Window replacement is a significant investment, which is why you need to do your research before diving into this project. To help you get started, our window installation experts at Renewal by Andersen Cincinnati recommend considering these key factors:
According to the Department of Energy, 25 to 30 percent of residential heating and cooling costs stem from heat gain and loss due to drafty windows. That’s why you should always take into account a window’s energy-efficiency.
ENERGY STAR® Certified Windows
How can you tell if a window is energy-efficient? By looking for the ENERGY STAR logo. Only windows that meet the EPA’s stringent performance standards are certified by ENERGY STAR.
Underneath the ENERGY STAR logo, you’ll find the National Fenestration Rating Council’s (NFRC) ratings. A window’s U-factor indicates its insulative capabilities, while the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) tells you how much sunlight can pass through the unit. The higher a window’s U-factor is, the better it can prevent heat transfer. The lower a window’s SHGC, the less heat can pass through it.
Wide Glass Panes
There’s no substitute for natural lighting. Daylighting can give the illusion of a larger interior, not to mention brighten the mood inside your home. That’s why contractors often recommend installing windows with wide glass areas, such as casement or double hung windows.
Glass Coatings and Multiple Window Panes
The problem with installing windows with wide glass panes is that there’s a higher risk of heat gain or heat loss. Thin window glass is a poor insulator, which is why contractors recommend choosing wide dual- or triple-pane windows. Multi-pane windows are filled with either argon or krypton, odorless, colorless, and non-toxic gases that can prevent heat transfer and increase the window’s energy-efficiency. This layer of gas gives dual- and triple-pane windows better insulative capabilities than a standard single-pane window.
Keep in mind that sunlight can be too much of a good thing. To prevent heat gain that can make your interior uncomfortably warm, choose a window with special coatings. Renewal by Andersen® offers a wide variety of glass coating options. Our most energy-efficient glass option is the High-Performance™ Low-E4® glass. Compared to a standard dual-pane window, a window equipped with High-Performance Low-E4 glass is 56% and 45% more efficient in summer and winter, respectively.
Durable Frame Materials
Winter in the Midwest can be especially harsh on your exterior, which is why your window replacement’s frame material needs to be durable enough to resist extreme temperatures. Fibrex®, an exclusive composite made of polymer and reclaimed wood fibers, resists thermal shock or repeated contractions and expansions stemming from abrupt temperature changes, making it an ideal window material for the Midwest. Plus, even with a sleeker frame, a Fibrex window can hold the same amount of glass as a normal window, enhancing the aesthetic appeal of windows with wide glass areas such as double-hung and casement windows.
Ease of Maintenance
Choosing a low-maintenance window will make your life easier. If you don’t have a lot of time for window maintenance, windows with simple opening mechanisms, such as sliding and casement windows, would be a smart choice.
Keep in mind that there’s no guarantee pre-manufactured windows bought from hardware stores will be a good fit for your home. Only custom windows are guaranteed to be a great fit for your home. That’s why, as part of our Signature Service, Renewal by Andersen customizes each window according to your needs and preferences. To ensure the quality of our custom windows, we have complete oversight over the entire manufacturing process, from the drafting of the window design right down to the window installation in your home.
Want to learn more about our premium windows?
Renewal by Andersen of Cincinnati offers a wide variety of premium windows, including casement and double-hung windows. To schedule a free consultation with one of our design experts, call us at (513) 283-8981 or fill out this form. We serve homeowners in West Chester and Cincinnati, OH, as well as the surrounding communities.