Although most windows can last for up to 20 years, old drafty windows are responsible for up to 25% of heat loss in your home.
If you’ve noticed your energy bills creeping ever higher lately, or your windows have obviously seen better days, it’s time to consider replacing them.
When it’s time to choose replacement windows, you’ll find a huge variety of materials and designs available. Here’s a quick rundown of the most popular window options.
Types of Windows
When replacing your windows, it makes sense to choose those that complement the style of your home best. There are the different designs available:
These are the best windows for homes where you want to fill a space that’s taller than it is wide. They have two sashes that open upward and downward. Double-hung windows are by far the most expensive type of windows.
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These windows also have two sashes that slide open sideways. They provide mostly uninterrupted views and tilt inward for easy cleaning. Sliding windows suit long spaces best.
Bow and Bay Windows
Best for classic style homes, these windows make a great focal point with their angled design. Bow windows have three to five panes angled at 10 to 15-degrees to each other. Bay windows have only three panes set at 25 to 45-degree angles.
Casement windows swing open from the side as a door does. They’re great for letting in the fresh air and seal very tightly when closed. These windows have only one pane, allowing for unobstructed views of the outdoors.
Awning windows are similar except they’re usually shorter and open from the top outward.
Types of Replacement Windows Materials
Most types of windows are available with a variety of frame materials to choose from. Different materials have varying effects on your home’s energy efficiency.
These are your main options when replacing home windows:
Aluminum’s got a lot going for it. It’s the cheapest and lightest option and needs very little maintenance. Unfortunately, it’s also the least energy-efficient window material around.
Composite window frames usually consist of wood and aluminum or wood and vinyl. They’re highly energy-efficient and very stable. This material’s an expensive choice but it requires almost no maintenance.
Vinyl window frames are another affordable and low-maintenance option. For extra energy-efficiency, you can fill them with insulation and they’re also moisture resistant.
The only drawback to vinyl frames is that they’re only available in a few colors, so they’re not as versatile as other materials.
Being harder and stronger than vinyl, fiberglass is possibly the most durable type of window frame available. It doesn’t expand or contract and thus resists fading and cracking.
It’s also supremely energy-efficient but it’s expensive and needs regular maintenance if you decide to paint it.
Although it requires ongoing maintenance, wood remains the most popular type of window frame material. It looks and feels great and its classic appeal suits most homes.
To crown it all, wood’s a fantastic insulator, so it’s highly energy-efficient.
The Best of the Best
With so many types of replacement windows to choose from, you’re bound to find the perfect fit for your needs and budget.
Would you like some more information on the best types of home improvements? Keep browsing our blog for the best advice on a wide range of lifestyle topics.