Most people aren't experts on windows. You may notice if the windows in your home add natural light, or if they need some renovation, but how do you choose the right one? Or for that matter, how do you avoid buying the wrong windows? Luckily, the team at Naffco Flooring & Interiors are experts on windows (check out our window treatment services), and we're here to help you avoid the most common window shopping mistakes:
Choose energy efficient windows. People are surprised by how much energy is wasted every month due to window energy loss. Energy efficient windows actually reduce the amount of uncontrolled heat in the home, yet increase visible light that shines through. They can reduce condensation and fading of furniture or pictures. You'll see a return on investment in a matter of three to five years if you choose these.
Take note of the U-value. A window's U-value indicates its resistance to heat loss. It measures the rate at which energy is lost, based on a scale from 0.25 to 1.25. You want a lower U-factor for the window you choose. Compare these numbers across traditional and energy efficient windows.
Choosing the frame. There are four common types of window frames, each with different advantages and disadvantages. You'll want to find one that suits your home well.
- Wood: Wood frames are a favorite for older houses. They provide the best insulation, which is important for older homes. However they can be hard to clean. Wood frames are best for cold climates, as they can rot in areas with high humidity.
- Aluminum: Window frames made of aluminum are sturdier than wood, rain resistant and don't warp n humid areas. They are great for areas that have frequent hurricane seasons. But, aluminum does let go of heat and cooling more than wood frames.
- Composite: Composite frames are made of wood shavings and recycled plastics, compacted into a stronger material than the original materials. They look just like wood, but are stronger and easier to clean. Composites use recycled materials, so they are also an environmentally friendly design choice.
- Fiberglass: Fiberglass is similar to composite frame material because it is a combination of several materials. Fiberglass is a combination of shredded metals and glass, which makes it the strongest frame material on the market. Fiberglass window frames are also very energy efficient, which makes them more expensive than other materials.
Tint or No Tint? People don't always realize that tinted windows for home applications are an excellent choice. Tinted windows are best for areas of the home that will receive direct sunlight. Of course, tinted windows can make your home seem darker than you desire. Make sure you will be satisfied with a loss of natural light in favor of warmth when you install these. Another option is to purchase window covering so you can choose to let in or block out light.
Ask a window specialist for advice on choosing the right windows. Or check out more from Naffco Flooring & Interiors blog for design inspiration and home improvement tips. Contact us for your questions, or if you'd like to learn more about our services.