Getting the right kind of windows and doors is one of the most important things you will ever do for your home. Not only do they drastically effect the aesthetics of your home, but they have the ability to increase the resale value of your home and to keep it energy efficient, so making the right decisions when buying is essential.
Not sure where to start? Find out everything you need to know about buying doors and windows for each season by informing yourself with the following guide.
What to Look for when Buying Windows
Windows come in several designs that all function differently. Casement windows use a crank, single/double-hung slide up and down, while slider windows open right-left. You can also get a fixed window which doesn’t open at all; a perfect option for windows in high areas that can’t be reached.
A good option is mixing both – installing opening windows where there are prevailing winds and thus fresh air for your home, and using fixed windows elsewhere.
For material, find something that is strong and is less likely to warp when the thermostat changes. These windows can be found through high quality companies like Heritage Homes and often last longer.
Your options with windows aren’t extraordinarily extensive, but they do offer benefits that differ greatly: wood, which has good insulation and is affordable, but can be damaged by moisture and warp; aluminum, which is strong and low maintenance, but conducts heat; vinyl or PVC, which won’t get moisture damage and is affordable, but can leak air if the frame contracts during cold weather; and fiberglass, which are durable, strong, and offer great insulation and resistant to temperature shifts, but come with a premium price tag.
While certain window types do have their downfalls, they’re drastically reduced when the window is installed properly.
The number of panes, or glazing, is also important. Double-paned windows are more energy efficient, while triple panes, though more expensive, offer the best efficiency when it comes to saving energy and preventing heat loss. Triple paned windows can also cut down on the risk of moisture damage due to condensation. New options for glazing include interior films replacing traditional glass, which can more than double the efficiency of existing glass panes.
Remember, when shopping for windows, consider the cost of the window over its lifetime – and not merely the up-front price. In other words, you get what you pay for, and opting for highly energy efficient windows can more than pay for themselves when it comes to your hydro bill.
What to Look for when Buying Doors
Many of the same considerations with windows can apply to doors, which can also feature glass panes. When it comes to materials, just like windows, doors are also subject to the same forces of moisture damage and warping.
Some general tips here are that wood doors, while appealing to look at, offer poor insulation. For maximum energy efficiency, consider a door with a strong inner core.
Seals for your door are also important, so get seals that are Energy Star approved. And don’t skimp on the handle –cheaper handles will leak out air, adding inefficiency. A storm door can also help keep energy in and block heat leakage in winter.
In other words, don’t view the door as an aesthetic choice and keep performance and lifespan considerations in mind.
For further information, contact Heritage Home today!