Nine Things You Need To Know About Replacement Windows
Questions You Should Ask
Are you planning on doing some home improvements in the Hillsboro area? Home improvement in Hillsboro, Oregon can be a big project to tackle, if you’re not sure how to go about it. And getting replacement windows is definitely a part of that uncertainty. So we’ve put together the top 9 replacement windows in Oregon questions here, to help you along with your project. Check them out.
1. What are replacement windows?
Simply put, replacement windows are those designed to fit into the same structure that the old windows came out of. The idea of replacement windows is to get newer, more energy-efficient windows to help you lower your heating costs. When you’re replacing your windows, you’ll need to have exact measurements because, although there’s a small allowance for differences in measurements, the replacement windows should be the same size as the old windows, and fit into the frame with a minimum of adjustments.
2. What are my choices of materials in a replacement window frame?
Replacement window frames come in five basic types:
Aluminum – Many people like aluminum replacement windows in Oregon because of their flexibility in custom designing. However, they’re not the most energy-efficient, and they invite condensation.
Fiberglass – Fiberglass replacement windows are a fairly new addition to the industry. They’re also the most expensive. But it’s the old “you get what you pay for” story, because they have a very high R-value, which means you’ll save more on your heating bill.
Vinyl – Vinyl replacement windows are very popular because there are many styles and shapes to choose from. They’re also very energy-efficient.
Wood – Wood replacement windows have great R-values, because wood is a natural insulator. Also, condensation isn’t much of a problem with wood windows. However, the maintenance is high, with the requirement of periodic scraping and painting.
Fibrex – Fibrex replacement windows are a combination of wood and vinyl, taking the best of both worlds and putting them together to create a window that’s highly energy-efficient, but still low-maintenance.
3. What does the R-value and the U-factor of a window refer to when it comes to replacement windows?
The R-values and U-factors (or U-values) are ratings that replacement window manufacturers assign to their windows to tell you how efficient they are.
The R-value of a window tells you how well the window insulates. It’s expressed as a number, ranging from 0.9 and up. A window that insulates fairly well would have an R-value of about 3 or more.
When you’re looking at the U-factor of a window, you’re looking for a low number (from 1.1 to 0.3) – the lower the number, the better the window is at keeping the heat in.
4. What’s the best type of glass in a replacement windows in Hillsboro, Oregon?
The first thing you need to look for in the glass in a replacement window is whether it’s single- or double-pane. Single-pane windows are ok for out-buildings, like detached garages and sheds, where heat loss isn’t a factor.
However, if you want to keep your utility bills as low as possible, you definitely want to get double-pane glass. It’s two panes of glass, hermetically-sealed, with an airspace in between. The result is a well-climatized environment in your home. As far as the actual pane of glass is concerned, you have three choices. One of the more popular types of glass is called low-emissivity, or low-e glass, which uses a special coating to keep heat either in or out, depending on the time of year.
Or you can get heat-absorbing glass, which keeps the solar energy, and thus the heat, out. And it also prevents the sun from “bleaching” your carpet, drapes and furniture. Your other choice is reflective glass, which does the same job as heat-absorbing glass, but uses a film to reflect the harmful UV rays.
5. What are the easiest replacement windows to clean?
You’re probably familiar with the old saying, “I don’t do windows.” That’s why window manufacturers are always looking for easier ways for you to keep your windows clean. As far as design goes, the latest double-hung windows are specifically made for your cleaning “pleasure”. They tilt back and forth, and lock into place, so you can get the replacement windows cleaned quickly and move on!
6. Are custom replacement windows a good idea?
We’re back to the old “you get what you pay for” again. Custom replacement windows in Oregon are the most efficient, because they’re carefully measured to the exact specifications, with a minimum of change to your interior and exterior walls. And because they’re made to fit your window space exactly, the possibility of heat loss or leakage is greatly reduced. So, in the long run, your cost will be balanced out.
7. Will replacement windows fix my condensation problem?
Condensation is a problem that’s hard to get rid of. However, there’s a very good solution available now. For a little extra money, you can buy vinyl windows that actually keep the edges of the window warm. And because condensation is created by the temperature difference between inside and outside, this problem is virtually eliminated.
8. Are replacement windows designed to keep out noise?
All windows reduce the amount of outside noise that you can hear from inside. However, if you’re especially concerned about this, you can get laminated insulating glass, which will reduce the amount of outside noise by about a half.
Replacement windows in the Hillsboro area are a big part of home improvement. And, with all the focus on energy-efficiency these days, you need to make the right choices when replacing your windows. Contact our replacement window experts today
If you are looking for a Oregon remodeling contractor, please call us today at (503) 640-1700 or complete our online request form.