Vinyl windows offer customers several benefits. They’re resistant to wear and tear, and they’re not prone to the damage that wood is since, over time, water and moisture can reduce the integrity of wooden frames. In addition, vinyl windows contribute to the energy efficiency of a home. Here are a few tips to help you make the best window-buying decision.
Looking at the options
Windows, like many parts of the home’s design, are functional and beautiful. Windows should be easy to open, and that can depend on the placement of the window. There are several styles available to consumers:
- sliding windows that move horizontally with single or double sliding panes
- hung windows, which slide vertically, also available as single or double hungs
- picture windows are immovable but will let light in
- casement windows are windows that have hinges on one side
- awning windows swing open from the bottom
- bay windows are windows that extend outward from the interior wall space
Enjoying the technological improvements
You don’t need to be a scientist to compare the energy efficiency of different windows on the market today. That’s because the door and window industry in Canada is now involved with the Energy Star program which requires testing and minimum efficiency standards for those manufacturers that wish to be part of the program. Participation isn’t mandatory, so a good first step is to find out if the window you’re thinking of buying is even Energy Star certified. If it is, then ask what the ER number of the window is and compare it to others. The ER number is supposed to be an indicator of the overall energy efficiency of the window. The higher the number, the better.
However, you need to be careful. Some manufacturers test windows that have been made to perform well in the lab so that they receive good test results, but they rarely sell that window since it’s too expensive to manufacture. An example would be a window with 3 panes of glass and krypton gas filling. Thjs window will perform well in a lab, but is rarely ever sold. Be sure that the test results that you’re looking at are for the type of window that you’ll be getting. Ask for written proof.
Add to the safety of your home by choosing the right window
For windows that are easily accessible, such as ones on the ground floor, always choose a secure window. First, good construction will go a long way. Second, the hinges and locks will contribute to how effective a window is for keeping intruders out. There are sliding windows that limit the width of the opening. There are also windows that lock at multiple points, helping closed windows stay closed. Some manufacturers offer laminated glass (burglar resistant) as a readily available feature. Extra features can also be used to control the type of light or noise from entering your home.
Prioritize your needs and then ask an expert if their window meets them. You’ll soon determine what’s best for your house and remember, the lowest price isn’t always the best deal.