Your Guide to the Best Replacement Windows
Replacement windows are both universal and familiar. However, to the average homeowner, replacement windows can be mysterious. The reason is that the window industry is competing with the new car industry to protect all their information and keep it as a secret within their close quarters.
What are Replacement Windows?
A strange thing with quite a few parallels in your home, replacement windows are the windows that replace your current windows. However, not on a one-for-one basis. You don’t completely replace the old window that you remove with a new one.
Instead, you only remove the sash and a few other related parts. You don’t remove the entire window that your house builder installed. You understand that it’s challenging to remove every single piece of material from your old window. So, some of it has to remain attached to the wall.
Although the replacement window differs from the original window, often referred to as the new construction window, it performs the same function. It swings in and out if it’s a casement window, and slides up and down if it’s a double-hung window. Although smaller than the construction windows, replacement windows often perform better.
Signs Showing Your Windows Need Replacement
Several telltale signs show that you need to replace your current windows with the best replacement windows. However, many homeowners avoid this task year after year because of the high cost of window replacement.
- Drafts—whenever you close your windows, and you feel a draft, this may be a sign that the window sills are wearing off. This may compromise the thermal stability of your home and overload your HVAC system and may cause higher energy bills.
- Faulty Window Operation—aging windows often develop balance issues that lead to sticking and jamming. Rotting and rusting may also contribute to this, showing that your existing windows are approaching the end of their life cycle.
- Water Damage and Decay on your Window Frames—extreme weather and age can be harsh on your windows. They might, in fact, sustain enough damage that may make window repair impossible. Thus, if your original construction windows have decay, mold, chipping, cracks, and broken glass, replace them immediately.
- Excessive Window Condensation—it is possible to notice “sweat” on your windows on freezing days. This condensation can be a sign that your windows’ gas fills and glazing are losing their effectiveness. It is easy for moisture to penetrate the area between the glass panes because of failing seals, thus forming condensation.
- Audible Outside Noise—Hearing every dog bark, a car horn, and other sounds from inside your home is a sign that you need to invest in the best replacement windows. These noises are a sign of worn out window insulation.
Types of Replacement Windows
Several types of windows exist, and the following is a list of the best replacement windows options for your consideration:
Best Replacement Windows Material
Although the materials you choose for your window frames affect its thermal characteristics, they play a more significant role in influencing its physical properties such as its durability, thickness, and weight. The following are the most common standard window frame alternatives:
Wood—wood-framed windows are prized for their aesthetic value and are sold in various sizes and shapes. If you maintain them properly, they can last longer and offer energy-conscious homeowners a high thermal resistance (R-value).
Vinyl—vinyl cost less than wood. It is a low-maintenance and long-lasting window material that is resistant to moisture. Although you can’t paint vinyl windows, they are available in a broad range of stock colors and a plethora of custom hues.
Wood Clad—one downside of conventional wood-framed windows is the regular need for maintenance. However, aluminum or vinyl-clad wood windows give you the best of both worlds; an enhanced weather resistance on the exterior and a warm wooden appearance on the interior.
Aluminum—aluminum windows are less expensive than their wood-framed counterparts, and they are durable, sturdy, and lightweight. However, aluminum is susceptible to condensation, and this can sometimes lead to mold.
Fiberglass Composite—for homeowners who want the beautiful appearance of wood with minimal maintenance hassles, fiberglass composite windows are an excellent fit in extreme conditions. They neither turn brittle nor shrink in freezing conditions, neither do they sag nor warp in high heat.
Best Replacement Windows Design
Various types of windows have different structural designs and different operating mechanisms. The most common include:
This window often opens from the side and is hinged like a door, although top-opening casement windows are also available.
Awning windows have one glass panel, and they open outward from a top hinge. Usually, they appear together with another window style.
Rotating windows are made of uninterrupted glass panels that have a central axis that keeps them partially open.
Sliding windows run horizontally along with a metal or plastic track. They have dual sashes, and both can be opened or closed at the same time.
Hopper windows are commonly used for basement ventilation. They are top-opening and are hinged at the bottom.
Single-hung or double hung
All of these windows have two sashes in one frame. However, in double-hung windows, both sashes slide down or up.
Arch-topped windows, also known as radius windows, are often fixed in place, although they are also available in operable styles.
Bays are another protruding window construction, and they combine one larger central window with two angled side windows.
Clerestory windows pass lots of natural light, and they are mostly deployed in a series in the top part of high walls.
Bow windows extend outward from the wall, and they are made up of same-sized glass panels that form a gentle arc.
When choosing the best replacement window for your home, go for one that suits its architectural style and select a size proportional to the overall structure of your home. Success means balance and symmetry, and failure produces an exterior that never seems right.
So, before choosing replacement windows, consult an expert window company that will fit your windows properly.