By Gates Dearen
Are you looking for a way to save
money and update and improve your home’s appearance? New vinyl windows could be
the answer. Vinyl frames are better than wood and metal in many ways: They
won’t pit, chip, rot, flake, or crack; they don’t require constant scraping and
painting; they are more energy-efficient, keeping cold and heat out (or,
alternately, in); and they are, in many people’s opinion, more attractive. Just
an occasional washing keeps them looking like new.
Updating your windows can add peace of mind through improved safety features, especially if you live in an older home. As Richard and Michelle Barnett explain in the video linked below, they were concerned about thin glass and lead paint on the single-pane windows and aluminum frames in their 1940s-built home and very poor sound proofing from outside noises. When they updated their home with vinyl windows, those fears disappeared. They no longer had to worry about paint chips or shattered glass once they had vinyl frames and double-pane windows installed. Here’s a link to the video where they tell their story:
Of course, the Barnetts are also thrilled by the increased energy efficiency their new windows provide. Not only have they saved money in energy costs on every electrical bill since having their windows installed, but they are able to enjoy their home much more now that it cools down so quickly in the evenings when they come home from work – less than a half-hour to reach ideal temperature compared to nearly four hours before. Richard says that with their old windows, they could “feel any change in wind, any change in temperature.” Of course, if you can feel the wind through your windows, you know you’re losing valuable cooling, or heating energy. But with new windows, the outdoors stays outdoors. And that doesn’t apply only to the weather, but also to noise, in fact the Barnetts mention in the video that they used to be able to hear dogs barking from three blocks away! While it’s easy to measure energy savings from one month to the next, quality of life gains are no so easily quantified, but they are certainly significant.
You might be wondering how windows can save you money. The short answer is that technology has improved glass coating and glazing techniques and materials. The slightly longer answer that follows will explain how that helps cut your cooling and heating costs. emissivity windows cause heat to be reflected off, rather than allowing it to collect and “seep through” (be emitted) into the home. The Low-e coating keeps the heat from being absorbed and emitted, instead reflecting it away from the glass. This technology is related to the insulation used in spacecraft to keep heat from accumulating on both reflective surfaces, inside and outside, but actually the application of the technology is more complicated in windows because glass has such a high level of emissivity, thus posing the challenge of maintaining Low-e while letting in light. Manufacturers of high-quality windows apply coatings to reflect radiant energy, which helps to keep heat on the same side of the glass it’s coming from – outside in summer, inside in winter – while allowing light to pass through. This improves thermal efficiency (insulating properties) because radiant heat stays where it belongs, outside or inside depending on the season and the weather.Low-
Ease of Maintenance
If you’ve ever spent time scraping and repainting wood or metal windows frames, you know it’s no fun. To be kept looking nice, the older types of windows need this kind of maintenance every few years, and the in-between cleaning is no picnic either! Dirt seems to cling to painted wood frames in particular. Grimy windows and frames give your home an overall dingy appearance. Vinyl window frames need almost no maintenance. They truly could not be easier to care for. A quick rinse or wipe every once in a while, and they look as good as new, keeping your home’s exterior looking its best.
The benefits don’t stop there; your new windows will cut down on the UV rays coming into your home, which can extend the life of your carpeting and furniture too. You could also add light – and maybe, as the Barnetts did, space – through good planning, placement, and installation of your new windows. Improved appearance, lower energy bills, better quality of life, and a more attractive home – that’s what we call a good return on investment!
In this article, we discussed the ways that investing in vinyl replacement windows can pay off for many years. Some of the benefits we mentioned are improved appearance, better energy efficiency, better quality of life, and a more attractive home.
Gates Dearen is the co-owner of HomeRite Windows and Doors in Jacksonville, Florida. Owners Dearen and Richard Walden have been serving the building products industry in Florida for over 25 years. They know the products, the industry, the market and what adds great value to a home. Their approach is a somewhat different than others. They strive to match the homeowner with the right windows and doors for their home and budget. They know that home improvements projects can be a hassle. They strive to make the process as pleasant as possible with first-rate, energy efficient products; affordable prices; and expert, award-winning installers that employ the best practices and who respect your home as if it were their own.