The right windows can do a lot for your home. Windows can enhance your home’s appearance, provide natural light, lower energy bills and reduce noise from outside. Choosing the best windows for your home involves being familiar with certain factors.
As you compare your options, keep these window qualities in mind. These qualities can help ensure you find the best windows for your Twin Cities home.
Window Frame Materials
The window material you choose can make a big difference in how comfortable your home feels year-round. Some materials are better at blocking drafts and keeping heated air inside during winter. The best home windows will offer a combination of durability and energy efficiency.
- Vinyl frames: These frames offer good insulating qualities thanks to their design. This improves energy efficiency in your home. Vinyl frames are also highly affordable and come in a wide range of sizes. The best vinyl frames will have heat-welded joints instead of joints that are connected with fasteners, such as screws.
- Wood frames: Wood frames also offer energy efficiency, as well as an elegant appearance. These frames typically cost more than other materials. However, they’re highly durable. These frames typically require maintenance to stay in good condition, although some are clad with vinyl or aluminum, resulting in a tougher exterior. The best wood window frames should have tight-fitting corners and no blemishes on the wood surface.
- Aluminum frames: Aluminum frames are another affordable option, and they usually last for many years. However, they don’t offer as much energy efficiency as other materials. The best aluminum frames should have a thermal break, such as a rubber strip. This helps prevent heated air inside homes from escaping.
- Fiberglass and composite frames: These frames provide a high degree of durability and energy efficiency. The best fiberglass and composite frames should have heat-welded joints instead of fasteners. These frames should also have a uniform color.
Window Pane Qualities
What should you be looking for when it comes to window panes? Your windows should have double glazing. Unlike single-pane windows in older homes, double glazing windows provide a much higher amount of efficiency.
Double glazing windows are available with qualities that affect how efficient they are. Inert gases that are between these window panes and Low-E coatings are the qualities you should look for in your new windows. These qualities help keep heated air inside your home during winter, resulting in lower heating costs.
When you’re looking for new windows, check labels for information on energy efficiency qualities. These labels can help you find windows with the best qualities in terms of efficiency, such as the U value and solar heat gain coefficient.
The best windows for Minnesota’s cooler climate have low U values of 0.25 or less. This indicates a lower risk of heat loss. Your windows should also have a solar heat gain coefficient between 0.35 and 0.60, so that heat from the sun can help lower your heating costs.
The style of window you choose has a big impact on how your home looks. Different styles can also affect your home’s energy efficiency, depending on how they open and other factors. The style that ends up working best for you depends on the style of home you have. For example:
- Ranch homes typically do well with casement windows which swing-out.
- Colonial homes should usually have double-hung windows for the best appearance since these windows offer a classic look.
- Modern homes generally look best with metal frame windows or slider windows.
You’ll also have other style considerations to keep in mind. For example, do you want to keep the same general look the same as your current windows or go with a much different style? Decorative and specially designed windows might offer the best option for your home or certain areas of your home.
When it comes to cost, going with the least expensive option isn’t always the best idea for windows. Investing in windows that cost more but offer higher quality is the better option for your home. With higher quality windows, you won’t have to worry about spending money to replace them in a few years or have them repaired.
Keep in mind that high-quality windows can also help you save money over the years through reduced energy bills. Since these windows offer improved efficiency, you can expect your heating and cooling bills to be lower. Even if you pay more initially for your windows, you’ll be able to recoup this cost over time.
If your home needs new windows, please contact Midwest Exteriors Plus. We offer high-quality windows for homeowners in the Twin Cities area. Our experts can help you select the best windows for your home.