Once you’ve chosen which the style, type and framing of the windows you like you’ll want to look into the features they offer such as:
Double and Triple Pane Windows – Double pane windows are pretty much par for the course now. They consist of two panes of glass with a space in between. Although most are gas infused (more on that later) there are ‘regular’ options available if you want to save a little money. Triple and more pane windows are a little rarer but offer a lot of benefits over double pane windows. Triple or more pane windows have additional panes between the main two. In most cases each section is infused with gas creating better, longer lasting insulation.
Gas Infused Windows – Most windows with more than one pane contain argon, krypton or xenon gas which is denser than air and therefore acts as an additional insulator and sound barrier. This makes your windows more efficient at keeping the indoor temperature stable and quiet. Krypton is denser than argon and xenon is denser than krypton. There are windows that offer a mix of gases but the cost usually outweighs the benefit in those types of windows. The gas is non-lethal if it leaks but leaks will affect the windows ability to properly work as an insulator and sound barrier. The gas usually leaks out at about 1% per year and there is no way to refill them.
Low-E Coating – Low E coating is used to help control the temperature by reflecting heat without affecting transparency. If used on the outside of a home it will reflect the sun and keep the home cooler. If used on the inside of a home it will keep the radiant heat from escaping making the home warmer. I won’t bore you with the science of emissivity but I will give you one very important number. When looking for a Low-E window the scale goes from 0.00 to 1, the lower the number the less heat gets through. Some Low-E coated windows have a number as low as 0.04 which would only let in or out about 4% of the radiant heat.
Tilt-In Sashes – This option is only available on single and double hung windows and basically means you can tilt the sash inward to clean the outside of the pane. It seems like a small thing but it saves a lot of time and trouble when it comes to maintenance.
That pretty much covers the basics of what you’ll need to cover when buying new or replacement windows. If I forgot anything crucial or you have any questions leave a comment.
Thanks for reading.