The Ultimate Guide to Replacement Windows
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST FOR WINDOW REPLACEMENT?
The real benefit is not in the purchase cost of the windows, which can vary depending on brand, style, frame material, etc. The true benefit comes in the savings. There are many federal, state and local rebates that you may qualify for with your purchase. Other savings come from the improved energy-efficiency of your home once the replacement windows have been professionally installed. The best way to calculate the total savings you can make is by inviting an expert from Clarke & Rush to inspect your property and advise you on how you can maximize your savings.
The truth is that window replacements can pay for themselves if the homeowner selects high quality and energy-efficient windows. The savings will come from two directions. First, you’ll notice that the cool or warm air in your home stays in your home instead of escaping through the window’s cracks. Secondly, many newer window types, such as those with fiberglass or vinyl frames, don’t require costly maintenance (they don’t require repainting, for example). These combined savings can eventually help you to recoup the cost of the replacing your home’s windows.
HOW DO WINDOWS SAVE ENERGY?
During the hotter months of the year, heat from outside can make its way into your home through the windowpanes and other poorly insulated components of the home. When you install energy-efficient windows, the insulated frames and glass with low heat transfer rates cuts down this transmission of heat. When this happens, you will use less energy to keep the interior of your home cool or warm (during the colder months). The window experts in Sacramento, CA reveal that these energy savings will vary depending on several factors, such as the cost of energy where you live and how well the rest of your home is insulated.
Understanding Window Efficiency Ratings
Did you know that according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency Energy, HVAC systems accounted for 14% of the United States’ total energy consumption in 2013. That is an immense amount of energy… and money! Even more surprising, is the fact that heat gained/lost through glass windows, doors, and skylights accounts for about 25% of a residential home’s heating and air conditioning costs.
We all think of windows as a nice way to let some natural light or a breeze in, but in reality, they are thinly covered holes in your house, likely in need of replacing, that are costing you a ton of money on your utility bills!
Window Efficiency Labels
Generally, your window will be rated using a combination of two different labels if it qualifies for the Energy Star Program:
National Fenestration Council (“NFRC”) Label – This is a non-profit organization that tests and documents the efficiency ratings of different home upgrade solutions, including windows
Energy Star Label – This label will provide information on how well the product will improve a home’s efficiency, and whether it meets the Energy Star Programs guidelines
Ratings & Measurements
There are three key window efficiency measurements that need to be considered when purchasing new windows. They relate to the amount of light let in, the amount of heat transferred inside by the sun, and the amount of heat that escapes outside. The Energy Star Program does not include the light rating in their calculations, as it does not relate to energy gained or lost.
U-Factor – Calculated on a scale between 0.15 and 1.20 – Describes how well a window works to prevent heat from escaping outside. A lower the number represents a more efficient window
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient – Calculated on a scale of 0 to 1 – Describes the window’s ability to prevent solar heat from entering the home through the windows. The lower the number, the more heat transferred into the home from the sun
Visual Transmittance – Calculated on a scale of 0 to 1 – Describes a window’s ability to let the visible light spectrum in. The higher the number, the more visible light let in into the room
What Does This Mean for Me?
If it still sounds like a confusing mess, don’t worry, there’s a lot to think about! The thing to remember about windows, is that everyone will want something different from them. An individual living in Alaska will want a window with a very low U-Factor (to keep heat in the house), and a low solar heat gain coefficient (meaning the windows will help the sun heat the house as well)
An individual living in South Lake Tahoe, where the winters are cold but in the Summer they may run an air conditioner, you would want a low U-Factor but a high solar heat gain coefficient to prevent the sun from overheating the house in the summer.
The visual transmittance rating is of less importance when it comes to HVAC efficiency, but can make a big difference in the brightness level of your home!
DO ENERGY EFFICIENT WINDOWS INCREASE HOME VALUE?
