You may feel intimidated when it’s time to buy replacement windows for your home. It may be because you’ve been led to believe something that isn’t true. Here are four of the most common misconceptions about replacement windows, and the correct facts to help you buy with confidence.
Not understanding U-Value
U-Value is the amount of heat transfer that goes through the window. It’s a helpful number, but not the only measure of efficiency. The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) is also important, depending on where you live. Here’s a good guideline: if you live in a colder climate, buy replacement windows with a very low U-Value. In a warmer climate, the SHGC is more important, so look for windows with a low SHGC measurement.
Thinking you have to use vinyl
While it’s the most popular material for replacement windows (due to having a lower price), vinyl is not your only option. Wood is the best available insulator, and fiberglass is hard to scratch or dent. Often, wood or fiberglass windows can be installed in the “pocket” of your old windows without requiring renovations.
You’ll have to remodel your home
Many people are leery of buying replacement windows because they think the installer will have to tear up or pull out brick, sheet rock, stucco, or basically remodel their home in the process. This simply isn’t true. A competent window installer should be able to complete the job in about two days and not disturb the existing structure.
Assuming anyone can do it for you
This is the most common issue. Not everyone (even some contractors) can install replacement windows. Make sure whoever you hire can explain their process and provide references.
Keep all this in mind, and you’ll be able to make a better decision when selecting replacement windows and a contractor to install them.