Outdated Windows? Time to Upgrade!

outdated windows

20 Dec Outdated Windows? Time to Upgrade!

Outdated Windows – Are You Throwing Money Out The Window?

outdated windowsWe live in a fast paced and continually improving society.  With that growth comes amazing advances in home technology.  Unfortunately, other changes are not so pleasant.  Energy costs continue to skyrocket.  If you own an older home with wood or metal framed single pane windows, you may be literally throwing money out the window.  Even if your home is well insulated in the walls, floors and ceiling, valuable energy can flow out of your home via outdated windows, skylights and other visual enclosures.  So what’s holding you back from making your home an energy efficient palace?

If you are like most folks, you have found that there are very few companies willing to replace those antiquated windows.  Or you may have found those willing to do so charging exorbitant fees that make the project all but impossible.  We at Sierra Home Services understand your dilemma and are here to help.  We love replacing old wood and metal frame windows.   There are so many new and efficient alternatives available today that there is now reason not to upgrade your drafty antiquated window frames.  Here are some of the great alternatives.

Vinyl Windows

These alternatives can sometimes be as low as half the price of comparable wood frame versions.  These designs employ a honeycomb of chambers in the frame that trap air and retain heat, making them extremely energy efficient.  An added benefit is that they can be built to fit any size opening, an especially handy feature for older homes that may have odd window sizes.

The Vinyl Frame design first appeared in the 1970s when small fabricators produced custom replacement options in sizes not offered by manufacturers of stock wood windows. Today, nationwide companies such as Owens Corning and CertainTeed, as well as local manufacturers like Milgard Windows offer a variety of sizes and options. Even traditional wood-window companies now offer vinyl-frame replacement lines; Retrovision from Weather Shield and Monument from Hurd are two prominent examples.

Before you buy take some time to check all the options.  Always look for a uniform color throughout the frame and joints that are heat-welded rather fastened with screws. If you are planning on ordering your new windows, allow for a healthy lead time, about two- to six-weeks for most custom orders.

fiberglass & Composite Windows

Another very affordable option to Wood frame windows is the new fiberglass and composite frame windows.  These alternatives employ the same material that is often found in automotive bumpers and car panels.  This material is both strong and maintenance free.  Amazingly, this material is actually more energy efficient than vinyl window equivalents.  The price is slightly more than vinyl windows but more affordable than wood frame alternatives.

 

Some of the manufacturers that are offering excellent quality product are companies like Owens Corning, s. Marvin Replacement Window Some manufacturers offer fiberglass and polyester resin materials that can be painted to suit your needs, which is something you can’t do with Vinyl windows.

As with vinyl windows, look for a uniform color throughout the frame and joints that are heat-welded rather than joined with fasteners. And whichever window you’re considering, don’t go by material alone. “Check out the locks, cranks and lifts.  The hardware should be every bit as good as the window materials.  If they do not open smoothly with little effort, consider another brand.

Aluminum Frame Windows

Aluminum-frame windows do offer the low cost and low maintenance of their vinyl cousins and they are durable as well.  The main problem is that they are constructed of metal, aluminum in this case.  As we all know, metal is an excellent conductor of heat and cold.  This conductivity earns aluminum windows a high U-value, not a good thing.  The higher the U- value the more heat transference occurs and that equates to lost energy.  When you compare the U-values of the vinyl and composite materials, which is around .3 to .5, Aluminum is extremely high at a U-value that can often be as high as 2.  Other drawbacks are that they feel cold to the touch and in high humidity areas are prone to accumulation of condensation.  Still, if your budget is a tight one, the drawbacks may be worth the cost savings.

Factors to consider when thinking about aluminum framed windows are, local climate, humidity levels, and how much you want your heating bills to be.

Some of the manufacturers that are offering excellent quality product are companies like Owens Corning, s. Marvin Replacement Window Some manufacturers offer fiberglass and polyester resin materials that can be painted to suit your needs, which is something you can’t do with Vinyl windows.

As with vinyl windows, look for a uniform color throughout the frame and joints that are heat-welded rather than joined with fasteners. And whichever window you’re considering, don’t go by material alone. “Check out the locks, cranks and lifts.  The hardware should be every bit as good as the window materials.  If they do not open smoothly with little effort, consider another brand.

Wood Frame Windows

There is no question about it.  Wood Frame windows look amazing, however, given the energy conscious world we live in they are losing the market dominance to the more efficient and affordable alternatives mentioned above.   That being said, there are many builders and home owners who still will accept nothing less than wood frame windows.  To overcome the maintenance issues associated with wood windows, many manufactures are offering them with vinyl coatings.  Of course, that brings the same aesthetic drawbacks as vinyl windows.  However, Wood Framed Windows are strong, beautiful and relatively energy efficient. As you might expect, they are a bit pricey.

As with all window options, be sure to pay close attention to the operating hardware.  Make sure that cranking style windows do so effortlessly while maintaining the solid feel of quality.

 

So there you have it.  There are too many manufactures to list in this article, nor would we want to.  The bottom line is that the choice must be made by you based on criteria you deem to be important.  As you consider whether to upgrade your current windows or not, keep in mind that there are other incentives available.

Federal Tax Incentives

Uncle Sam wants your home to be as energy efficient as possible.  That is why you can get significant tax breaks for installing high quality windows in your home.  The savings could be as high as $200 per window.  That is some significant green to offset the cost of your new window replacements.  Your window manufacturer should have all the exact details about energy credits and savings so be sure to ask.

When it comes to your old wood and metal framed windows, adopt the mantra, “Out with the old and in with the new”.  We can help.  Call Sierra Home Services today to find out just how affordable a new

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