Windows: Repair or Replace?

You’ve noticed a draft, or a window is damaged— Can you fix it? Should you just replace your window completely? While window repair may seem like a more cost-effective option, there are actually many reasons why window replacement is often the better choice. You might be surprised to realize just how many benefits come with replacing your windows!

Health

Was your home built before 1978? They may have toxic lead-based paint. Lead has significant health risks, especially for children who like to put paint chips in their mouths… It also causes significant health risks for pregnant women, and the elderly. If you have windows from the 70’s or before, the obvious choice is to replace.

Aesthetics

Always wanted a bay window? Or stained glass? Replacing your windows will allows you to choose the windows of your dreams! No need to repair a window that you never liked the look of anyway- New windows will raise your curb appeal, the value of your home, and your overall enjoyment!

Energy efficiency

St Clair only uses the highest energy efficient windows on the market! We’ve had customers that saw a 40% decrease in their utility bills just by replacing draft windows. The initial investment may be higher with replacing your windows, but you’ll have significant amount of savings in the long run to make your investment worth it.

 

If you’re ready to replace your windows with beautiful and energy efficient new windows, get in touch with St Clair of the Ozarks today! Give us a call today for a FREE ESTIMATE!

Energy Efficiency FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why are vinyl windows a better choice than windows made from wood or aluminum?

baydiamondgridYour choice of framing material goes a long way toward determining the longevity and energy-efficiency of the total window system. Wood windows possess excellent thermal qualities but are prone to weather deterioration and require maintenance at regular intervals. Aluminum windows are very durable, yet offer little insulating value because they conduct energy rapidly.

Vinyl windows are your best choice because they offer thermal characteristics similar to wood, are extremely durable and provide a finish that is virtually maintenance-free. Also, keep in mind that the best performing vinyl window systems have multi-chambered frames with welded corners.


2. What is the U-factor?

The U-factor, or U-value, is the measure of a window’s thermal efficiency, based on its resistance to the flow of energy. The lower the U-factor, the more thermally efficient the window. Most new window technology has been aimed at lowering U-factors through the use of three important innovations: warm-edge seals, low emissivity glass coatings and argon/krypton gases.


3. What is a warm-edge seal and why is it important?

Most modern residential window systems are made with dual-pane glass because the air space between the two panes greatly increases the window’s insulation qualities. An edge spacer is used to separate the two panes. Many window manufacturers use a metal edge spacer, but since metal conducts energy, the contact between the glass and spacer significantly lowers the window’s thermal performance around the edge of the glass.

St Clair windows use warm-edge technology instead of  a metal spacer. No glass-to-metal contact occurs, thus reducing energy transfer at the edge of the glass and lowering the U-factor. This keeps the window edge warmer during cold weather and also reduces the flow of heat into the home during hot weather. St Clair’s warm-edge sealing system also reduces condensation on the window sash.


4. What is low emissivity glass?

bowretouchLow emissivity glass, commonly referred to as Low-E, is glass that has been coated with a micro-thin metallic film to improve thermal performance. The coating reduces the transfer of heat rays through the glass while still allowing light to pass through. In essence, the coating reflects heat back toward its source. Thus, heat from the furnace stays inside the home during cold weather, and heat from the sun stays outside in hot weather, resulting in greater comfort and lower energy costs. Low-E coatings also reduce harmful ultraviolet rays that cause drapes and upholstery to fade.


5. What is argon and krypton gas and why is it used with Low-E glass?

Argon is a safe, odorless, colorless, non-toxic, non-flammable inert gas that is commonly used in place of air between the glass panes of an insulated Low-E glass unit. Argon’s heat conductivity is lower than that of air, and thus it is a better insulator and contributes to a lower U-factor. Argon is not an effective solar performer by itself; that is why it is only used in conjunction with Low-E insulated glass.

Krypton gas is a rare atmospheric gas which is odorless, colorless, tasteless, nontoxic, monatomic and chemically inert.  it is also a better insulator than even argon gas. Target Windows & Doors has done extensive testing to combine the two gases to offer our customers the optimum combination with the best value.


