The Benefits of Replacing Your Kitchen Windows

Written by bprescottFebruary 27, 2012
A kitchen with huge windows

Replacing existing windows

Too often, homeowners don’t include or even consider new windows as part of a remodel, but they should. New windows are energy efficient and save money on monthly energy bills. Plus, you can choose exterior finishes that are almost, if not completely, maintenance-free. New windows are also easier to operate.

Installation of replacement windows into the same size openings is a job that many folks can and do tackle themselves. However, it’s critical that the new windows be installed properly so that no moisture leaks around or on the top of the window frame. I wouldn’t recommend this as your first attempt at a DIY project.

When shopping for new windows keep the following tips in mind:

  • Leaky, drafty windows waste energy and money. Look for a window brand that carries stickers or information about how good their fenestration rating is. Fenestration rating testing of a window is done to see how much heat is lost (the U-factor) through the window (both the glass and the frame), as well as how much air leakage there is around the sash (the wood framed area that holds the glass) and the frame components. The lower the U-factor, the better thermal insulating value of the window. Most of the major window companies have comparable ratings numbers, so you should be pretty confident buying any of the major brands.
  • If you want low maintenance windows in terms of painting, look for a window that is wrapped or clad in vinyl or aluminum, which needs no painting or staining. Non-clad, wood windows are still readily available and are primarily bought to match the style or color of the existing window; however, they do require ongoing care in terms of scraping and painting.
  • Buy double or triple pane windows. Old windows (pre-1960s) used a single pane of glass. The next generation used two panes, separated by an air space, forming an insulated sash. Today’s windows can use as many as three panes (called a triple-glaze) in a one sash unit.
  • Opt for windows coated on the inside of the glass with various light and UV-reflective coatings to reduce energy loss and ultra-violet ray intrusion. A low-E coating is quite common and provides added energy savings.
  • Follow the guidelines for what’s being installed in your area. For example, if you live in the desert southwest, heat and ultra-violet ray protection is critical, so go with what the retailers have to offer in your region. Just because your cousin in Vermont ordered a certain type, that doesn’t mean you need the same type if you live in New Mexico.

 

From ‘Bathroom Remodeling For Dummies’
Copyright © 2003 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

 

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