A: The best way to do it is—have a professional consultant come out and look at your house. You can sit down with them and together y’all can design a window that meets your needs, wants, as well as budget. There are a lot of options out there and depending on your options—it’s going to determine the price of the window.
Houston replacement windows have come a long way from when the only concern was finding the right coating for the glass. Today’s advanced window technology means windows are much more energy-efficient than ever before. Consumers and the economy have driven the market to these new advancements that cut down on energy costs.
Whether you need windows for a new build home or are looking to replace old ones, the choices are abundant. Houston replacement windows come with all kinds of options and to be honest, they can get quite confusing. The key to making this buying experience a pleasant one instead of a stressful one is simple— be educated. You need to know which options are going to offer you the most value to dollar without blowing your budget. However, unless you install or sell windows, it’s likely that the multitudes of options will overwhelm you.
Quick Guide To Houston Replacement Windows
We like to inform consumers whether they buy windows from us or not. Our reasoning is that we’d rather have informed consumers to make smart decisions. If they get deceived by a shady window company—it makes it harder on the entire industry we depend on. However, we know that with the value and credibility of the information we offer, we’re also likely to get your business.
That’s how we do things here at Superior, we’re transparent with our intentions and don’t talk down to you. We explain our industry and technology in terms that any average person can understand. With that being said, we have compiled a quick buyer’s guide to Houston replacement windows.
Window Shopping Can Be A Pane In The Glass
Yeah, we excel at windows, not good jokes—but this bit of advice is no laughing matter. You need to understand the importance of the window pane(s).
While the material each window is constructed from is indeed a major factor to consider—let’s talk glass first. The reality is that you can have the most expensive window frames made from space-age thermo-insulated material. However, if the glass is single-pane and thin—that window will be the worst window ever, period. Surely, you’ve heard a lot of buzzwords when shopping Houston replacement windows companies. Things like “double-pane,” “gas-filled,” or “low-E,” are all referencing the glass used within the frame, but what do they mean?
Energy Efficiency Buzzwords Crash Course
All of the terms you hear when shopping for windows are normally related to one of two things—energy efficiency or functionality & style. Let’s run through a quick crash course on the two energy efficiency buzzwords since it’s the most confusing to consumers.
Double/Triple Pane: This essentially means, rather than one sheet of glass in the window, there are two or three panes. In between those panes, is a sealed space that is filled with air or gas that insulates the window. Argon gas is the standard in most quality windows and it can really help lower heating and cooling costs. The more quality panes of glass, the better the insulation is the rule of thumb.
Low-E Coating: This transparent coating improves efficiency by reflecting UV rays which cause heat, while still letting light in. It is applied to the outside of the glass for Houston replacement windows due to our warm climate. In colder climates such as Maine, the coating is on the inside to keep heat inside the home.
These efficient windows will also be given a rating based on performance against the sun. A U-Value or U-factor measures how effective a window is at retaining the heat inside the home. The lower the number, the better the window is.
Solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) is the amount of solar radiation that flows through a window and released as heat into your home. The lower the number the better the window is in summer conditions. The higher the number is, the better is it in winter. Naturally, for Houston homes, you want the lower SHGE due to our very mild winters but scorching summers.
What Does This All Mean For Houston Replacement Windows?
What this means to you, is that you want at least a double-pane low-E glass window sealed with Argon. That is going to make a difference in your heating and cooling costs which will be most evident in summer.
What are you getting though with a window with those features above? You are getting a window that protects the inside of your house from UV rays which can fade interiors. Additionally, you’re getting a much better-insulated window that what comes with a new home. These double-paned windows perform year-round in saving you money on utilities.
Before you shop, you can get a better idea of just how much impact these features will make in your home. Just complete a home energy audit with the information provided by the US Department of Energy. This energy audit will help you spot the weak points in your home that are leaking energy.
It’s very important to get this information before choosing replacement windows because you want your investment to improve things. It makes no sense, for example, to add radiant barrier to your attic, if it’s the windows leaking the most energy. The smarter investment would be replacing the windows with energy-efficient models and then re-assess.
Choosing The Right Frame For Your Home
Most people in the window industry will tell you flat out— wood window frames are better than aluminum. That is because aluminum is more prone to heat and cold transfer than wood. However, that doesn’t mean wood is always the superior option for your Houston home. Window frames are available in several common materials.
- Vinyl:Vinyl is not only less expensive than wood but also offers sufficient energy efficiency. This might make a huge difference for someone with a limited budget. Wood window frames are considerably more expensive and require a lot more maintenance.
- Wood:Wood windows do offer the best insulative value but as mentioned, need quite a bit of maintenance. Living in Houston and the humid climate we have, however, doesn’t bode well for wood frames. They are susceptible to warping and rot due to our climate and also termites. How long a wood window will last in Houston really depends on the quality of construction. Also, the type of wood chosen and any sealants used will make an impact on lifespan.
- Aluminum:While not the ideal choice to reduce heat and cold transfer, aluminum windows are practical in this climate. Just keep in mind that their strength is a selling point with our severe storms but the efficiency is lacking.
Choosing The Right Houston Replacement Windows Company
Choosing the most efficient glass, the best frame the proper window design is useless without a quality provider. At Superior, our window consultants walk you through the entire purchase process from energy audit to installation and follow up. We want to make sure your home has windows that will enhance its value and efficiency.
We manufacture the windows we sell right here in Texas and we stand behind our products and our installations. Whether you need five windows or 25 windows, we are here waiting to help you get the right windows custom manufactured for you.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and to determine the right replacement windows for your home. We will have someone come out and personally explore your options in easy to understand terms.