Most homeowners aren’t aware but replacing old windows can actually add to the value of your home. For example, spending roughly $15,000 to on home window replacement can raise the value of your home by around $11,000. So, the investment is definitely worth it, with a return of about 75%. Even if you don’t plan on selling your home right away, the new windows will still add value for years to come.
It isn’t just about the return on investment. By replacing your existing windows, you replace an aging aspect of your home that also impacts the aesthetics both inside and out. With new windows, you will have access to more natural light. You can also select other window options that will make your home more appealing than before. Your home may even qualify for Low-E glass, which helps block out UV rays and heat from the sun.
Keeping all this in mind, it makes sense to have your windows replaced once they start to wear down.
HOW CAN I TELL IF MY WINDOWS ARE ENERGY EFFICIENT?
You can try a few DIY steps to assess the condition of your windows and identify those that may no longer be energy-efficient.
- We recommend that you check for condensation on your windows. This applies if your windows have double or triple glazing. Any condensation you see may suggest that the seals on those windows have failed, so the windows can no longer do a good job of keeping your home energy-efficient.
- Observe your carpets and furniture and find out if any faded areas stand out. These faded areas could signify that sunlight has been streaming into the home directly onto those exposed carpets and furniture. Switching to windows with a higher capacity to filter out UV radiation will increase the energy-efficiency of the home.
- Do some research and find out what type of glass is appropriate for where you live. For example, people who live in warmer areas get better value by having windows with a low solar heat gain coefficient. Clarke & Rush believes in installing windows that are best suited to the climatic conditions of each area.
WHEN SHOULD I CONSIDER WINDOW REPLACEMENT?
Many homeowners cannot indicate the condition of their home just by looking at it. So, it’s important for homeowners to keep an eye on things that may need to be replaced in the future. One day you may notice your AC unit is acting up or your windows are no longer shutting properly. This is what you can expect when your home begins to age. In this article, we discuss some of the signs that suggest a window replacement is needed.
IF YOU HAVE SINGLE PANE WINDOWS
Yes, there are homes that still have single pane windows, and single pane windows are undesirable for two major reasons. First, they leak a lot of energy and therefore compromise the energy-efficiency of your home. Replacing these windows will do a lot of good for what you spend on energy. Secondly, single pane windows pose a big threat to the security of your home because burglars find it very easy to break these windows in order to gain entry into your home.
WHEN THE WINDOWS START ROTTING
Homeowners whose residential properties have wooden windows have to be on the lookout for rot. This defect is fairly simple to spot, because you will notice that some sections of the wood are mushy and soft.
Sacramento window professionals assert that it doesn’t matter how large the part of the window that is mushy and soft because once these signs manifest, it is only a matter of time before the entire window is consumed by rot. Don’t try to wait the situation out, every attempt you make to resolve this defect can only slow it down, but the unstoppable countdown is on.
IF THE WINDOWS START WARPING
Another sign that lets you know that it is time to replace your windows is when they warp. At the very worst, the warping will be clearly visible when you observe the windows. However, the earliest inkling you will get that the windows could be warped is that you will start using increasing amounts of energy to open or close the windows. If you are now huffing and puffing while struggling to open the windows, call window repair Sacramento experts and discuss how soon you can bring down those windows and install new ones in their place.
YOU SEE CONDENSATION BETWEEN WINDOW PANES
Look closely at your windows and see if any condensation is visible between panes. If some window panes are fogging up on their inner surfaces, chances are the seals of the windows have failed and heat is now escaping through those affected windows. Don’t even think about repairing these windows since you will waste money and the leaks will continue. A Sacramento window contractor will advise you about the most appropriate replacements to get for your area.
YOU WANT TO GIVE YOUR HOME OR COMMERCIAL BUILDING A NEW LOOK
Windows are one of the features that define the character of a home. If the remodel bug has hit you and you want to give the home a makeover, the windows are a good place to start. For example, if you are renovating a historic home or renovating your commercial building in order to give it a more modern look, you can’t leave it with the original windows that were installed when the house was built.
