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"How do I know if my existing windows should be replaced?"
Windows can last many years, but performance will slowly decline over time. While it is possible to repair many common window problems, signs that it may be time to replace your windows include persistent issues with window operation, drafty rooms, increased utility costs, and condensation in or around the window. Also, many homeowners replace older windows with newer models that offer a modern design or include increased energy efficiency.
"What are the main window styles available today?"
The main types of window styles include: double-hung windows: two sashes of the window normally slide vertically in the frame, casement windows: hinged windows that open outward with screens on the inside, awning windows: operated by a crank, windows are hinged at the top and open outward, picture windows: large, stationary windows that often occupy most or all the wall, bay windows: a combination of windows with a stationary window in the middle.
Other less common types of windows include transom windows, slider windows, and stationary windows.
"What are the most common window materials available today?"
The most common types of window materials are: metal: frames made from aluminum, bronze, or steel, wood: frames made from hardwoods (oak, beech, mahogany) or softwoods (fir, cedar, pine), vinyl: frames made from the material polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
"Can replacement window glass save on energy bills?"
Several types of replacement window glass can improve energy efficiency. Especially if your current windows are old, this could save you money on energy bills. When shopping for new window glass, look at the U-value which measures how effective the windows are at retaining heat. U-value ratings usually range from 0.20 to 1.20 and the lower the number, the better the window is at keeping heat in.
Also consider low-emissivity glass which includes a transparent coating that can be added to window glass to improve energy efficiency.
"What should I do if I see water at the base of a window?"
There are several reasons why a window might be leaking water including siding or caulk issues. If your window leaks, you can call an expert window professional or attempt a DIY repair.
For DIY’ers if you see any visible cracks in the window frame, fill them with silicone caulk on the exterior of the window. Reseal the windows where the glass meets the frame with rubber strips or window glaze for wood-framed windows.