As the leaves start to fall and the temperatures cool off, you might be noticing some drafts in your home. Those poorly sealed windows and doors bring with them higher heating bills so it’s time to think about replacement windows and doors.
At Wakefield Equipment, we work with window manufacturers of all shapes and sizes. We want to help consumers make informed decisions when it comes to replacing those drafty windows and doors, so we’ve put together this list to help you avoid these big window and door replacement mistakes.
Don’t Be Fooled By Brand Names
Off the top of your head, you can probable name 3 or 4 window manufacturers. While they make a great product, there are literally thousands of smaller window and door manufacturers that are producing the same quality—if not higher—than those brand names.
Tip: Look for the Energy Star seal. Every window and door manufacturer who is considered an Energy Star partner must meet an exhaustive list of requirements. According to the Energy Star program, “Prior to associating the ENERGY STAR name or mark with any product, obtain certification from National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), a Certification Body recognized by EPA for residential windows, doors, and skylights. As part of this certification process, products must be tested in a laboratory recognized by EPA to perform residential windows, doors, and skylight testing.”
Translation: Before they can even carry the Energy Star logo, they have to be rigorously tested in a lab and certified by the NFRC.
Don’t Choose a Replacement Window Based on Price Alone
Consumer Reports studied some of the major brands and had some surprising findings. Some of the most expensive windows weren’t as good at keeping out cold air as the cheapest. Others were good at keeping out cold air, but only marginal at keeping out rain. Don’t assume the most expensive is going to be the best window! Do your research!
It’s also important to understand the size, style and type of window you’ll need as well as be able to anticipate what type of elements each window and door might face. For example, if you have a window that gets the afternoon sun and you live in a warm climate, make sure the label listed with solar gain coefficient is as low as possible. If you live in a cold area, then you’ll want that number to be as high as possible so it traps heat in. The lower the number, the better the window is at blocking unwanted heat from the sun.
Don’t Replace Windows If Your Only Goal is To Save On Energy Bills
There’s a common misconception that if you replace all of your windows with energy efficient windows, you’ll save money. While Energy-Star qualified windows can lower your energy bills, it could take decades to recoup your investment costs!
Replacing windows and doors has lots of other benefits though, like making your home more attractive, easier to clean and quieter.
Look At The Warranties
Even the top-rated window can sometimes fail, so it’s important to understand the warranty policy. A quality warranty will pay for a defective window and the labor to remove it and put in a new one.
Replacing windows and doors in your home is typically a once or twice in a lifetime investment, so make sure to take your time and research your options before you commit!