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A Crash Course on Replacement Windows

By Gates Dearen
Courtesy of Pixabay

While most people understand that old, worn out windows reduce the energy efficiency of a home, what they usually don’t realize, is that it’s a bigger deal than they think.  That’s because close to 50% of a home utility bill is derived from heating and cooling alone.  Another thing most homeowners don’t realize is that worn out windows are a magnet for burglars since they are child’s play to jimmy.  Of course, even when you factor your family’s comfort and safety into the equation, many consumers still find themselves sitting on the fence when it comes to taking the plunge to replace their home’s windows.  That’s largely due to the fact that like kids in a candy store, there are tons of window options to choose from nowadays. If this is what’s bothering you, read on as I take you through a crash course on window replacement.

Decoding Window Labels

Courtesy of City of Roseville CA.
By Gates Dearen
If you have been considering upgrading your home’s windows, you may have noticed that there are a great variety of replacement window options.  Perhaps you have taken the time to visit the showroom of a company that specializes in replacement windows.  If you did, one of the first things you probably noticed is that every window you were shown had a label affixed to it containing information about U-Factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, and Visible Transmittance.  The label might as well have been written in hieroglyphics for all the good it did you.  As a result, you may have left the showroom more confused about replacement windows than you were before you set foot in the store.  To help you navigate your way to choosing the right windows for your home, I have taken the time to help you decode the information presented on window labels.

Fall Back to Basic Window and Door Care

By Gates Dearen
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Now that the dog days of summer are just about over in Florida, it’s a great time to assess the condition of your windows and doors.  Even if your windows and doors are relatively new, they are not bulletproof. This should be all too apparent for those of you who weathered Hurricane Irma recently.  Wind and weather can take their toll on windows and doors, just like they do on your home’s roof.   With Fall being just around the corner, these tips will help you get a jump on the season before Winter arrives.

What is the Best Time of Year to Upgrade Your Windows?

By Gates Dearen

While most people realize that old windows reduce the curb appeal and energy efficiency of a home, they rarely know when is the best time of year to upgrade their windows.

Putting the Sizzle in the Season

Courtesy of Flickr
When it comes to hot weather, Florida Summers can really put on the sizzle. During July and August, the temperatures rarely go below 90 degrees. There is also a real possibility of afternoon thunderstorms nearly every day.  From a professional window installer’s perspective, while some like it hot, you don’t want it to be too hot.  The reasons are varied.  In the first place, while caulk adheres more readily in warm weather, once the temperature exceeds 80 degrees, caulk has trouble curing in extreme heat.  Even replacement windows themselves made of either vinyl or aluminum have a tendency to expand in hot weather.  This makes installation problematic in the afternoon when solar heating reaches its maximum.

Are Your Windows & Doors Ready for Hurricane Season?

Are Your Windows & Doors Ready for Hurricane Season?
Courtesy of NOAA news Online

By Gates Dearen

The 2017 Hurricane Season is upon us, with 15 named storms, including eight hurricanes predicted.  With the exception of Hurricane Matthew last year, many people living in Florida may have gotten complacent, since the Sunshine State had not seen a hurricane make landfall since 2004 when the state weathered four hurricanes in quick succession.

It has been 13 years since a hurricane scored a direct hit. Before Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 2005, many residents thought they’d be able to weather the storm. As a result, Katrina became the third most deadly storm in US history with more than 1,200 deaths and $108 billion in damage, even though the hurricane was only a Category 3.

New Windows and Doors can Make all the Difference

By Gates Dearen

Most Americans are frugal, so of course, they don’t want to spend money needlessly, especially when it comes to their homes.  Unfortunately, what many homeowners don’t realize is that one of the things that can rob them blind are their old windows and doors. 


Courtesy of HomeRiteJacksonville.com
If your home is more than 20-years old, your old windows and doors could be stealing your home’s energy efficiency.  That’s right; those old drafty windows make your home’s heating and air conditioning system run overtime.  This not only adds up every month when you receive your utility bill, but it can also shorten the life of your HVAC system. 

The Replacement Window Style Guide

By Gates Dearen
Courtesy of HomeRitejacksonville.com

So, you’ve finally decided it’s time to replace your home’s windows with new, more attractive, more energy efficient models.  Bravo!  Now you need to decide the type and style of windows.  The past few years have seen great development and evolution in window construction and features, so it helps to understand the current vocabulary of the window industry. Not only do they have their own lingo, there is a wide variety of products and styles and features to choose from. Everything from double and triple panes, to Low-E and impact-resistant windows, are available today.  Just as importantly, there are a number of style elements that can be incorporated into windows to make any home or room a work of art.  To help you sort out what’s what in the world of window styles, I have created the quick reference guide below.

How to Improve the Security and Safety of an Older Home

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
By Gates Dearen

They don’t make them like they used to.  That’s the catchphrase that is used by realtors to make any older home seem more attractive to buyers.  The truth of the matter is that there’s a reason why they don’t make houses like they used to.  That’s because building codes have been updated and improved.  For example, nobody wants lead pipes in their home for a good reason.  They’re toxic.  The same goes for asbestos roof shingles.  And nobody wants aluminum wiring in their house nowadays, because it’s a fire hazard.  I could go on and on.  There is a host of building materials that have come and gone over the years, mostly due to the fact that they were either hazardous or ineffective at fulfilling the function they were created to achieve. 

Easy Ways to Check for Leaky Windows and Doors

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
By Gates Dearen

If you have ever owned a boat, then you know how even a tiny leak in the hull can quickly sink it.  While leaks in boats are generally easy to detect, since stepping into 6-inches of water is sure to get your attention, this isn’t the only kind of leak that can cause problems that cost money to fix. 

Given enough time and weather, air can begin to leak into your home.  Over time, these leaks can become more prevalent until they cost you serious money.  Unlike a leaky boat, where water sloshing around in the bilge is easy to spot, the signs that your house has sprung a leak only become apparent when the utility bill arrives.  Before your wallet springs a leak, allow me to show you the easy ways to check for leaky windows and doors.

Understanding “Window Speak” - a Buyer’s Guide

By Gates Dearen

When it comes to shopping for replacement windows these days, it almost seems as complicated as shopping for a new car.  Just as with the auto industry, modern windows come in many makes and models, and they offer a number of optional extras.  Everything from the hi-tech materials used in frames and panes, to attachment and pivot points - all have a nomenclature of their own.  If you don’t know a “head jamb” from a “Muntin Bar”, let me help explain.

The Lowdown on Low-E

By Gates Dearen

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
When it comes to windows, the glass is where the rubber meets the road, but when it comes to window panes, not all glass is equal.  Whether your windows are single-pane, double pane or triple pane, the formula used in the production of the glass and the glass coatings used in their manufacture have a direct bearing on their ability to stand up to the elements.