by David Braddy LEED GA
One area that can affect the energy efficiency of your home a lot more than you may realize is also one of the easiest to improve. You may have the best insulated house on the street, but if your windows are of poor quality or installed improperly it will do you very little good. An energy efficient home is a system of many components and that system will only perform as well as the sum total of those components. Can you imagine building or buying a home with an open hole in one side of it? With poor quality windows or poorly installed windows this could be exactly what you now have. Even relatively new homes can have a serious deficiency in this area. Windows are a major component in the building envelope and they are one of the largest costs in making a home weather tight. Unfortunately because they are a major cost this is an area that sometimes is downgraded to save money. The more windows or glass your home has the bigger this mistake becomes, yes some windows look the same, but the way they perform can be the difference between night and day. For instance a mechanical frame may look the same as a fusion welded frame and most people wouldn’t know the difference by looking at them, but there is a big difference in the quality. Do you know which one is better? The glass may look the same with or without argon gas or low-e and one may have an all aluminum spacer or one may have a swiggle seal or other type of warm edge technology, but if you don’t know what you’re looking for you would never know the difference. What about virgin vinyl verses recycled vinyl? These are all things that affect the quality and efficiency of a window.
So who makes the best one? It depends which salesperson you are talking to, because whoever you are talking to will always have the best. Now with that said, they may actually have a great window, but most major window companies have premium windows, a builder’s window or an economy window. There are major differences in the types of windows, but if a premium window is installed incorrectly it will not perform any better than an economy window installed correctly.
It is imperative your windows are installed and flashed correctly or the quality doesn’t matter.
There are several good window companies that manufacture quality windows and you would be hard pressed to determine which one is actually best because they are using the same technology. Compare and research any company that you may be thinking of doing business with to make sure you are comfortable with their quality and reliability.
Replacement windows have become very affordable over the last several years and can make a huge difference in the looks and energy efficiency of your home, just do your homework and make sure you are dealing with an established, reputable company that will stand behind their product and workmanship. Do not fall for the marketing tactics of companies that are purely sales driven; you are paying a premium for sales commissions, not necessarily quality. And I can save you a lot of time by telling you it is very unlikely you will get a properly installed premium quality window by a seasoned installer completely, correctly and any size for under $200.00.
Bolivar Insulation of Camdenton LLC carries an extensive line of new construction and replacement windows with professionally trained installers. Call for a no obligation free estimate. 573-216-0500