6. What is Condensation?

Condensation is visible evidence of excessive moisture in the air. It may appear as water, frost or ice on the interior surface of windows and doors. The warmer the air, the more water the air can hold, which means the air in the center of a room will hold more water than the air adjacent to the window or door walls, since this area is always cooler.

When the warm,  moisture laden air moves toward the cooler window or door wall, it becomes cooler and cannot hold the moisture it held when it was warm. The moisture is then dropped and appears as water on the glass and frames of windows and doors. This occurs more frequently during the winter months because of the extreme difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures. If you wish to avoid condensation during the winter months, when the average outdoor temperature drops below 35° F (2° C), it would be wise to maintain a 25% to 30% relative indoor humidity.

Ventilation is a very effective way to remove excessive moisture from the air, which is why poorly insulated homes with older, air-leaking windows and doors do not often reveal condensation problems. This is because the air and moisture filters out through the gaps in older windows, doors, vents and other openings. Newer homes, which are constructed to meet current insulation standards and energy conservation requirements, or older homes which have been newly insulated through the addition of attic and basement insulation and the installation of insulated window and doors, are now so airtight that they present a new problem.

All homes will, on occasion, have temporary condensation which can result from the following three occurrences:

  1. New Construction or Remodeling: Building materials contain a great deal of moisture. As soon as the heat is turned on, this moisture will flow out into the air and settle on windows, etc.  This will usually disappear following the first heating season.
  2. Humid Summers: During humid summers, houses absorb moisture.  This will be apparent during the first few weeks of the subsequent heating season.  Then the house should dry out.
  3. Temperature change: Sharp, quick and sudden drops in temperature, especially during the heating season, will create immediate formation of moisture but should dissipate in a short period of time.

It is not uncommon for homes which have had new insulated windows and doors installed to suddenly exhibit condensation problems. This is because the new insulated windows and doors don’t leak air like the older ones. The gaps in the original windows and doors were actually allowing air and moisture to escape the home, which reduced the humidity to the point where it wasn’t visible on the interior surfaces. The moisture problem was always present, but the older, air-leaking windows and doors prevented it from being noticed.

If you have an existing moisture or condensation problem, do not count on correcting it merely by installing new windows or doors. You must remember windows and doors do not cause condensation. Therefore, they cannot cure condensation.

Call St Clair of the Ozarks today if you need to replace your windows!

Replacement Windows for Spring

Winters in Missouri are temperamental. With snow, ice, and freezing temperatures one day and then warm sunny days the next- it can take a toll on your home. It is easy for your window seal to break with all of the settling your house is going through with the temperature fluctuation.

Did you feel any cold drafts this winter? Leaky windows are a sign that you need new windows. When you have windows that are allowing outside air into your home, you are opening your home up to bugs, moisture, and those dreaded springtime allergens. If we know anything about spring, we know it’ll bring a surplus of rain, bugs and allergies.

You also probably noticed those high utility bills this winter. Replacing your windows saves you around 30% on your utility bill. That’s right, we’ve seen savings up to 40%! Those costs will be high again when summer rolls around, so you might as well replace your windows now and they’ll help pay for themselves with the savings.

 

Spring can also be very noisy- kids are outside, all the animals are coming out of hibernation, and everyone is ready to travel. New windows can drastically cut down on outdoor noise.

Lastly, new windows will give you protection from UV rays. Certain types of windows can reduces UV rays by up to 95 percent. That means that furniture, drapes, and carpet aren’t at danger of fading from the sunlight that pours through the windows every day.

There you go- spring is the perfect time to replace your windows. Call St Clair of the Ozarks for your free consultation. We service Springfield Missouri and all of Southern Missouri!

 

 

Do you need new windows?

How do you know you need new windows? The most obvious is broken glass, but there are more warning signs than that. Here are 7 reasons that you’d need to replace your windows:
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  1. The most obvious: Broken glass.  That crack is going to cost you money on your energy bills and it is going to let moisture into the walls of your home, which can lead to rot.
  2. Fogging between the panes. If you have two panes of glass, but there is moisture or residue in between the panes, you will have the same issues as someone with broken glass.

