As with any home upgrade, a little research can help ensure a top-quality installation with the best materials on the market. Here are the most important factors to consider before purchasing replacement windows:
• Energy Efficiency: Energy-efficient windows can keep utility bills in check while helping manage climate control. Seek out the ENERGY STAR label, which indicates a product is energy efficient according to standards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.
Numbers don’t lie, so be sure to also check the National Fenestration Rating Council Label to compare performance between energy-efficient windows in the following categories: U-Factor (how well the window retains heat), Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (how well it resists unwanted heat gain), Visible Transmittance (how well it lets in natural light), Air Infiltration (how drafty the window is), and Condensation Resistance (how well it resists inside surface condensation).
• Test Specifications: All windows on the market are tested for their structural integrity, as well as their resistance to air and water. Investigating these ratings is important, particularly in regions that see wicked weather.
• Insulation: For maximum energy efficiency and comfort, look for new technologies such as Neopor insulation and INNERGY thermal reinforcements that deliver high performance and meet ENERGY STAR certification standards. Windows offered by ProVia, for example, include these features and are tested against the most stringent requirements for air and water infiltration, wind load resistance, ease of operation, forced entry and more.
• Material: Windows are available in such materials as vinyl, wood, aluminum and fiberglass. Understanding the benefits of each can help you arrive at the right decision for your home, priorities and budget, and new options even mix materials, combining different advantages into one product.
• Warranty Availability: Replacement windows can cost thousands of dollars and should last a long time, so consider protecting your investment by opting for windows that come with a comprehensive lifetime warranty that’s transferrable to the next homeowner. This can potentially increase your home’s value should you put it on the market.
• Style: The style of your new windows can complement the architectural features of your home, provide visual interest and boost curb appeal. Using online design resources and visualizer tools can help you see how particular hardware finishes, colors, add-ons, finishing options and accessories will look on your home.
• Recognition: Third-party recognition for a particular brand or product is a strong indicator that you’re investing in a quality product. A recent “Remodeling” magazine survey of remodeling contractors ranked ProVia vinyl windows as number one in window quality, citing its unique ability to customize as needed, its personalized customer service, strong warranties and mix of state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment and human craftsmanship. Lastly, the brand was recognized for strong attention to detail, as it follows an 80-plus- item checklist for quality control. More information can be found at provia.com/windows.
Before upgrading, get savvy. Doing so can help you make a decision that will improve your home’s beauty, keep your family comfortable and safe, and save you money.