Tips for Saving Big When Buying Replacement Windows

replacement windows

Photo courtesy of Flickr’s Bob Jagendorf

Buying new windows for your home can bring a slew of benefits. From increasing energy efficiency to making your home look better, replacement windows can be just the change you need. That being said, replacement windows, particularly if you’re looking to replace every window in your home, can be costly. With these three simple tips for shaving down the costs when buying your replacement windows, however, you can improve your home, without having to dig too deeply into your savings.

How to Cut Costs When Replacing Your Windows

Go with Energy Efficient Windows – While it’s true that many energy efficient windows are more expensive than their regular counterparts, Energy.gov recommends you always go the energy efficient route if you can. Why? The amount of money you’ll save on your energy bills over time will more than make up for the premium you pay for greener options.

Only Do It Yourself if You’re an Expert -It goes without saying that installing your own replacement windows can save you money — so long, of course, you know what you’re doing. Even then, it’s probably in your best interest to call in an expert to help. The reason is simple: the best contractors have insurance, so if something goes wrong — they drop and break a window or someone is injured — it’s them who will be paying for it, not you. The financial benefits here are clear.

You Need to at Least Bring in a Consultant - As MSN Real Estate details, one of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when looking to buy new windows is replacing windows that really just need to be repaired. Bringing in a consultant, you can ensure that it’s not just the molding around your windows that needs to be fixed up. The difference between molding repair and replacement windows can be many hundreds of dollars. Bringing in a consultant to make an assessment can help you avoid this unnecessary cost.

How to Keep Your Home Windows Safe and Secure

windows

Photo courtesy of Flickr’s Alan Cleaver

One of the biggest worries for any homeowner is that someone will come into their home and take or harm the things they hold most precious. According to the most recently available statistics from the FBI, the incidence of home burglaries across the United States dropped by 3.7% last year. Even so, there are still more than 2.1 million burglaries annually.

For many, the best answer to the still staggering rates of property crimes in the U.S. is buying expensive home security systems laden with high-tech gadgetry that wouldn’t be out of place in the latest sci-fi novel. As U.S. News & World Report writes, American homeowners spend around $20 billion a year on these security systems. Here’s the thing: those systems can help you ward off criminals, but they can also break the bank. If you want a cheap way to improve the security of your home, you really ought to consider improving your windows.

Three Window Technologies That Fortify American Homes

Motion Activated Lighting

Windows make for one of the most common access points to the home. The trick to
showing would be criminals to not even try? Motion activated lighting. By placing a
series of sensors throughout the landscaping leading up to your windows and placing a
lighting strip on your window sills, you can take away burglars’ most powerful weapon:
darkness. These motion activated lights are both highly effective and affordable.

Pressure Sensitive Window Alarms
As Lifehacker highlights in a recent guide to improving home security, installing a pressure sensitive alarm on the surface of your new windows will send criminals running the second they try to jack them open to gain entry. Whether they just touch the glass or they’re trying to breakthrough, this alarm will readily alert you when there is an issue, and that means being able to call the police ASAP.

Choose Secure Replacement Windows
For MSN Real Estate, that are few better ways to improve the security of your windows than by buying secure windows from the get-go. As a general rule, any window that can open more than six-inches wide makes it easy for someone to climb through. If you’re in the market for replacement windows, ask your service if they offer any windows with built in limiters on how far they can be opened. It might seem overly simple, but it could be the difference between a safe home and one that’s ripe for the picking.

Unfortunately, it’s going to be a long while yet before people stop trying to take what isn’t theirs. By implementing these simple security technologies, you can make sure you’re only gaining the Photo courtesy of Flickr’s Alan Cleaver

Health and energy benefits of your windows, without having to worry about whether or not they can be used against you.

Three Tips for a Eco-friendly, Energy Efficient Home

energy efficient

Photo property of Flickr’s Wicker Paradise

Whether for the sake of the environment, lower bills, or higher market price when selling, more and more homeowners are looking into transforming their homes into green spaces. Consider, homes that are more environmentally friendly and energy efficient command much higher prices. In fact, making some simple switches and upgrades can raise the value of your home by as much as 6%! When you take that added value and couple it with reduced environmental impact and reduced health hazards in the home, it’s no wonder green is increasingly seen as the way to go.

Of course, knowing all the benefits of a greener home and actually transitioning to one are two very different things. If you’re one of the many homeowners struggling to reach your goals of a greener, more valuable home, you’re in the right place. Let us show you that you don’t need to take drastic steps to make your home more eco-friendly.

Three Simple Tips for a Greener Home

  • Crush Those Heatings Bills with a Programmable Thermostat

If you want a green update with a tiny bill and almost no hassle, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better option than upgrading your home thermostat to a programmable, automatic option. While a new thermostat will set you back some $30, it’s estimated to save you 10% overall on your heating and cooling bills throughout the year.

