Many people have unrealistic expectations when they replace their old outdated windows with new vinyl replacement windows. They think just because they had them installed, all they have to do is keep the glass clean and they'll last a lifetime. Unfortunately this is not always the case. Here are three facts that help you purchase the right windows and some ways to keep that new appearance far longer.
Factors Of Energy Efficiency
You may think you know what's involved in energy efficiency, but you may not know it all. Most people think the U-value is the single determining factor in measuring vinyl replacement window efficiency. Although it does play a role, it isn't the only factor. The U-value only measures the amount of heat that is allowed through the window. You have to include the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient or SHGC, which measures the amount of light allowed through to the equation as well. If you live in a hot climate, it's usually best to replace your windows with the lowest SHGC rating as you can to keep the most heat out. In colder climates, the opposite would hold true.
Maintenance Free Vinyl Replacement Windows Frames - Think Again
Nothing looks better then the fresh clean appearance of new windows in a home. To make that look last longer, you'll want to keep them clean. It's important that you only use a mild soap and water solution to do this. It may be tempting to use a strong solution or scouring powder, but these products will scratch and ruin the surface of the windows. This allows dirt and grime to become embedded in the micro scratches, making them appear to be dirty.
The tracks that allow the window to slide up and down need attention as well. If they become dirty, it will be difficult to operate the window as it was designed. If left unattended too long, the dirt can build up and actually wear away at the surface, leaving gaps that could allow water to leak in. The dirt attracts moisture, which can lead to mold and mildew. Use you vacuum cleaner attachment to remove any lose dirt and a soft damp cloth to thoroughly clean the track.
Avoid Installation Problems
If you don't feel confident in installing new vinyl replacement windows yourself, you can always ask your dealer to recommend someone that is experienced to do the job. Some homeowners fear the job will overwhelm them or that replacement of drywall on the inside or stucco on the outside will have to be done. This is usually not the case at all. Today, these modern replacements come with their own finishing materials so even the most amateur installer can look like an experienced master in no time. They usually just need to attach to the interior window frame. A little clean up and your new vinyl replacement windows are good to go.
When the time comes to replace windows in your home, do some basic research to know exactly what you need and how it's going to be done before making your purchase. Installation, cleaning instructions, and energy efficiency are just some of the basics you need to be aware of. Once completed, your replacement windows will look great and will continue to save you money.
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