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Considerations for Buying Replacement Windows for your Mesa, AZ Home

When it comes time to replace windows in your home, you want to know facts and details in order to make a wise decision. Purchasing replacement windows is a huge investment. New replacement windows add many benefits to your home including, energy efficiency, noise reduction, less maintenance and improved curb appeal. Replacing windows involves many decisions. If you need new windows, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Know the numbers
You’ll see these numbers on Energy Star and National Fenestration Rating Council window labels:

U-factor, or U-value, usually ranges from 0.20 to 1.20. The lower the number, the better the window is at keeping heat in.

Solar heat gain coefficient is between 0 and 1. The lower the number, the better the window is at blocking unwanted heat from the sun. In warm climates, you’ll want the lowest number you can find; in cold areas a higher number is better.

Visible transmittance indicates how much visible light a window lets in and is between 0 and 1. As the number increases, so does the light.

Energy Efficiency

Knowing the above numbers is important because the IRS offers a federal tax credit for qualifying energy efficient replacement windows. To be eligible, the window’s U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient must both less than or equal to 0.30. The federal tax credit is equal to 30 percent of the product cost or a maximum of $1,500. Installation is not covered by the credit.

Know window materials available

Replacement windows are offered in a variety of materials each of which having its own set of benefits. The more you know about the options available, the better decision you can make about what will best suit your needs and design vision.

Vinyl windows – More vinyl windows are sold than all other types of window construction combined – about 67 percent of the residential window market. That’s because vinyl combines low cost with durability, reliability and energy performance. Vinyl is virtually indestructible, impervious to moisture and insect- and rot-proof. Vinyl windows are virtually maintenance free and be easily cleaned with a clean cloth and water. Today, depending on the manufacturer, you can find vinyl replacement windows in a wide variety of colors as well.

Fiberglass windows – While only 3 percent of the window market comes from windows made with fiberglass, the material is fast gaining a reputation for being durable and blissfully maintenance-free. Combined with its middle-of-the-road price, fiberglass provides solid value. It’s stronger than vinyl, and fiberglass windows won’t warp, rot or crack. Expect to pay about double the price of a comparable vinyl window.

Aluminum windows – Aluminum is extremely strong, meaning that windows can be fabricated with relatively thin frames and sash components. That provides more space in the window opening for glass and makes aluminum windows a favorite choice of architects. In addition, aluminum can be fabricated with an enormous variety of factory-applied color finishes that are extremely tough and long-lasting.

Wood windows – Wood is a fine insulator, and modern weather-stripping techniques and hardware components make drafty wood windows a thing of the past. Wood accepts paint and stain readily, and its workability makes wood ideal for custom applications. When renovating a historic home and matching the style of older, existing windows, wood is the ideal choice.

Remember to do your research. Each material has pros and cons, but with research and consultation with window professionals, you will be able to find just the right replacement windows Mesa, AZ that will improve the look and value of your home.