  3. Broken frames. Often, people who have issues with their frames breaking apart will paint over the cracks. Though this will make them less drafty, it can also make them a danger. Windows that don’t open properly can trap you and your family inside your home if a fire breaks out.

  4. You can feel a draft. Sometimes you won’t be able to simply look at a window and see that you have an issue. Sometimes the only way to know that windows aren’t sealed properly is by feeling for a draft. Windows that have warped over time can have tiny gaps. If you pay a lot to create heat in your home during the winter or coolness during the summer, the last thing you need is gaps.

  5. Your energy bills are going up. When energy bills go up we are motivated to change the way we heat or cool our homes, but replacement windows are often the better way to go.

  6. Your windows are old. Windows are not made to last forever. Window technology has changed tremendously in the last decade. If you have old windows, you will see benefits from changing out that old tech with some new tech.

  7. The noise is driving you nuts. Those older, single-pane windows will also do a poor job of keeping the noise out. Newer windows with double or triple panes of glass not only keep the heat out in the summer and the cold out in the winter; they also keep the noise out all year long.

If you’re experiencing any of these issues, and you’d like to know what it would cost to have replacement windows installed in your home, drop us a line and we’ll have a specialist come to your home and give you a free, no obligation, estimate. Call St Clair today!
Source: http://www.windownation.com/blog/post/7-reasons-your-philly-home-might-need-replacement-windows

Energy Efficient Windows

Windows provide our homes with light, warmth, and ventilation, but they can also negatively impact a home’s energy efficiency. You can reduce energy costs by installing energy-efficient windows in your home. If your budget is tight, energy efficiency improvements to existing windows can also help.

IMPROVING THE ENERGY EFFICIENCY OF EXISTING WINDOWS

You can improve the energy efficiency of existing windows by adding storm windows, caulking and weatherstripping, and using window treatments or coverings.

Adding storm windows can reduce air leakage and improve comfort. Caulking andweatherstripping can reduce air leakage around windows. Use caulk for stationary cracks, gaps, or joints less than one-quarter-inch wide, and weatherstripping for building components that move, such as doors and operable windows. Window treatments or coverings can reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer. Most window treatments, however, aren’t effective at reducing air leakage or infiltration.

SELECTING NEW ENERGY-EFFICIENT WINDOWS

If your home has very old and/or inefficient windows, it might be more cost-effective to replace them than to try to improve their energy efficiency. New, energy-efficient windows eventually pay for themselves through lower heating and cooling costs, and sometimes even lighting costs.

When properly selected and installed, energy-efficient windows can help minimize your heating, cooling, and lighting costs. Improving window performance in your home involves design, selection, and installation.

DESIGN

Before selecting new windows for your home, determine what types of windows will work best and where to improve your home’s energy efficiency. It’s a good idea to understand the energy performance ratings of windows so you’ll know what energy performance ratings you need for your windows based on your climate and the home’s design.

For labeling energy-efficient windows, ENERGY STAR® has established minimum energy performance rating criteria by climate. However, these criteria don’t account for a home’s design, such as window orientation.

Windows are an important element in passive solar home design, which uses solar energy at the site to provide heating, cooling, and lighting for a house. Passive solar design strategies vary by building location and regional climate, but the basic window guidelines remain the same—select, orient, and size glass to maximize solar heat gain in winter and minimize it in summer.

In heating-dominated climates, major glazing areas should generally face south to collect solar heat during the winter when the sun is low in the sky. In the summer, when the sun is high overhead, overhangs or other shading devices prevent excessive heat gain.

To be effective, south-facing windows should have a solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of greater than 0.6 to maximize solar heat gain during the winter, a U-factor of 0.35 or less to reduce conductive heat transfer, and a high visible transmittance (VT) for good visible light transfer. See Energy Performance Ratings to learn more about these ratings.

Windows on east-, west-, and north-facing walls should be minimized while still allowing for adequate daylight. It is difficult to control heat and light through east- and west-facing windows when the sun is low in the sky, and these windows should have a low SHGC and/or be shaded. North-facing windows collect little solar heat, so they are used only for lighting. Low-emissivity (low-e) window glazing can help control solar heat gain and loss in heating climates.