THE WINDOWS DON’T SOUNDPROOF YOUR HOME
Do you live near a busy road and the noise from traffic keeps you awake? That may be your cue that the current windows in your home have outlived their usefulness. New windows will not only improve the energy-efficiency of your home, they will also provide sound attenuation so that your home can be quieter. How do windows soundproof a home? Modern windows are either double or triple glazed. These layers of glass have an inert gas between them which acts as some type of insulation to prevent heat from crossing from one pane to the other. Sound is also a form of energy (just like heat), so as the panes block the transmission of heat, they also block the transmission of sound so that what may filter through will be muted.
Don’t rush to select replacement windows once you observe the signs above in your home. Contact Clarke and Rush for professional advice about the most suitable windows for your Sacramento home. Our experts will also ensure that the windows are properly installed so that the look and energy efficiency of the home is enhanced.
CAN I JUST MAINTAIN MY CURRENT WINDOWS?
Windows can quickly fall into disrepair and necessitate costly replacements if you don’t act proactively. It’s a good rule of thumb to follow the necessary routine maintenance to the keep your home’s windows looking and performing at their very best. Here are some helpful maintenance tips you can implement to prolong the beauty and function of your windows.
WINDOW MAINTENANCE TIP: PERFORM AN ANNUAL INSPECTION
You can only fix a problem that you are aware of. For this reason, Clarke and Rush windows experts strongly recommend that you perform a thorough inspection of your windows once each year in order to identify any deterioration, water damage, cracks and any other form of damage on the windows.
Catching this damage early will allow you to fix the defect at an affordable cost instead of waiting until the problem deteriorates and the only remedy is either to spend a lot of money on window repair or acquiring window replacements.
WINDOW MAINTENANCE TIP: KEEP TRACKS CLEAN AND LUBRICATED
Not many homeowners remember to clean the tracks of their windows as those individuals clean the window glass. While cleaning the window glass provides immediate gratification in terms of a clean line of sight to the view outside, window tracks are the unsung heroes of all windows since they keep the windows functional.
So, it’s wise for you to use a stiff brush to clean the tracks each time you clean the window glass. After the cleaning exercise, get some oil-free lube and lubricate these tracks so that the windows can open or close effortlessly. Sacramento window repair professionals warn you to stay away from oily lubricants because they will trap dirt and grime, making the windows inoperable within a short time.
WINDOW MAINTENANCE TIP: KEEP THE GLASS AND FRAMES CLEAN
Cleaning window glass and frames doesn’t only provide cosmetic benefits. Regular cleaning gets rid of dirt and grime that accelerate the rate at which windows deteriorate. For example, the dust that accumulates on windows can cause metallic components to start corroding. It also damages paint. Also, when you clean your windows regularly, you get an opportunity to perform mini-inspections for any developing defect. This allows you to call the Clarke and Rush windows experts to resolve the developing problem promptly.
WINDOW MAINTENANCE TIP: REPAIR OR REPLACE WINDOW SCREENS
It is also advisable for you to clean and inspect the window screens on a regular basis since they are exposed to the same conditions as your windows. However, you should be gentle when cleaning the screens since they are more delicate and can easily develop rips and tears. Repair any torn or ripped screen, or replace it altogether if the damage is extensive. While at it, don’t forget to inspect the screen frames for signs of deterioration (warping and cracks, for example).
WINDOW MAINTENANCE TIP: CAULK AND SEAL THE WINDOWS AS NEEDED
Over time, the caulking and sealants on your windows deteriorate due to the effect of the elements. When this happens, water and heat can seep through, thereby lowering the energy-efficiency of your home. Re-caulk and reseal any worn caulking or sealant so that your windows remain effective at keeping the elements out.
