Selecting the Right Kind of Replacement Windows for Your Climate

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One thing that Long Island and the tristate area homeowners are often surprised to learn is that not all replacement windows are created equal. These days, most people understand that they should look for home remodeling products that are energy efficient, and the Department of Energy’s ENERGY STAR program has become widely recognized as the industry standard. However, the problem is that just because a window is certified as “energy efficient,” it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be right for your home.

As it turns out, there are a variety of contributing factors that will determine how effective your windows ultimately will be, with the design of your home, location of the windows, and overall climate of your community all being especially important. Portfolio (8)When talking about energy efficient windows, a distinction needs to be made between solar heat gains and non-solar heat gains (conduction, convection, and radiation). Generally speaking, non-solar heat gains are what you want to avoid. These types of heat flow can make it extremely difficult to keep the temperature of your home regulated, which puts a burden on the HVAC unit and drives up heating and cooling costs significantly. Solar heat gains, on the other hand, can sometimes be harnessed, and provide free heating during what is called the heating season or the time of the year when you’re likely to be running your heater.

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The reason that regional climate is so important here is relatively intuitive. In New York, for instance, our heating season is much, much longer than it is in the South, meaning local homes can take better advantage of solar heat gains than our neighbors below the Mason-Dixon Line who have to worry about solar heat making it difficult to keep their homes cool. Similarly, the location and orientation of the windows in the home have a strong bearing on solar heat gains. South-facing windows offer the greatest opportunity for taking advantage of solar heat during the winter, but north-, east-, and west-facing windows offer very little exposure.

To make matters even more complex, there are various glazings, gas fills, and other features that can be included in each window that will deliver varying results that should be considered. Chris LoCascio, Alure’s Director of Sales for the Exterior Division, feels that people focus too much on glass and may overlook other important components of windows. “When looking for replacement windows homeowners focus on the type of glass. We forget there is also the frame work and just as important the installation method used to install your new windows. Just think of it as if you were buying a new car, would the engine and fuel efficiency be all you would care about? No, you also want a car that is safe and reliable. So in your windows the glass would be your engine and the frame and moving parts would be your chassis. While all windows my look similar they in fact are not.”

To help you make sense of all of your options when it comes to replacement windows, contact your local replacement window specialist. They should be able to discuss all of the options that will improve energy efficiency as well as the look and feel of your home. You can learn more about the Alure offering of replacement windows here.