Windows are a vital part of your home, providing a way to let light in and also a way to keep the elements outside. Choosing the right windows can be a huge saver in energy and utility costs by keeping heat and cold on the right side of the house. Additionally, window style and placement can help set the mood and make your home more enjoyable. So how do you choose the right windows?
Here are some handy tips to help you choose the right windows for your climate.
Even a cold climate can have warm days, but extremely cold weather found in northern and eastern states can cause significant energy loss and other climate-specific concerns. Double pane windows are a must-have. You can increase this energy efficiency by using those filled with argon between the panes. You can also add a metallic oxide coating between the layers to reduce heat loss from your home’s interior, keeping your interior cozy and warm.
A warm climate may experience hotter summers and cooler winters. Some Southern U.S. climates may fit this description, as well as some milder coastal areas. The key when managing heat is to use windows with solar resistance, or sunblocking technology. Different coatings may be applied to help keep excess sunshine outside, and a choice of SHGC below 0.3 and is an excellent way to keep cooling costs low. For milder climates, single-pane windows may be sufficient, while double panes are recommended for hotter weather areas.
Wet climates are marked by significant precipitation and often by high humidity. The last thing you want is a leaky window! Consider frames made of vinyl or fiberglass instead of wood, to reduce the chance of rotting and moldy windows and seals. Since not all wet climates are cold, installing windows with an outward-facing awning can allow some breeze and air circulation despite the rain.
Dry climates can have both warm, cool, and extreme heat, but are marked by very low humidity. Think of areas like Nevada and Arizona. Like warm climates, you’ll want to make sure you insulate against heat, with solar blocking technology like that used in Low E windows. You may consider double panes like those used in colder climates for extreme heat, and also make sure you regularly maintain window sealants like caulking against dry cracks. Condensation forming between two existing panes is an indication you need to update your windows, meaning humid indoor air is leaking through towards dryer outside areas.
Some areas don’t pick just one type of weather, such as the Dakotas or Wyoming. In these areas, the weather can be very hot in summer and very, very cold in winter. Some of these areas will be dry and others humid. It’s all about extremes. Wood windows can help resist the extremes of heat and cold as they are minimally thermally conductive. Combine these wood frames with modern double panes and energy protective coatings used in both hot and cold climates above. If your area also suffers from high winds, you may be interested in casement windows that open and close with a crank. These windows often create a tighter seal when closed.
Choosing the right window can affect your home by letting the right amount of light in, and keeping unwanted weather elements out. Combine any quality window with drapes or blinds to increase the heat, cold, or solar blocking effects of your window installation. Most importantly, choose windows from a quality manufacturer and get guaranteed installation. Great windows installed right will help pay for themselves over time.