What Windows are Best for Your Home?

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What Windows are Best for Your Home?

Planning new windows for your home? If so, you may be wondering which windows to choose. When replacing windows, homeowners are supplied with a surprisingly wide variety. Vinyl or wood? Double- or triple-paned? Tempered or Low-E, air-filled or inert gas-filled? Do you want a protective coating? On the inside, outside, or both?

Choosing new windows for your home certainly takes into account much more than dimensions. And the options can feel overwhelming. However, making a few key decisions can help you narrow down the field, and you can feel confident that your windows will meet your needs and priorities.

There are two main issues to consider when choosing your new windows: energy and light.

Energy

When it comes to windows, energy concerns fall into two basic categories. You will want to consider how well your windows prevent heat from escaping and how well they block sunlight from causing unwanted heat. 

The U-Factor addresses escaping heat. This is important for homes that are located in areas that experience cooler temperatures on average. Choosing windows that have specially-designed coating, such as Andersen’s HeatLock Coating can help ensure that all the heat you’re paying for stays where it’s supposed to – in your home.

For keeping heat out, you’ll want to look for windows that address Solar Heat Gain Coefficient. This measurement indicates how well a window blocks heat that is caused by sunlight. This is particularly important for homes in warmer climates with lots of sunlight. For this, you will want to look for windows that come with thermal control. Sometimes, this thermal control is created by tinting the windows, which can reduce how much natural light a room receives. Look for options like Andersen’s Sun or SmartSun windows that have similar solar heat control, without as high a sacrifice on lighting. 

Overall, choosing windows that are energy-efficient and tailored to your climate will make a big impact on your long-term savings on energy bills and your overall enjoyment of your home.

Light

The second set of considerations you’ll want to address when purchasing new windows is light. As we’ve already seen, some energy-efficient choices will affect how much natural light enters a home. This is an example where determining your priorities early will make the final decision much easier when it comes to what windows are best for your home.

Visible Light Transmittance is the measure of how much visible light comes through a window. Some people prefer lower light, both because it is energy efficient and because it can protect the items in your home from sun damage. For example, Andersen’s Sun windows are very successful in blocking heat caused by sunlight and letting in a lower level of visible light.

Some homeowners, however, prefer a lot of natural light. The best – and cheapest – way to have maximum visible light transmittance is to install clear, dual-pane windows with no additional coatings. However, in this case, lots of light will come at the expense of energy efficiency and UV Protection

Many types of windows can offer a relatively high level of natural light while maintaining good energy efficiency and UV protection. New products are being developed and refined all the time to ensure customers can receive the best of both worlds when installing new windows. A thoughtful and professional window installer can help you determine which windows will work best for you.

In addition to size, style, and budget, there are many other factors to consider when purchasing new windows for your home. Understanding your options and priorities ahead of time will help you ensure that you purchase the correct windows for your home and lifestyle. Although the options can seem overwhelming, once you have determined what factors are important to you, you will quickly be able to decide what windows are best for your home.