Many of the maintenance activities above are doable for most average homeowners while those with inexperience may find it hard to perform some of the needed tasks, such as caulking a leaking window. Call windows experts in Sacramento, CA for help if you are unable to repair or maintain the windows on your own. The professionals from Clarke & Rush will help you to get the longest possible service life from those windows.
A FEW QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE COMMITTING TO A WINDOW REPLACEMENT
- Do your windows leak?
- Are your energy bills going up all of a sudden?
- Have you noticed any condensation between the window panes?
The condition of your windows will affect the temperature in your home. If you are using an HVAC system, your windows can help reduce its energy consumption if they are in good condition. Here are some of the things you can do for a window makeover for more energy efficiency at home.
SEAL UP ANY CRACKS
First, find out whether there are cracks on the structure of the window. These cracks allow cold air to flow into the house. You can do so by holding a flame close to the window. If the flame flickers then there is draft which will significantly increase energy consumption. You can fix these cracks using caulk or weather stripping.
This involves having two or three layers of windows with a layer of an inert gas, such as argon, sealed between them. A window contractor will make the seal airtight so that the gas cannot escape.
Double glazed windows help save on energy costs by creating thermal insulation for your home. Your house will be better able to maintain its temperatures thus preventing your air conditioning from working too much.
Additionally, double glazed windows limit the amount of condensation on the windows during the winter season. The air inside the panes prevents the water from crystallizing, which prevents the temperatures inside the house from dropping.
USING HIGH-EFFICIENCY LOW-E COATING STORM WINDOWS
Storm windows are made as an addition on either the external or internal panel of an already existing window. You can have storm windows without the low-E coating. They will still prevent cold air from getting inside the house during the cold season.
By adding a coat, which is usually early invisible, you will significantly reduce the loss of heat from your house through conduction and radiation. This will help you save on energy consumption.
USING WINDOW FILMS
Window films are mainly made of polyester products such as tint and are applied to the glass to reduce the cooling load by keeping the sun out. The film blocks the UV light from getting into your house through the pane. This makes them highly energy-efficient during the summer period because your indoor temperatures will remain constant.
Window films are also ideal for homeowners who want an unobstructed view of the world around them.
Making your windows more energy efficient as part of your New Year’s plan is an excellent idea. You can always rely on Clarke & Rush for professional window installation in your home.
TYPES OF HOME WINDOWS
The windows you install in your home impact more than just the aesthetics of your home. They determine the amount of UV rays that come through and can even impact your energy bill. If you are looking to install new windows or just replace broken or old ones. You should know the different types that are available, so you can pick the best fit for your home.
The awning is perfect for anyone looking for more ventilation in their home. Made out of fiberglass, the window features scissor arm operation, a folding handle, and dual locking points. Fiberglass is a durable material so the window can take some wear and tear.
Casement windows are made out of fiberglass with left or right hinges. To make them easy to operate, they come with folding handles that can easily be tucked out of the way. This allows you to clean and treat the windows as you please.
DOUBLE HUNG WINDOW
The double hung window features Ultrex fiberglass. The innovative material gives the window more sophistication and makes it easy to clean. It is slowly becoming a favorite of homeowners due to the quality and advanced design.
SINGLE GLIDER WINDOW
If you want to replace your sliding windows with a smart option, then the single glider is it. It features Ultrex fiberglass and is an energy-efficient option since it keeps all elements out. In the cold, it blocks cold air while doing the same to hot air in the summertime.
The bay is a low-maintenance window that allows you to add drama into your room. This type of window is ideal for rooms where you like a bit of sunlight to enter and want to relax.
The bow allows you to widen your view as it features a curve which helps expand the view. You can even stain or paint the head and seat boards to add the element of design and completely change the outlook of the window.
END VENT SLIDER WINDOW
The end vent slider is another great option for those that want ventilation. The window features large panels including sliding panels that can move left and right. These are energy-efficient throughout the year and durable for years.
For those looking for home window replacement in Sacramento area, Clarke and Rush can help you get the right fit. They have all the different types of windows you would need to make your home aesthetically appealing and protect you from the weather outside.