  • Earn Huge Tax Credits by Investing in Renewable Energy

From now until 2016, installing a renewable energy power plant in your home can net you a 30% deduction when the nightmare that is tax season makes its way back around. Whether you’ve been considering a geothermal pump in your basement, small scale wind turbine in your yard, or mini-solar plant on your roof, investing now means adding a ton of value to your home, while protecting the environment and taking a bite out of your taxes.

  • Replace Your Windows for an Energy Efficient, Comfortable Home

Few things have as immediate of an impact on your carbon footprint, utilities bill, and home value as new windows. Properly setting up replacement windows in your home can block out an estimated 80% of solar heat — no small thing when you’re trying to keep your home cool in the summer, without relying on a ton of costly air conditioning. Add to that the ability of energy efficient windows to hold in heat during the winter, and you’ve got the perfect upgrade for your new green home.

Now over to you: have you used these upgrades in your home? Tell us about your experience in the comment section below.

Squeezing Every Last Drop out of Your Energy Efficient Windows

energy efficient windows

Photo property of Damien Pollet

Installing energy efficient windows in your home instead of choosing the low-end, cheap garbage of the past can have a huge impact on your health, the health of the environment, and your financial well-being. In fact, not only will you be cutting a chunk out of your carbon impact by going with energy efficient windows, you’ll also be reducing your utility bills by as much as $465 per year. That, for many homeowners, is reason enough to switch over to greener window options.

The First Step to Energy Efficiency: Choosing the Right Window

It’s easy to think that the term “energy efficient windows” only speaks about one type of window, but in reality, there are many different varieties of energy and money saving windows deserving of the title. Just our Energy Xtreme windows are available with four different levels of energy efficiency. Knowing what to look for, from the right U-value to the proper climate zone, can be made easier by consulting your favorite window professional. Finding someone you can trust will be essential in this first step.

What Extra Steps Can You Take to Improve Energy Efficiency?

Once you’ve chosen your windows and had them installed, it’s time to practice proper maintenance habits that can not only keep your new windows in shape but also improve on their original energy efficiency ratings many times over.

  • Stay on Top of Maintenance – As with anything else, the weather stripping and caulking around your window frames that help keep your heat or air conditioning in and the outside air out eventually break down. Re-caulking your windows and replacing the weatherstripping at regular intervals is estimated to have a huge impact on energy efficiency, so much so that the U.S. Department of Energy estimates you’ll more than make up the costs of caulking and weatherstrips within a year of purchase.
  • Keep the Proper Storm Windows in Year-Round – It might seem a little crazy at first, but, as Energy.gov suggests, keeping energy efficient storm windows installed year-round, particularly when they have a low-e coating,  can increase your energy savings by 12 to 33% a year. Since modern storm windows are installed on tracks, allowing you to open and close them, letting in or shutting out the breeze at a moment’s notice, you have complete control over the climate of your home, while sending your energy efficiency through the roof.
  • Install Exterior Shutters – The simplest thing you can do to give your energy efficient windows a boost is to install shutters on the outside of your home. The concept here is simple: shutters block sunlight going into your home, thereby reducing the amount of power you need to cool it in the summer. Likewise, when the winter comes back around, you can open the shutters, letting the sun do the bulk of your heating for you.

Tired of the Constant Noise? Find New Windows to Soundproof Your Home

New Windows

Photo courtesy of Flickr’s Ryan Weisberger

Especially iIf you live within one of Western New York’s most populated cities, like Rochester and Buffalo, noise pollution can be a daily hassle. The constant hustle and bustle of city traffic, the noise of people coming back from a long night at the bar: whatever is the cause of the cacophony, it can make your time spent at home less relaxing, not to mention the impact it can have on your ability to sleep.

To many city-dwellers, in WNY and beyond, noise is just something you have to deal with when you live in an exciting cosmopolitan area. However, when you realize that noise pollution leads to hearing loss, increased blood pressure, and a slew of other life-shortening conditions, it ceases to be just a fact of life, and it turns into something you need to deal with.

By Choosing New Windows, You Can Reduce Noise

Too many people assume that soundproofing their home is about buying expensive tiles for their walls and acoustic dampening materials for their ceilings. In reality, one of the simplest and most effective things you can do to reduce the noise is to find replacement windows that work to dampen sound. Of course, you have to know what to look for.

