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Window Energy Efficiency

If you live in a home--built in the 1970s or earlier--with the original windows, you may want to consider replacing your windows with today's insulated windows. In older homes, metal windows were often valued for their strength, stability, and durability. These windows also work fine in mild climates, but metal offers less insulation than wood or vinyl windows.

Most quality windows manufactured these days include two pieces of glass with a sealed air space in between that provides superior insulation between the inside of your home and the exterior elements.

Changing Your Windows

If you are considering replacing your windows to improve energy-efficiency, be sure to consider the differences between metal windows, wood windows and vinyl windows to see which material suits your home and your climate. Wood and vinyl windows are often considered to provide the best insulation for window frames today.

Ask about the availability of options for upgrading the energy-efficiency of your windows with Low-E glass and sun-control coatings for Sunbelt states. Mini-blinds and pleated shades installed between the window panes not only increase your energy efficiency but they also make for easier cleaning. If dust is a problem where you live, or you have allergy sufferers in your home, storing shades in between the window panes can be a tremendous advantage.

Check the energy-efficiency rating from the National Fenestration Rating Council on the windows you are thinking about buying to see if they meet your standards. Also be aware of any regulations in your homeowner's association that might influence your window decision.

As you move forward with your replacement window purchase, you should also ask about installation costs and find out about the product warranty. While the windows themselves are important, proper installation is equally essential to improve the energy-efficiency of your home.