THE BENEFITS OF HAVING YOUR WINDOWS REPLACED
Window replacements do more than just add value to your home. One of the biggest benefits of having new windows installed is the impact it has on your energy bill. New windows perform much better than worn out windows. It completely keeps the outside air and water from easily entering your home. Efficient windows will also keep your heating and air conditioning from working twice as hard. You won’t have to ramp them up to ensure they function due to air escaping from the worn-out windows.
Investing thousands of dollars on windows may seem costly at first. But when you consider the amount of money you save on an energy bill on a monthly basis, the investment pays off. Energy Star windows which are known to be energy efficient can help you save up to $583 per year.
WILL NEW WINDOWS KEEP MY HOUSE WARMER IN THE COLD SEASONS?
Winters can be very cold in Sacramento. While houses do a good job at keeping the cold out, there are things that would affect its warmth. There are also things you could do to your house to make it more habitable during the cold season. For example, getting new windows. Your home’s windows are a great part of what keeps you warm during the winter. Inefficient windows not only allow you to feel the cold, but they also increase the energy cost in your house since your heating system will be working overtime. It is, therefore, important to consider the kind of windows you have in your house and how effective they are.
NEW WINDOWS ELIMINATE COLD DRAFT.
There’ll always be a soft stream of cold air drifting into the house during the cold season. Get yourself a set of new windows and eliminate this cold draft. Draft not only makes you colder than you are supposed to be, but it also increases your energy consumption since your heating system will have to work harder to keep you warm. You can always tell whether there is draft in your house by holding a flame close to the window. A flickering flame means there is a draft.
THEY OFFER EXTRA PROTECTION FROM THE ELEMENTS.
New and modern windows offer great functionality during the cold season. For example, people living in extremely cold places need modern windows with double panes. Argon gas is pumped in between the panes for energy efficiency. Anlin windows a great variety of high-quality and energy-efficient windows.
NEW WINDOWS HAVE A LOWER U-VALUE.
Your new windows will be able to keep your house warm due to their great heat insulation properties. They are built with materials that keep the heat inside the house thus keeping you warmer. The lower the U-value of your window the better. This way, once the temperature inside the house gets warm enough for you, the windows will be able to maintain it.
YOU WILL FORGET ABOUT TEMPORARY FIXES.
This happens a lot during the cold season. People tend to turn to temporary fixes to keep the draft out. You will no longer have to install caulking, weather stripping or filming with new windows. Caulking is not a reliable option because it cracks eventually.
THEY ENCOURAGE MORE NATURAL LIGHT INTO YOUR HOME.
No need to cover up your windows with blinds and drapes when you have new windows. Their effectiveness in keeping away the cold will allow you to simply let the sunshine into your home.
A good window replacement company will have your house well fitted with new and modern windows that will see you brave the winter. At Clarke & Rush, we offer widow replacement services to keep your house habitable throughout any season. Give us a call and we will help you keep warmer this winter with new windows!
PROS AND CONS OF VINYL WINDOWS
There are so many window options available to homeowners today that it can be hard to choose the best option for your home. This article discusses some of the pros and cons of vinyl windows. Use this information to make an informed decision about the suitability of these windows for your Sacramento home.
Vinyl windows are generally more affordable to buy when compared to other types of windows, such as wooden or metallic windows. This makes them an ideal choice for homeowners on a tight budget. Additionally, Sacramento window contractors say the window installation cost is affordable since the frames aren’t heavy, and therefore minimal labor is required for the job. However, Clarke & Rush, a window installation company in Sacramento, cautions homeowners to do their research before buying vinyl windows. For example, the versions sold at big box stores aren’t usually as good as the ones from a reputable contractor.
Your Vinyl windows will come pre-painted. Consequently, you will have minimal maintenance work to do to keep the windows looking their best. It is also easy to lift the vinyl windows out of their frames in order to clean or replace them. This lowers the long-term maintenance cost of these windows. Contact your Sacramento window contractor for advice if you have a maintenance challenge that you are unable to deal with on your own.
