Shopping for new windows can be overwhelming because they come in a variety of styles. However, there are four major types constructed out of Aluminum, Vinyl, Fiberglass, of Wood. Each has a unique quality that can be good or bad depending on your home and it’s location.
Aluminum windows are constructed out of aluminum which is a strong metal. They typically have the thinnest profile compared to vinyl and wood. They are generally the cheaper of window types but often the most durable. However, since it is a metal, it can conduct heat and transfer it into your home. This can cause your home to heat up in summer months and possibly increase your utility bills.
Vinyl windows are popular because they arguably give you the best value for your dollar. They are durable and readily available in all shapes and sizes. Many homeowners want the look of Wood for their windows, however wood windows can be costly and have a higher upkeep. Vinyl offers a similar look to wood but at a fraction of the cost. They can easily be painted for touch ups as well.
Fiberglass windows have the best of both worlds, durability and aesthetics. Like vinyl windows, fiberglass windows resemble the look of wood windows. However unlike vinyl windows, they do not have a glossy finish which is characteristic of wood. http://smartwebsiteideas.com/
Wood Windows are the most popular and sought after window types for homeowners. They typically come in a variety of shapes and their aesthetics often contain the popular look of grills. However, they require more maintenance than the other types and are not appropriate in all climates. However, wood windows makes a bigger statement than the other type of windows.
There are also some key terms you should know when looking to replace your windows”
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)
The SHGC measures how much solar heat is admitted/ transmitted through a window. SHGC is measured on a scale between 0 and 1. The lower a window’s solar heat gain coefficient, the less solar heat it transmits. This is the most important factor when choosing a window in a desert climate like Phoenix. When looking for a window you want to choose one with a SHGC less than or equal to 0.30
Visible Transmittance (VT)
The VT is an optical property that indicates the amount of visible light transmitted through a window. VT is a whole window rating and includes the impact of the frame which does not transmit any visible light. The higher the VT the more visible light is transmitted.
Air Leakage (AL)
The Air Leakage measures how much air is able to pass through the window assembly. The lower the AL, the less air will pass through cracks in the assembly. AL is very important, as it allow to keep the warm or cool outside air from penetrating your home when trying to heat or cool your house, but not as important as U-factor and SHGC. AL is an optional rating on the NFRC label. Generally casement and awning type windows are the tightest windows meaning less air is able to pass through them. Sliding windows, Double and Single hung windows do not seal as tight thus have a higher AL.
Low-emittance (low-E) coatings are microscopically thin, virtually invisible, metal or metallic oxide layers deposited on a window or skylight glazing surface primarily to reduce the U-factor by suppressing radiative heat flow. These coatings reflect radiant infrared energy, thus tending to keep radiant heat on the same side of the glass from which it originated. This often results in more efficient windows because: radiant heat originating from indoors is reflected back inside, thus keeping heat inside in the winter, and infrared radiation from the sun is reflected away, keeping it cooler inside in the summer. In our desert climate in order to keep the sun’s heat out of the house the Low-E coating should be applied to the outside pane of glass.