Windows are one of the most important aesthetic attributes of a house. The type of material, size and compatibility with the building's architectural style contribute to the visual appeal. Windows also contribute to the décor and feel of a room. They break up the flat, two-dimensional expanse of walls, allow light to enter the space and allow those inside to see outside.
Homeowners choose to replace windows for a variety of reasons. Improving energy efficiency is a major reason for window replacement. Single-pane glass has the least thermal efficiency. Replacing windows with products of higher thermal efficiency like double- or triple-glazed panes, gas-filled panes, coated glass or tinted glass will create a more comfortable living space.
In cold climates, glass becomes cold and accounts for radiant heat loss, making those near a window feel cold even if the room is warm. In warm climates, the opposite occurs. Radiant heat enters through the glass, heating surfaces within. The rate of heat loss through a medium is expressed as U-value. A lower number indicates greater resistance to heat loss and better insulating value.
Replacement Window Photos
Corner Vinyl Sliding Windows
Two vinyl windows with grids placed in the homes corner.
Vinyl Double End Slider
This is a vinyl double end sliding window with grids in the two side vents.
Wood Trimmed Vinyl Bay Window
This beautiful living room features a wood trimmed vinyl bay window with grids.
Vinyl Picture Window With View
This stylish bedroom features a picture window with two side casement windows.
Stack On Picture Windows
Two floor to ceiling stack on vinyl picture windows.
Tilt In Double Hung Windows
Many double hung windows have a tilt-in feature for easy cleaning.
Large Picture Windows and Geometric Windows
This home features four vinyl picture windows and four trapezoid windows.
Vinyl Slider Window Installation
Single slider window with two picture windows.
Replacement Window Installation
Installation of a vinyl double hung window.
The Energy Star program evaluates the energy efficiency of products; those that meet the high rating standards bear the Energy Star label. The program lists a number of window types with choices of coatings, materials and glazing for each climate zone in the United States. Many window manufacturers disclose U-values and other thermal performance measurements to demonstrate the energy efficiency of their products.
Some homeowners choose to replace windows for aesthetics or to enhance air flow patterns in a room. Single hung windows have two sashes, but only one slides up and down; the other is fixed. This system allows air flow, but does not have the versatility of double hung windows, which can be adjusted from both the top and bottom. Both are classic styles available in several materials. Wood is traditional, but well-made vinyl windows have the look of wood with lower maintenance costs and good thermal values.
Tilt sashes are effective in modulating hot and cold air currents; cool air enters through the bottom and hot air exits through the top. They are also easy to clean.
Horizontal sliding windows, often made in sleek materials like aluminum or vinyl, complement modern décor. Several types of vinyl replacement windows bear the Energy Star label.
Choosing replacement windows may seem daunting, given the number of styles, materials and thermal treatments available. Experts recommend that consumers buy replacement windows from a reputable company that installs their own products. A professional will measure and evaluate the existing window opening, recommend products that provide the appropriate energy requirements and decorative look and install the new units. Better quality replacement windows may have a higher cost, but superior materials and better manufacturing techniques usually result in a longer-lasting product.