  • Pay Close Attention to the Frame – One of the most important things when trying to keep sound out is making sure you don’t give it any space to move through open air and into your home. Old frames or frames on mass-produced windows are known to let in a lot of air and, most importantly, sound. If your windows have frames that form a tight seal, one of the hallmarks of energy efficient windows, they will be better able to tone things down in your home. Especially if the new windows you’re considering have vinyl, not metal, frames, you’ll be able to cut out a lot of the racket.
  • Multi-pane is the Way to Go – Just as you’ll want to choose energy efficient windows for the sake of a more reliable frame and seal, so, too, should you be looking at energy efficient windows for their glass. To make a long story short, the more panes in your windows, the greater ability they will have to absorb and block sound. The reason is simple enough: between each layer of glass is a pocket of gas,  usually made up of argon or krypton. These gases will trap and reflect sound, meaning your home will be that much quieter. The more panes, the more layers of sound-cancelling gas.

Soundproofing your home can mean protecting your health. By choosing  new windows that can cancel out all that excess noise — and help you save on your energy bills in the process — you can avoid many of the issues that come with living in the vibrant cities of Western New York.

Home Technology of the Future: Bird Friendly New Windows

Bird Friendly New Windows

Photo courtesy of Flickr’s Jack W. Pierce

For many homeowners, making the decision to buy replacement windows isn’t just about cutting their energy bills and improving the look of their homes. In fact, one of the main reasons energy efficient windows, like our Energy Xtreme series, are so popular is because they give each homeowner the chance to make a difference and a very real shot at protecting nature. Using less energy directly translates to less environmental impact, after all.   All factors to take into consideration when purchasing new windows.

Taking Eco-Friendly to the Next Level

According to recent scientific research, hundreds of millions of birds are killed every year in North America when they fly into windows. Unlike humans, birds cannot see the distinction between a pane of glass and empty space. Subsequently, they think nothing of trying to fly through our windows, a daredevil move that usually ends with a broken wing, or worse.

Thinking to get ahead of the problem, Arnold Glas, a European window technology company, invented Ornilux. New windows using this Ornilux technology appear completely normal to the human eye. As far as we’re concerned, any window featuring this bird deterrent is just another option for energy efficient windows. However, for birds, creatures with the ability to see in the ultraviolet light spectrum, Ornilux windows look like a patchwork of lines, closely resembling a net. The effect? Birds stay away.

Bird Safe, Budget Friendly New Windows

There’s no doubt that for the conservationist and eco-focused homeowner the technology created by Ornilux is a fantastic new way to keep making a difference when buying new windows. However, what if you feel that saving a few birds isn’t quite worth the cost of robin-repelling options?

Well, consider this: every time a bird strikes your windows, there is a considerable chance that they are going to leave a noticeable crack, especially if they’re a bigger breed — just ask the countless number of homeowners who’ve woken up to an unexpected draft, only to find the body of the culpable bird laying just beneath the window outside. If that happens too many times, you’re bound to notice the repair bills stacking up.  In other words, bird-repellent windows will change the game for the animal lover and the financially savvy homeowner alike — assuming, of course, they ever find their way across the pond from the United Kingdom.

Beat the Costs of the Summer by Installing Replacement Windows

replacement windows

Photo courtesy of Flickr’s Sarah Reid

On average, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, American homeowners spend $395 each summer on their air conditioning bills. When the sun is beating down through your windows and the humidity is at 90%, the last thing you want to do is bake in your home. Having said that, too many Americans think that the huge annual A/C price-tag is just a fact of life. However, we’re hear to tell you that you can have all the comfort of an air conditioned home without the huge costs.

Replace Your Windows in the Spring

By having replacement windows installed in your home before the summer comes, you can cut a huge chunk out of your seasonal and annual energy bills. Quite simply, American homes with old or damaged windows waste from 10 to 25% of their heating and cooling bills every year.

If you notice that no matter how much heat you pump into your home in the winter it stays cold, chances are your windows are leaking. Likewise, how many scorching summers have to go by with your costly A/C being jettisoned out into the sun before you realize it’s time for new windows? The spring is often considered to be the best time to have your new windows installed; after all, it’s neither too warm nor too cold for your window company to come and do their work. Plus, you can start reaping the benefits of a full set of energy efficient windows before the summer starts.

Benefits Beyond the Summer

As every Western New Yorker knows, the summer ends far too quickly around these parts. In the blink of an eye, we go from the oppressive heat of Buffalo in July to the ceaseless snows of November. Not only can seeking out replacement windows help you to better weather the physical and financial challenges of the summer, but updating your windows means better protecting yourself for many years to come. Consider, depending on the type of window you choose, the return-on-investment can be as high as 78.7% for the life of your windows.

The summer is coming fast, bringing with it a stack of high energy bills. If reducing your costs, not only for the summer but for many years, is as simple as replacing your 20-year-old windows with the energy efficiency of Energy Xtreme, why wouldn’t you take that leap?