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- Know Your Windows
Are you looking to reduce your energy bills by 15-20%?
Heating costs have risen dramatically, and replacing windows and doors can save you as much as $350-450 a year or more, depending on the condition of your existing windows. Custom wood windows and fiberglass windows are excellent choices for improved energy efficiency. Because custom windows are made specifically for your home, they fit the opening more exactly to stop air leaks, both in summer and winter.
If you have cloudy windows with moisture in between the panes, the seal has failed, allowing water vapor in and reducing energy efficiency. Again, windows made to fit are more likely to maintain their seals, keeping your view clear and your windows up to their peak efficiency.
My windows already have two panes of glass. Aren’t they already energy efficient?
If your windows are more than ten years old, even if they have two panes of glass, they may not be as efficient as possible. Several features now make windows and patio doors more energy efficient than ever. Hi-R Tripane windows, from Marvin Windows and Doors for example, feature two layers of insulating glass with a special coating that allows in the winter sun’s gentle warmth while keeping out summer’s extreme heat. In between is an extra layer of glass, making Hi-R Tripane windows the ultimate in energy efficiency. If you want to learn more about window efficiency, start by researching ENERGY STAR windows.
Can you open windows and patio doors or are they stuck shut?
The ability to open windows and doors easily is vital to your family’s health and safety. Good ventilation is an important part of indoor air quality. Easy-to-open windows and doors allow you to air out musty rooms on a warm winter day, especially during cold and flu season, or catch a cool cross breeze on a mild summer evening, eliminating the need to run air conditioners.
Often windows have been glued shut by layers of paint over the years. Or perhaps you have a patio door that requires some extra force to slide open. What about those windows you have to prop open? These are dangerous because the sash could fall closed and cause broken glass or injuries? Did you know that building codes in many areas dictate something called egress, a term that refers to the ability for occupants to escape through windows in the event of fire or emergency?
You may have worked out how to prop or force open your old windows, but what about your family members when you’re not there to help? Many kinds of windows and doors are designed so anyone can safely open and close them. Casement windows feature a crank handle or push open easily, allowing anyone to operate them. Slider windows are especially ideal over kitchen sinks and counters, since they simply slide sideways for easy use.
Patio doors that glide easily are especially important. Look for doors designed to open effortlessly over the long haul. Some features that help are rugged, heavy duty rollers that withstand everyday use and adjustability, so the door slides smoothly in hot and cold, moist and dry extremes.
Are your screens in good condition or are they letting in pests?
If you’re depending on open windows for ventilation, intact screens are necessary to keeping insects out. Today’s quality screens made from fiberglass are a highly durable and strong mesh that resists wear and tear. Companies such as Marvin also make high transparency screens that create clearer views while increasing bug protection with a finer mesh.
Patio Door screens should be top hung, also with adjustable rollers and a replaceable bottom guide so they glide smoothly and won’t slip off the track.
Although we take them for granted, windows and doors are an important, working part of the home. Finding the right features and options to make your home healthier, safe, and comfortable is easier than you think. To learn more, ask the experts at AVI today.
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