Sunday, July 31, 2016
By Jed Williams
Window Upgrades

It’s that time of year: you need to turn up your heat a little bit to compensate for the chill outside. You might be noticing, however, that your energy bill has gone up drastically from last year. Then you remember what your inspector said when you bought your house: you’ll need new windows in the next few years. It’s been a few years. The chill outside is coming in stronger because your windows are way past their prime.

The good news is that window replacements have come a long way since your originals were probably installed. There is new technology in the seals, in the installation, and in the pains that will make your home more energy efficient and save you money on your heating and cooling bills. Before you just pick the cheapest company or the one with the catchiest jingle on TV, do your research to find out which option of window would best suit your needs. We live in an area that gets fairly cold in the winter and fairly hot in the summer. You’ll want to make sure the windows compensate for that. Changing out your windows is no small project, and will likely be a big investment. I’ve taken care of some of the research for you, but getting a few different opinions from experts would definitely be advantageous.

Of course some of your consideration will come from the appearance, ease of care, size of your home, and function of the window. If you live in a historic home, you may be limited on the types of windows the historical society will allow you to install. They may insist that you find a company that will install a wood frame or keep the existing wood frame. If you have an HOA or condo association, they may have specific companies or products that they insist you use.

You may also want to consider how easy your new windows will be to clean and care for. Many old windows only allow the bottom section to lift, leaving the top section completely stationary. Reaching up around to clean the outside of these windows is a near impossibility, and if you have a two-story home, cleaning them from the outside can be just as difficult. Today, there are sliding windows that move from side to side, allowing a much better range of motion for you. Double hung windows are perhaps the most popular type of replacement and new construction window. They slide up and down like the traditional wood-framed windows, but include a spring mechanism at the top of both the top and bottom halves that allow the window to lean into the home for easy cleaning. These windows usually also include energy efficient seals to keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter, cutting down on energy bills.

The size of your home will also determine what types of windows you invest in. For a larger home with many windows and much higher heating and cooling costs, it may be imperative to invest a little more money on more energy efficient windows with special coatings and glazings to keep future energy costs low. If you have a small home, you may not find these things to be as important.

If you don’t even know where to begin, talk to your Hagan agent. Oftentimes we make deals contingent on old windows getting replaced, so we’ve done much of the leg work already, or at least we know where to start.

Jed WilliamsJed Williams
Principle Broker and founder of Hagan Realty