Window Replacement: What You Need to Know Beforehand
To some, window replacement may seem like a daunting task. However, if you do it right, your new windows can save you thousands of dollars in energy bills over the course of their life. There are a couple of things that you need to keep in mind before you decide to make that jump. There are upfront costs that may seem to be more than you want to spend, so you’ll need to calculate how much you’ll save over how long before making your decision. Also, you’ll need to consider the following factors.
Yes, that’s right – energy rating. You may be wondering: Isn’t that the number located on appliances? Yes, it is. But that little number is also more than that. Lately, even window makers are having their windows Energy Star rated. A high rating means you can save more money over time because your heating or cooling costs will be reduced. In fact, one window manufacturer suggests that your costs could be lowered by as much as 15%.
Count Your Panes
Old houses usually only have one piece of glass, unless they have been upgraded. Today, the standard is to have at least two pane windows. It isn’t uncommon to find three panes, though. The more panes you have, the better your windows will be (and the more savings as well). Each pane of glass acts as a barrier to the outside world. Located in between each piece is a gas that acts as an insulator, which helps keep your energy (in the form of heat or air conditioning) inside where it’s needed.
This should really go without saying, but you must keep in mind that, once your windows are in, you will be stuck with them for some time. Make sure you like them and that they go with the rest of the house.
If you decide to do your window replacement yourself, there are certain materials that you’ll need in order to be successful. For example, you will need the windows, shims, caulk, tape measure and a level. Of course, you will also likely need new molding, and flashing to keep the rain out—among other things.
You have a lot of decisions to make; don’t make them lightly. If you don’t feel comfortable doing the job yourself, there are plenty of local companies that are willing to help you out.