Window replacement work is an opportunity to do more than just swap things out. Most window replacement services companies offer tons of options, and you should try to take advantage of them to save money, provide greater comfort, and beautify your house. Here's a look at what customers should know about the process.
The rating system used by most major window manufacturers is implemented by the National Fenestration Rating Council. It's an organization that provides ratings that go on labels for products like windows, doors, and skylights.
Heat loss from windows is rated on what's called a U-factor or U-value. This number goes from about 0.20 to 1.20, and you'll want to look for a number that's lower.
Your windows also have an R-value. This refers to the insulation value of the window, and it's the same rating you might have seen for insulating products, panels, and siding. With R-value, you'll be looking for a higher number.
Air leakage is an optional rating for manufacturers to include. It indicates how much air will make it through the cracks of the window when it is shut. This is another figure where lower is better.
Folks living in warm regions will also want to keep sunlight from coming through a window and driving up their air conditioning bills. The value they're looking for on the label is the solar heat coefficient gain. This rating goes from 0 to 1, and lower is better.
Insulation Around the Window
If you're focused on achieving greater efficiency, you'll also want to talk with the installers about insulating the area around your window replacement. This may call for additional work if the existing materials are poor. The frame, the jambs, the head, and sill may need to be replaced to avoid suffering efficiency losses around the edges of the window.
The supporting structure inside the window can be manufactured from a variety of products. Fortunately, most manufacturers can make fairly efficient products regardless of the materials choices involved. While you can expect some difference in cost between vinyl and wood, for example, the energy rating label can point you toward a winning option.
Typical window replacement work goes between $175 and $700 per window. More expensive options can go north of $1,000 per window. Removal of old windows, if it proves to be time-intensive, may add $50 to $250 in expenses.