, the risk of dropping and breaking a window is substantial. If you leave it to the experts, not only will they get the job finished much more quickly and efficiently, but if a window is broken in the process, they will replace it at no cost to you. Whether you choose to install your own windows or leave it to the experts, here are some tips that can make it as “pane-less” as possible.

·         Measure – twice. Determine your window needs based on the size and location of the windows. For example, let’s say that most of the windows in your house face west. Since the sun comes in from that direction most of the day, the windows on that side need to be especially efficient to keep the house from getting too hot in the summer.

Budget (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


After you know the sizes of the windows you need to purchase, decide what your total budget is for the project. In addition to the variety of window sizes, there are also many other options. Generally the higher priced windows are going to be more energy efficient. Keep in mind that this is an investment that will pay off in energy savings and peace of mind. If you’re on a tight budget, you might consider
 replacing only some of your windows now and some later, making it possible to buy higher-quality windows, rather than buying cheaper windows for your entire home all at once.

Shop and Compare

Look for this logo when considering your new r...
Look for this logo when considering your
new roofing materials (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Once you’ve established your budget, and you know the sizes of the windows you need, it’s time to find the right windows. Now you want to compare energy ratings, wind and rain resistance, warranties, and window features. The ratings can be hard to understand. Do your homework and make sure you understand the differences before you shop. Get a sense of what the ratings mean and why they are important.

·         Energy efficiency: The Energy Star label is one indicator. Also compare the U-value of the windows. The lower the U-value, the more energy efficient the window. A U-value of 0.35 or below is typically considered a good level. Also look at the R-factor of each window option, which indicates how insulated it is. More insulation translates into more energy efficiency for your home. Look for a high R-factor; the higher the number, the more energy efficient the window. For best insulation, choose multi-paned windows with argon gas between the panes, and with an E-coating. These features ensure maximum weather protection and comfort. In Florida and other southern states, it’s also important to look at the solar coefficient, a measure of how well the window keeps out heat while letting in light.
Our glass warranty.

·         Wind and rain resistance: If you live in an area that is prone to high winds and/or damaging rain, you’ll want to be sure that your windows are made for such a climate. It’s important to investigate the quality of not just the glass but also the frames of any windows you’re considering

·         Warranties: Compare both manufacturer and seller warranties. Up-front savings won’t save you much if the product doesn’t have a repair or replacement warranty. Read the warranty carefully so you won’t have any surprises in the event that you need replacement or repair of your windows. In addition, it’s a good idea to read customer reviews and testimonials. Find a company with satisfied customers.

Our windows have a Lifetime Warranty

·         Window features: The features you choose are largely a matter of personal taste, unless you have children, in which case safety is also important. Work with a professional to decide which features will increase your comfort and your windows’ function and durability. Single-hung windows open from the bottom only. Double-hung windows can open from the top or the bottom. Again, it’s all about preference. If you want to transform a simple opening into a stunning room accent, you can choose from a variety of custom shapes for your windows.

Choosing vinyl windows may seem like a daunting task, but with a little research and some help from a professional, you will find the windows that work best for your home and your lifestyle. A variety of options allows you to add your own personal flair, especially if you go for a custom window. Whichever features you choose, vinyl windows are a great investment in energy savings and comfort.

In this article I talked about how to choose vinyl windows. I offered six tips for making the selection process less difficult: measuring, budgeting, and four aspects of shopping and comparing energy efficiency, wind and rain resistance, warranties, and window features. . If you have a comment about this article, please feel free to post it below. Also, if you found this article useful, please pass it on.

Gates Dearen is the co-owner of HomeRite Windows and Doors in Jacksonville, Florida. Owners Gates Dearen and Richard Walden have been serving the building products industry in Florida for over 25 years. We know the products, the industry, the market and what adds great value to a home.  Our approach is a little different.  We strive to match the homeowner with the right windows for their home and budget. Home improvements can be a hassle.  We’re here to make life easier with first-rate, energy efficient products; affordable prices; strong warranties and expert, award-winning installers that provide excellent service while respecting your home as if it were their own. 

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  1. If you still have those old aluminium windows in your home it times to upgrade. My vinyl windows saved me a bunch in electricity cost and they are easier to clean and have additional features. Great investment! :D

  2. Being green doesn't only have to do with saving the environment. It also means saving folding green as well.

  3. Sung to the melody of "If I only had a brain" ... "If I only had a home ..." I'd consider vinyl windows.

  4. I use to never really think about how important good windows are to the efficiency of a home. Great info on how to select the right window.

  5. A great investment to save money.