Tips: On Window Replacements - By Vista Home Improvements

Vista Home Improvements gives useful information on the subject of replacement windows for upgrading the homes looks and energy efficiency.
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Aug. 6, 2012 - PRLog -- One of the best features of a home’s appeal is the windows. Although they are very useful in providing views, ventilation, daylighting, and sunshine in the home. They also account for a major portion of the home heating and cooling bill by not having adequate insulation barriers. This figure can range from 10% to even as high as %25 or more.
To help increase the energy efficiency of your homes windows install ENERGY STAR ® windows. Use curtains and window shades to help your air conditioner work less by helping your windows stay cooler during hot summer days.
One of the biggest losses of the insulation barrier is homes with single pane windows. If your home has single pane windows you really should consider replacing them with dual pane windows. Dual pane window have an insulation barrier built into them in the form of a gas between the panes. This will greatly decrease the amount of heat loss in the home during the cold winters.
If you decide not to replace your windows, consider following these tips to improve their performance.

Tips for Cold Weather Windows

Cold Weather Windows Need To Keep Heat In.
Double-pane windows with low-e coating on the glass will reflect heat back into the room during the winter months.

Install tight-fitting, insulating window shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing.

Close your curtains and shades at night to protect against cold drafts; open them during the day to let in warming sunlight.

Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames to reduce drafts.

Repair and weatherize your current storm windows, if necessary.

Install exterior or interior storm windows, which can reduce heat loss through the windows by 25%-50%. They should have weatherstripping at all movable joints; be made of strong, durable materials; and have interlocking or overlapping joints.

Tips for Warm Weather Windows

Warm Weather Windows Need To Keep Heat Out.
Sun shining through the windows will heat up a room. Windows with low-e coatings on the glass reflect some of the sunlight, keeping the room cooler and reducing the amount that the AC has to work.

Apply sun-control or other reflective films on south-facing windows to reduce solar heat gain.

Install white window shades, drapes, or blinds to reflect heat away from the house.

Install awnings on south- and west-facing windows.

Close curtains on south- and west-facing windows during the day.

Tips for Long-Term Savings

Installing energy efficient windows will improve your home's energy performance while reducing your monthly energy bills. It may take many years for new windows to pay off in energy savings, however, the benefits of added comfort, improved aesthetics, and functionality can offset that cost and make the initial investment well worthwhile.
Shopping Tips for Windows

Look for the ENERGY STAR® label.

Choose high-performance windows that have at least two panes of glass and a low-e coating.

Check with local utilities to see what rebates or other incentives are available for window replacement.

Choose a low U-factor for better insulation in colder climates; the U-factor is the rate at which a window, door, or skylight conducts non-solar heat flow.

Look for whole-unit U-factors and SHGCs, rather than center-of-glass (COG) U-factors and SHGCs. Whole-unit numbers more accurately reflect the energy performance of the entire product.

Select windows with both low U-factors and low SHGCs to maximize energy savings in temperate climates with both cold and hot seasons.

Look for a low solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC)—this is a measure of solar radiation admitted through a window, door, or skylight. Low SHGCs reduce heat gain in warm climates.

Consider windows with impact-resistant glass if you live along a coast or in areas with flying debris from storms.

Save your windows installed by trained professionals according to manufacturer's instructions; otherwise, your warranty may be void.
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