Windows and Doors – Everything You Need To Know

Most Windows are Energy-Efficient

Windows and doors are in almost every building and home you see.  Many years ago, it was considered to be a luxury to have windows installed in your home.  In today’s market, windows are almost a necessity.  There are many different types of windows and doors to choose from and it’s important to know which best suites your needs.  Almost all windows are energy-efficient, meaning that they are manufactured with a special low-E coating on the glass to help keep internal air inside your building or home which results in lowering your cost on energy bills on a monthly basis.  Attributes such as argon-filled glazing have become the norm, which also contributes to the energy-efficiency of your home or building.  Be careful of window products that claim to be energy-efficient but aren’t.  A guideline to go off of is the federal government’s Energy Star program.  If windows meet all requirements to be energy-efficient, then they will carry the Energy Star label.  Be sure the windows you buy have the Energy Star label.

The Different Types

There are many different types of windows to choose from regarding material. The most popular include vinyl, fiberglass, wood and aluminum to name a few.  Among them, vinyl tends to be the most popular.  More vinyl windows are sold than any other type of window construction combined.

Why Vinyl?

So why are more people choosing vinyl over the other options?  The answer is simple-cost.  Vinyl windows rest on the cheaper side because their material is so easy to produce.  Not only are they cost-effective, but they have proven to be highly reliable with their durability and energy performance.

It’s extremely energy-efficient because vinyl is an inert material that is a poor thermal conductor, (aka, it’s a good insulator).  Along with it’s efficient material, it’s also lightweight which makes it easy to install.  The only real drawback to vinyl is it’s lack of creative style.  Typically when choosing a vinyl window, you can only choose from only a few different color palettes including white, tan or black.

Fiberglass Windows

Fiberglass windows are becoming more and more of a common window because of their durability and ease of upkeep.  Their affordable price makes it very appealing to homeowners and commercial building owners alike. Compared to vinyl, fiberglass windows are a bit cheaper on price and stronger in durability.

There are a limited amount of colors to choose from when buying fiberglass.  Unlike vinyl windows, fiberglass windows can be painted and its surface material provides excellent adhesion.

Aluminum Windows

Aluminum windows are quickly losing popularity in comparison to vinyl and aluminum.  Their higher price and poor energy efficiency makes them less appealing to consumers.  Aluminum is made of metal, which is a poor thermal performer that doesn’t insulate well during the winter months or keep the cool air inside during the hot summer months. Not only is it a poor conductor, but the material used to make the window expands and contracts with different temperatures, which puts stress on seals.  There are benefits to the aluminum window, however.  Aluminum is extremely strong that enables it to be fabricated with thin frames which provides more space for glass inside the window.

windows and doors

Wood Windows

Wood windows have been the ideal choice for many home and building owners.  It’s traditional look and ease of style expression along with its excellent energy conductor characteristics, makes it a highly sought after window.  These windows are not cheap, however, and require regular maintenance.

In comparison to vinyl, aluminum and fiberglass, wood windows aren’t as durable and are prone to rot and insect attacks.  It is important to check these windows regularly in order to prevent a total loss of a window.  With today’s modern tools and technology, drafty wood windows are a thing of the past.  Modern weather-stripping and hardware specially made for wood windows have enhanced the material’s ability to be efficient.

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