Most manufacturers of vinyl windows have become so good at making their products airtight that you stand a high chance of improving the energy efficiency of your home if you decide to buy and install vinyl windows. Besides, vinyl doesn’t dent or warp easily so that it will retain its energy-efficient design for long.
While warranties differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, vinyl windows have distinguished themselves as having some of the best warranties in the industry. For example, some manufacturers offer double lifetime warranties, so the warranty can transfer to the new homeowner if you decide to sell your home. Be sure to talk to a Sacramento window contractor for help with selecting a manufacturer with the best warranty in your area.
Vinyl windows are manufactured from chemicals that impose a significant toll on the environment in terms of the energy used during the manufacturing process and the gases that are given off. Additionally, the old windows are hard to recycle and likely end up in landfills.
Vinyl windows come in a small range of trim and color options. You may notice that your neighbors have vinyl windows too. It is also hard to use these windows if your home has a unique stylistic design, such as historic homes. However, you can consult a window installation company in Sacramento for suggestions about the best vinyl window options for your property.
LARGE FRAME SIZE
Vinyl windows are so lightweight that manufacturers give them large frames in order to make those frames strong enough to withstand the forces that the windows will be subjected to. Some people who want sleek, thin windows may not like this style.
Like all things, vinyl windows have pros and cons that should be considered when making a final decision. Use the information in the discussion above as a starting point to do further research about this, and other types of windows. Consult us at Clarke & Rush for any help with buying or installing windows in Sacramento. We are at your service.
TOP BENEFITS OF INSTALLING DUAL PANE WINDOWS
If it is time for you to replace your home’s windows, then consider dual pane windows. These windows have two glass panels set in a single frame. The two glass panels are separated by a small space that is typically filled with nontoxic gasses that improve insulation. For a nice cosmetic finish, many double pane windows have decorative frames between the glass panels. Dual pane windows offer numerous advantages over standard windows. Check out the following reasons why your Sacramento home should be outfitted with them.
The framing materials of the windows provides good insulation. In cold climates the outer frame provides additional insulation and in warmer climates, cooler air is kept inside.
Dual pane windows are extremely energy efficient. These windows will help keep heat and air inside your home, lightening the strain put on your heating and air conditioning systems. Dual pane windows also feature special coatings to prevent ultraviolet radiation and sun rays from entering your home and destroying floors, rugs, and photographs.
The two panes of glass, featuring a gap of air between them serve as valuable insulation for your home, reducing outside sound. The noise reduction makes dual pane windows ideal for homes located in loud environments, such as big cities.
Easy to Open & Close:
Like other windows, dual pane windows can be easily opened and closed whenever you want. With these windows, you can have a nicely insulated home during the summer and winter months, and let the nice breeze in during the springtime.
WHAT ABOUT A WARRANTY?
When replacing your windows and doors, it’s important to know what kind of warranty you’re getting. Be sure to ask! Accidents happen, and things go wrong from time to time. Last thing you want is to be charged ridiculous fees to fix damages done to your windows.
Most window replacement companies have limited warranties that range from 10 to 20 years. And different warranties encompass labor, glass breakage, and screen warranties (some places only replace the frames).
It’s possible that you think you’re still eligible for a warranty, but learn afterwards that your labor warranty has expired or didn’t even exist. So even though you thought you’d get a free replacement, you end up paying fees due to costs of the repairman coming and replacing the window.
Another important element of a warranty to note is whether or not its transferable. Let’s say that you end up selling your house. There’s an option to be able to transfer that warranty to the new homeowner. How does this benefit you? It shoots up your home value. But many window warranties don’t offer it.
At Clarke and Rush, we have a double-lifetime warranty. You can take that warranty and transfer it to whomever buys your home at no cost to you.
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