Choosing which windows to install in your home is a big decision. Here are some guidelines for selecting the right windows that will serve your needs and your taste. On average, windows take up about 15 percent of a home’s wall area. They have a big influence on the amount of daylight that’s let into your home. Windows also have a considerable impact on energy costs and your heating and cooling needs. The insulation properties of the windows you install will be impacted by what they’re framed with and their design (for example single or double glazed).
In addition, different windows serve different needs and tastes, whether it’s awning windows, double-hung windows or casement windows. Consider how a window framing style and placement will fit with your home’s layout, colour scheme and architectural style.
On the practical side, consider framing. Wood or vinyl are good insulators and easy to clean, although wood tends to swell and shrink based on temperature. Aluminum is in the middle in terms of quality and transfers more heat, although thermally-broken aluminum with a buffer between inside and outside is an effective insulator. Composite frames made of vinyl-clad or aluminum-clad wood are the top of the line and will cost a bit more.
Windows generally need to be replaced every 20 years or so, but installing high-quality double glazed windows can increase longevity and durability. Secondly, keep in mind glazing. Single glazed windows with one pane lose up to 60% of a home’s interior heat during winter and cold months. Double-glazed windows use two panes with an airtight space in between and save homeowners up to 55% on energy costs or up to 80% if they are comprised of low-emissivity or Low-E glass.
Many modern homes are installed with double glazed windows as a first choice, but single pane windows are still fairly common in older homes. Not only do they transfer a lot of energy and cost you a lot, single glazed windows also lead to increased condensation and mold formation. They are also harder on the environment because of the increased energy output needed to heat your home during cold months and cool it during summer.
Double glazed windows cut down on energy use, reduce the home’s carbon footprint and cut down on noise pollution. Double glazed windows contain a space bar with a drying agent and are very effective at preventing condensation and mold buildup. They’re also harder to break and thus provide added security.
According to a Melbourne based installer of double glazed windows. They are an increasingly popular option because they offer both energy savings and long-term durability. Also look into the window’s energy rating, U-value and solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). U-value measures how much heat a material transfers. The lower it is the more insulation your window is providing. SHGC measures the amount of heat from the sun your windows let in. The lower it is the less solar heat will transfer in during hot summer day. Light-coloured window shades can also significantly reduce the amount of solar heat a window transfers into your home.
In terms of the type of glass you use, consider Low-E glass mentioned above, which bounces the sun’s rays instead of absorbing them. This translates into more heat kept indoors during winter and more heat kept out during summer. In terms of stronger glass, consider toughened or laminated glass, and for privacy, look into tinted glass.
Pick from casement windows that are hinged at the side and swing outwards, hung windows that slide up to open or awning-style windows that are hinged at the top and open at the bottom and swing out. It really depends on which you prefer. For extra light in your home consider installing skylights, which let in 30 percent more light than standard wall windows.