Choosing replacement windows for your home shouldn't be done hastily, as windows are often very expensive yet very important for your home's appearance and insulation. The best windows may keep your home more comfortable and even save you money on your utility bills while also enhancing curb appeal, while buying the cheapest windows you can find might mean missing that opportunity for savings. Before you buy, however, note a few tips for choosing the best replacement windows.
Compare cost versus energy savings
Some features in new windows will save you money on your energy usage, but it's good to compare those savings with the cost of the windows. For example, a window that is rated as "energy efficient" may say that it can save you 15% on your utility bills. This can seem like a lot of savings, but if you spend only $100 on average on your electric bill every month, you'll be saving $15 each month, or $180 per year. Another brand may save you less money on your utility bills every month but may be hundreds if not thousands of dollars cheaper to install. If the second brand only offers a 12% savings on your utility bills, this is only a $3 savings difference every month, so the more expensive brand may not be the best purchase after all. Be sure you do this math and compare the price of the new windows and the actual savings you can expect to see over the years.
Consider your climate
In tropical areas or those prone to strong storms, you'll want impact resistant glass. This is glass that is less likely to break or even rattle during strong storms. It also helps to insulate your home against noise better than other types.
However, you may not need this type of glass for every warm climate but would do better investing in a low-E coating. This coating reflects heat while allowing in sunlight. If your home is in a desert area or a location with lots of sunlight but few storms, investing in impact resistant glass may be a waste, whereas low-E coatings might keep your home cooler overall. The u-value tells you the insulating properties of glass; for areas with long winters, you want a low u-value, as this will keep more heat in the home. Always consider your own environment and opt for features that match your local climate and how it affects your home's interior and windows overall when selecting new windows.Share