Open a New Window
Dec 29, 2009 09:17AM
● By Wendy Sipple
A friend recently moved into a house built in the 1920s.
Though their new abode appeared to have gone through some renovating over the years, the occupants discovered one major flaw – outdated windows. Their current panes not only allowed an unnecessary amount of neighborhood noise into the house, temperature extremes began to drive up their energy bills as well. Their decision to introduce more energy efficient windows into the home will save them money, increase comfort and security, and afford them a good night’s rest.
“An energy efficient window is one that increases the insulation values to be closer to the efficiency of your walls,” says Roma Brandon of Milgard in Sacramento. “U-Factor rating measures the resistance of energy through the windows (similar to how they rate the different insulation in your walls), and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) measures the windows ability to block the heat that enters into the home from the sun. For both of these measurements, a lower rating is better.”
According to Brandon, there are several ways to upgrade a window, from more efficient glass with Low-E 3 coatings to spacers to injecting a heavier gas, like argon, between two panes. “We do have energy packages that incorporate these options and help our windows exceed Energy Star standards by as much as 26 percent,” says Brandon.
The benefits of new windows go beyond energy efficiency, improving sound resistance with dual pane glass or vinyl, and adding instant curb appeal. “Window replacement is the only improvement that you can make to your home that will not only improve the value of your home because of the curb appeal, but will also reduce the amount of energy required to maintain a comfortable environment inside,” notes Brandon.
How much does new window installation cost? That really depends on the “fit and finish” of the home says Brandon. She suggests a consultation with a professional to discuss costs, which can vary from $300 to $1,000 per opening and be completed in anywhere from one day to several for more complicated jobs.
If you want to keep your budget down and still get the benefits of new windows without replacing your current ones, there’s another option to consider: window films. “Our company carries hundreds of different types of insulating window films in a variety of styles and finishes to solve many heat, cold, glare, or UV situations as well as many different types of decorative films to give a custom look or finish,” says Charles Doyle of Energy One in Sacramento. “V-Kool window films can bring a standard dual-pane vinyl frame window up to Low-E 3 specs by retrofitting our film to the glass (on the inside pane of glass just like wallpaper).
Window film like V-Kool can start saving on energy bills in as little as 18 months, blocks up to 99.9 percent of harmful UV from intense sun, provides glare control and makes glass stronger in case of sudden accidents. And unlike outdated versions, films introduced in the last 20 years include metal to reflect heat, last a lifetime, and are resistant to cracking, fading, peeling or bubbling.
Whether taking the installation route or coating your current panes with film, the benefits of upgrading your windows are substantial, energy saving, and mean money for the long haul.
WINDOW REPLACEMENT COMPANIES:
Architectural Specialty Sales Co.
Diamond Springs, 530-626-1586
Brothers Home Improvement
Cavolt & Sons
Dick’s Rancho Glass
Rancho Cordova, 916-476-8411
Fair Oaks, 916-459-4949
Hall’s Winow Center
J&J Glass Co.
Diamond Springs, 530-622-7218
Best Solar Control
El Dorado Hills, 877-765-2790
WCS Window Films