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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.

Who Needs New Windows

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
If your home is more than 20-years old, I guarantee your windows have taken a beating, especially if you live in Florida.  With long hot summers that average 90 degrees or higher for months on end, not to mention almost daily thunderstorms and the occasional hurricane, it’s like going 20 rounds in the ring with a boxer.  Sooner or later, something has got to give.  While most people routinely replace their roof every 20 years due to wear and tear, for some reason many homeowners don’t think that weathering applies to windows.  It does.  Unlike a roof, the signs of wear are harder to detect.  While a leaky roof is readily apparent, the only sign you have of air leaking through your windows is when you get the monthly utility bill.  If your air conditioner seems to run non-stop on hot summer days, this is a clear sign that your windows have lost the ability to keep out the elements, and a clear sign that it’s time to replace those old, worn out windows with energy efficient replacement windows.

What Kind of Windows Do You Need?

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Choosing the right kind of replacement windows for your home is no easy task.  Just as there are many makes and models of vehicles to choose from at a car showroom, the same can be said about replacement windows.  There are double and triple-glazed windows constructed of aluminum or vinyl.  Then there are single and double-hung varieties that come in a variety of styles, including casement, sliders, bows and bay windows. 

To simplify matters, you need to break the task into two categories: Form and function.  By form, I am referring to the right window for the right situation.  Casement windows are the norm for 90% of window applications since they are designed to replace standard windows.  Bays and bow windows are chosen to admit the maximum amount of light.  Plus, they can turn any room into a showpiece, since their dramatic looks draw the eye like a magnet.

When it comes to deciding on single or double hung, not to mention style elements such as stiles and rails, you’ll benefit by talking to an experienced professional.  This is one reason to make an appointment with a replacement window specialist before you decide on the right windows for your home.   (You can also check out my earlier blog, The Replacement Window Style Guide” if you are interested in learning more about this aspect.)

A window consultant can also walk you through the variables involved in determining the functional elements involved in selecting the best window for every application.  Everything from impact resistance and security features, to keeping the sun from fading your furnishings to energy efficiency can be confusing to a consumer.  If you are looking to reduce your utility bills (and who isn’t?), there are a number of ways to increase the energy efficiency of your home.   These can include multiple panes with inert gas injected between them, to high tech coatings designed to minimize ultraviolet and infrared radiation without turning your home into a dark cave. (Want to explore this in greater detail?  Check out my previous blog, “The Lowdown on Low-E.”)
ook for this logo when considering your
new roofing materials (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What is the Best Time of Year to Replace My Windows?

While most people believe that the best time to replace their home’s windows is in the spring or fall, this isn’t always the case.  While it’s true that the weather is more amenable during those times of the year, this also happens to be the times when most window contractors are slammed with work. This means if you decide to book an appointment during the high season, you may have to wait a while for the installation.  Besides, here in Florida, it almost never snows.  The average temperature from December through February in Jacksonville, is 67 degrees.  This makes winter the best time of year to get your windows replaced.

What Else Do You Need to Know About Replacement Windows?

Other than the high energy cost of leaky windows, many people decide to replace their old windows with new models to deter crime.  Modern replacement windows can take home security to the next level since they have the latest security measures built-in at the factory.  Window grids called muntins make it impossible to gain entry by breaking a window.  Window locks can require a key, which makes them jimmy-proof.  Since new windows are double-paned, this requires a burglar to break both the inner and outer window, another disincentive for thieves. If you think these features will turn your home into a prison, think again.  Replacement windows can also be equipped with vent locks that allow you to let in a breeze without letting a thief breeze into your home. 

Best of all, replacement windows will pay for themselves over time.  They will significantly reduce your utility bills. They will improve the look, value, and security of your home.  If you’ve been sitting on the fence about replacing your home’s windows, make an appointment with your friendly, neighborhood window consultant today.

Please contact me at HomeRite Windows and Doors in Jacksonville. 

HomeRite is a window and door dealer that specializes in energy efficient, quality products with warranties and service to match. The company has been in business since 2005. HomeRite is partnered with a manufacturer that has been producing high-quality products and providing excellent customer service for over 60 years. Windows and doors from HomeRite are some of the highest quality, most thermally efficient windows and doors on the market.

HomeRite products add substantial value to their clients’ properties. HomeRite is a member of the United States Green Building Council, a non-profit organization comprised of leaders across the industry working to advance environmentally responsible buildings.

Gates Dearen is the co-owner of HomeRite Windows and Doors in Jacksonville, FloridaHe and Richard Walden have been serving the building products industry in Florida for over 25 years. They strive to match homeowners with the right windows and doors for their homes and budgets. They make the home improvement process pleasant with first-rate, energy-efficient products, affordable pricing, and award-winning installers who employ the best practices and who always treat customers and their property with the utmost respect.


  1. Great stuff. Very useful, especially the links to the other articles about the window guide and energy star info.

  2. Anyone considering replacement windows should give this blog a read first.