When you start shopping for new windows, it might be easy to focus more on price and forget about performance. With each window costing an average of $300-$700, you might be tempted to find the cheapest option and schedule an installation date. However, it is important to remember that you might end up living with those windows for several years, and the little details matter. Here are three upgrades that you won't regret down the road:
1: Heat Mirror Insulation
During the hot summer months, it can become downright painful to pay for your air conditioning. You might wince as you tear open your power bill, wishing that there were a way to lighten your air conditioner's burden. However, you might be able to help your home stay a lot cooler during the warm season by choosing windows with heat mirror insulation.
Did you know that up to 90% of the unwanted heat gain inside of your home is due to incoming UV light? As the afternoon sun beats down on your home, it can quickly heat up the air make your air conditioner work harder than it needs to. Heat mirror insulation is a thin, completely clear film placed inside of the windows, which reflects UV light away from your home.
Windows are rated based on their ability to protect against heat transfer, which is stated in an R-Value. The higher the R-Value, the more resistant the window is to heat transfer. While high-end, glazed double-paned windows have a typical R-Value between 2.7 and 3.6, windows containing heat mirror fiberglass insulation can have an R-Value between 6 and 20. Heat mirror insulation can help you to keep your home cool and comfortable, even on the hottest, sunniest days.
2: Sound Absorbing Panes
Wouldn't it be nice if you didn't have to listen to that garbage truck bumbling down the road or your neighbor's dogs yapping? Believe it or not, the right windows can even keep your house a little quieter.
Sound absorbing windows contain panes that are different thicknesses, which can block certain noise wavelengths. Noise transmittance is measured by the Sound Transmission Coefficient—also called the STC. The higher the STC, the less sound can pass through your windows. Single pane windows typically carry an STC of around 27, with double pane windows averaging an STC of about 28. However, the STC rating of sound absorbing windows starts at around 45, and higher-rated versions are available.
To put those numbers in perspective, every ten-point jump in the STC rating means that the incoming noise will sound half as loud. If you want to make your home quiet and serene, choose windows with sound absorbing panes. You might be able to sleep a little easier when you aren't disturbed by roadway noise.
3: Fine Mesh Screens
Did you know that you can upgrade your mesh screens along with those glass panes? Fine mesh screens have smaller wires and holes, which can help you with these common problems:
- Fewer Pests: Nothing is worse than dealing with the flies and mosquitoes that make their way through your window screens. However, finer screens mean that fewer bugs can fit through holes, which can make your home a little more pleasant.
- Cleaner Windows: As wind, rain, and flying bugs assault your home's exterior, your windows can become dirty quickly. However, finer mesh screens mean more coverage—keeping your glass cleaner.
- Better Visibility: Because the wires present in fine mesh screens are smaller, they won't inhibit your view of the world as much. After all, why install a large picture window when an ugly screen is in the way? Fine mesh screens improve visibility, so you can enjoy the view.
By investing in the right window upgrades, you can make your home look great and keep your place comfortable all year long. For more information, contact a local window replacement company.