Windows play an important role in your home’s efficiency and aesthetics. Apart from filtering out sunlight and breeze, they also complement your home’s exterior. They insulate your home as well, keeping heat and cool from oozing out, which essentially saves you a significant amount of money in electricity.So when you’re planning to build or remodel your home, choosing the right type of window should be high on your priority list.
Different Types of Window
Most homes have a number of different sized windows and even styles. Windows in areas where ambient light is needed, such as the living room and the sunroom, are usually bigger and more open than those in more private rooms, such as the bathroom and the bedroom. Here are some of the window types you can choose for your home.
- Casement. This window type consists of a sash or sashes that swing open on side hinges. Depending on which way is convenient, you can choose the sashes to open outward or inward. It was the French who originated in-swinging casement windows, while the out-swinging windows were popularized by the Brits. Casement windows are perfect for natural ventilation, which is why it is commonly seen on homes in southern states.
- Double-Hung. Homes where opening windows inward or outward seems inconvenient or unsafe should have double-hung windows. This window type has two sashes, each of which can be opened by sliding up or down. To ensure that one sash will stay in place while the other is slid, a counterbalance mechanism is employed. Double-hung windows are especially preferred in multiple-story condominiums where risk of fall is quite high.
- Awning. Using the same mechanism as that of casement windows, awning windows open and close on side hinges, only the hinged side is the top side. With this feature, the sash of an awning window can function as a shade or roof when open. Also, the sash always swings out so the window sill and frame usually come with a stopper outside.
- Bay. This is a window design that protrudes outside, forming a bay in a room, hence the name. Apart from providing up to 180 degrees view of the outside, a bay window also increases the space in the room. This additional space is usually used as a reading or studying area. The window sill can be widened to provide enough space for sitting or lying during spare time.
- Hopper. Like the awning window, a hopper window opens on topside hinges. The only difference is that this window moves inward rather than outward. The main purpose of this mechanism is to make the most of compact spaces or address situations in which opening outward is not convenient or safe.
- Slider. This window type is essentially a double-hung window turned on its side so that it opens back and forth instead of up and down. It is prized for its ease of operation, wide sightlines and flexible design options. It can actually be extended from floor to ceiling to offer better visual of the outdoors.
- Picture. Unlike most other window types, a picture window does not have an opening and closing mechanism. It usually consists of a single pane fixed and sealed along the frame. Most multiple-story buildings use picture windows, because it helps improve the building’s safety and energy efficiency.
Signs that You Need a New Window
Windows don’t last forever. As they age, you’ll see the caulk receding and the glass panes and frames starting to fall apart. You should look at replacing these as soon as the effects of age start to show. Failure to do so can affect the home’s stability, efficiency, and of course, appearance. Here are some of the telltale signs that window replacementmay be needed.
- Draft. When you feel cold air seeping through the sides of your windows, it means your windows are no longer sealing. This can also mean your heating system is in trouble, because it has to work twice as hard just to maintain the warmth in your home. Replacing your windows could avoid increasing electricity bills and making HVAC work harder.
- Renovation of an old house. If you live in one of those older homes and you’re planning to renovate soon, you may want to consider window replacement as well. Many old homes have dysfunctional windows that no longer provide adequate protection from the elements. Today’s windows are designed with technology that will help improve your home’s overall energy efficiency.
- Warp. Poor installation and lack of maintenance are the major cause of your windows’ quick deterioration. One of the signs that your windows have been neglected for a long time is warping. You may find them difficult to open or close because the frames are no longer in alignment with the jamb and sill.
- Damage from a severe storm. The force of nature is something you can’t always prepare for and it can be devastating on your windows. Window damage from storms is very common. This is why it is crucial to thoroughly check your windows for damage after a storm to determine if they need fixing or replacing. You may be able to claim this under your homeowner’s insurance policy.
- Shifting to new style. Let’s face it, sometimes we just want a new look, and changing the windows can completely transform the exterior of your home. If this is what you’re thinking then carefully select the type of windows to match the now look of your home.
These are just some of the signs that you need window replacement carried out soon. Of course, you can replace your windows for more personal reasons, such as brightening up your room by letting additional light in. No matter what the reason, select the window type that suits your needs best. You may also want to consult with one of our experts for help and recommendations. Here are a few tips on choosing window types that you may find helpful.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Window
Before calling in a window installer, make sure that you’ve got all your bases covered and know the type of windows you want installed. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the type of window to install on your home.
Energy Efficiency. Choose a window type that will yield the highest return on investment. Thanks to advances in technology, there are now windows that can save twice as much energy as their older counterparts. Among them is the low-e argon gas-filled window, which is known to be 30 percent more efficient than most conventional double-pane windows. It may cost you more initially but you’ll realize in a few years how much you will be able to save.
High-Grade Frame. It may not sound practical but you should consider shifting from the traditional wood and vinyl frame to the aluminum clad or fiberglass frame. This modern frame type is more dimensionally stable, more energy efficient, and incredibly low-maintenance. Spending a little more now and saving a lot down the road is a smart decision for any homeowner.
Tinting. Having windows that allow sufficient amount of sunlight into every room in your house is a smart decision, especially if you want to save on energy. However, during midday or early afternoon, the sunlight can be unbearably bright and hot. Windows with tinted panes can help reduce heat and brightness in the room. It can even help protect your privacy in some rooms. You may think that the tint may significantly reduce the amount of sunlight entering your home. Well, new films for windows that can completely fool your eyes and provide UV protection that preserves paint and textiles, eventually keeping a house cooler, are now available.
Surrounding Elements. Your choice of windows should not be based solely on how they look from the outside, but also on how they would match with the elements from the inside. For instance, if you want to have an area in your room where you can sit and read during your free time, a bay window may be a perfect choice. If you don’t have enough space for the protrusion, however, a casement window with two sashes and large panes can be an excellent alternative.
How to Take Care of Your Windows
To make the most out of your new windows and to prolong their functional life, make sure that you take care of them. Here are some window maintenance tips that you can follow.
- Each type of window, or at least each type of frame material, requires a unique maintenance technique. Windows with wood frames must be cleaned, treated, and painted quickly to protect the surface from getting wet or moist. Organic materials are more susceptible to water damage than inorganic materials so a little more work is needed to maintain them.
- Check for cracks on the sides of the window or even on the glass pane, itself. Even the smallest of cracks can provide enough opening for water to seep through and slowly damage your window frame. Make sure that the windows are well-caulked and the humidity of your home is normal to avoid window condensation problems.
- To further shield your windows against moisture, weather stripping must be installed on their moving parts. If the stripping comes loose, breaks, or bends, it should be replaced immediately.
Finding the Right Contractor
Windows are not your typical home furniture. Installing, repairing, or replacing them takes skill that can only be acquired through many years of training and experience.
Muller Exteriors are professional window installers in Chicago and don’t just have the proper skills; they also have the right equipment and a vast network of suppliers where they obtain the highest quality and most sophisticated windows. They can even give you tips on how to keep your windows in top shape for a long time. Contact Muller Exteriors today for more information and a chat about your windows.