For most homeowners, choosing replacement windows is more of a chore than a creative undertaking, with the vast majority choosing windows in the same style as the ones already installed in the home. This isn’t necessarily a bad choice, but window styles abound and technology evolves – both factors that should be considered in choosing replacements.
If you’re in the market for new windows, it’s time to do some market research. Here are some tip on finding window features that offer safety and style for your home.
Keeping Kids Safe
The most common style of window in American homes is the single or double hung window. These windows have two sashes, but in the single hung variety only the bottom part opens to create airflow. As that’s the way most people open their home windows, single hung windows may seem like the right choice for your home. Double hung windows, however, offer a distinct safety advantage over single hung windows.
Double hung windows can open from the top or the bottom, and being able to open a window from the top can be a real advantage in homes with small children. By opening the window from the top, you avoid the possibility of a child climbing up into the window and falling out – a window screen isn’t strong enough to support a child. With double hung windows, you get the same amount of airflow but a lower risk.
Unbreakable Panes, Unbeatable Safety
If you’re worried about break-ins, a factor all window buyers should consider, there are options that can make it harder for potential thieves to use your windows as an entry. These options include treated glass and special plastic panes that are more difficult to break.
If you’re looking for other window features that preclude choosing these pane-style options, there are also special films you can apply to your windows in consultation with a professional that can make your windows shatterproof. Either way, anti-theft features should be on your radar during the window purchasing process.
An Emphasis On Energy
One area where windows have made a lot of progress in the last few years is on energy efficiency, and by choosing the right style for your home you can dramatically decrease your home’s energy bills. One common energy efficient window option is the double or triple glazed window. These windows function by sealing air or another kind of gas in between two panes of glass. By sealing in this gas barrier, your window provides better insulation, and the feature is now standard on many windows. As a general rule, it’s a nice thing to have, but you shouldn’t pay extra for it.
Triple-glazing also improves the insulation ability of the window by adding a third layer of glass and sealed in gas, but when it comes to real energy savings, triple-glazing is probably only worth the money if you live in a very cold region. However, what triple-glazing does offer, unrelated to energy savings, is significant noise reduction. This is great if you live near an airport or highway and can be worth the extra cost as a noise buffer, but often not for the energy cost reductions.
The other primary energy efficient option when it comes to windows is low-E coating. Low-E coating, though it can impact visibility, works by letting light in but reflecting heat. You can take advantage of this by applying it to the outside of your windows to keep your home cooler in the summer, or to the inside of your windows to keep heat in if you live in colder climates.
High Style Highlights
Of course, while safety and energy concerns are important when choosing a window style, aesthetics also play an important role in your choice. Your decision may be influenced by attempts to remain in accord with the historic style of your house, your lifelong dream of a big bay window, or any range of home styling preferences. Luckily, window options abound.
For those fortunate enough to have a picturesque view outside their home, don’t mind offering a little peek at their décor to the neighbors, and love natural light, the classic picture window can be a great choice. Picture windows don’t open, so they don’t offer the advantage of air circulation, but this is a window choice all about style – practicality doesn’t much care for picture windows. With picture windows, the highest goal is life as art.
Another highly stylized window option is the bay window, or its four paned alternative, the bow window. These windows can beautifully emphasize the unique shape of homes featuring curved or angled fronts. Like a picture window, you may be exposing a bit of yourself to the world with these windows, but for those who love natural light, bay or bow windows can be irresistible.
Air circulation is a major concern for many window buyers, and neither picture nor bay windows are especially beneficial for this. For those hoping to combine style and comfort, a great alternative to the picture window is a casement window. These look like a mix between a picture window and a hung window, and they actually open. They’re great for offering a cool breeze to a bedroom during the summer months and plenty of light.
If you’ve got some small windows you’d like to do something creative with, awning windows might be a good option. These windows attach at the top and open out and you can easily have them done with screens for modesty. Done this way, these little windows can provide some air circulation for bathrooms or other small spaces.
Windows Done Right
No matter what you’re looking for in a window, if you want quality you can count on and installation you can trust, contact Siding & Windows Group today. With over thirty years of experience, our team of professionals understand all aspects of the window selection and installation process and can help you with tasks like choosing a window style to suit your home’s architecture or work with you to develop a unique solution to fit any modern home.
Siding & Windows Group offers long-term warranties on our work because we do work that lasts. Never accept second best – always choose Siding & Windows Group.