In cooling climates, particularly effective strategies include preferential use of north-facing windows and generously shaded south-facing windows. Windows with low SHGCs are more effective at reducing cooling loads.

Some types of glazing help reduce solar heat gain, lowering a window’s SHGC. Low-e coatings—microscopically thin, virtually invisible metal or metallic oxide layers deposited directly on the surface of glass—control heat transfer through windows with insulated glazing. Tinted glass absorbs a large fraction of incoming solar radiation through a window, reflective coatings reduce the transmission of solar radiation, and spectrally selective coatings filter out 40% to 70% of the heat normally transmitted through insulated window glass or glazing, while allowing the full amount of light to be transmitted. Except for spectrally selective, these types of glazing also lower a window’s VT. See Window Types to learn more about glazing, coatings, tints, and other options when selecting efficient windows.

If you’re constructing a new home or doing some major remodeling, you should also take advantage of the opportunity to incorporate your window design and selection as an integral part of your whole-house design—an approach for building an energy-efficient home.

SELECTION

You’ll find that you have several options to consider when selecting what type of windows you should use in your home.

When selecting windows for energy efficiency, it’s important to first consider their energy performance ratings in relation to your climate and your home’s design. This will help narrow your selection.

Illustration showing a cross-section of a window, with parts labeled. Double-paned glass is shown to have a low-e and/or solar control coating, a gas fill between the double panes, and a spacer at the base of the window between the panes. On the interior of the house is a strip of wood at the bottom edge of the window labeled the stop, and just in front of it is a step-like shelf labeled the stool. Beneath the stool and on top of a two by four is a thin pipe labeled the backer rod. On the exterior of the house, the illustration shows the frame of the window labeled the sash, and the shelf in front of the window labeled the sill. Weatherstripping is shown to be between the sill and sash. Beneath the sash, vertical against the house, is a strip of wood called the apron or flange, and the jamb is on the end of the sill.

A window’s energy efficiency is dependent upon all of its components. Window frames conduct heat, contributing to a window’s overall energy efficiency, particularly its U-factor. Glazing or glass technologies have become very sophisticated, and designers often specify different types of glazing or glass for different windows, based on orientation, climate, building design, etc.

Another important consideration is how the windows operate, because some operating types have lower air leakage rates than others, which will improve your home’s energy efficiency. Traditional operating types include:

  • Awning. Hinged at the top and open outward. Because the sash closes by pressing against the frame, they generally have lower air leakage rates than sliding windows.
  • Casement. Hinged at the sides. Like awning windows, they generally have lower air leakage rates than sliding windows because the sash closes by pressing against the frame.
  • Fixed. Fixed panes that don’t open. When installed properly they’re airtight, but are not suitable in places where window ventilation is desired.
  • Hopper. Hinged at the bottom and open inward. Like both awning and casement, they generally have lower air leakage rates because the sash closes by pressing against the frame.
  • Single- and double-hung. Both sashes slide vertically in a double-hung window. Only the bottom sash slides upward in a single-hung window. These sliding windows generally have higher air leakage rates than projecting or hinged windows.
  • Single- and double-sliding. Both sashes slide horizontally in a double-sliding window. Only one sash slides in a single-sliding window. Like single- and double-hung windows, they generally have higher air leakage rates than projecting or hinged windows.

: Illustration of six window types. The awning window is hinged at the top and pushes outward. The hopper style is hinged at the bottom and opens inward. The sliding style has one or two windows that slide side-to-side. A fixed window does not open at all. The double-hung window shows two sashes that slide vertically over one another. The casement window is hinged at the side and opens outward.

INSTALLATION

Even the most energy-efficient window must be properly installed to ensure energy efficiency. Therefore, it’s best to have a professional install your windows.

Window installation varies depending on the type of window, the construction of the house (wood, masonry, etc.), the exterior cladding (wood siding, stucco, brick, etc.), and the type (if any) of weather-restrictive barrier.

Windows should be installed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and be properlyair sealed during installation to perform correctly. To air seal the window, caulk the frame andweatherstrip the operable components.

LEARN MORE

Blog by Energy.gov http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/energy-efficient-windows