Taking the Pane Out Of Selecting The Right Window For Your Home
Window replacement can seem like a daunting task. For many homeowners, this is not a process they have had to face if their home was updated or a newer construction prior to moving in. If you have ever set foot in a big box home improvement store window section, it is likely you left with a headache and an overwhelming feeling of “what do I really need?”
To help you navigate the sea of choices, Windows by Erie offers this guide to the anatomy of a window to offer you a breakdown of the popular styles, as well as highlighting the differences and benefits of single, double, and triple pane windows to help you make an informed decision when selecting window options for your home.
We first need to identify the priorities you have for your windows functionality and current pain points. Once we know more about how you want your windows to perform, we can look more at stylistic elements and special glass considerations.
While you might be thinking, “I just want it to keep my house secure from the outside elements”, there are more functional purposes you may be overlooking.
This is often an under-considered perk of replacing your windows. From motorcycles, inconsiderate neighbors, or neighborhood pets, the cadence of your home’s location may be noisier than you prefer. Replacement windows can be a great asset to keeping that noise out of your home, and more importantly out of your sleep cycle.
Windows can be a great way of lighting your life. The natural light from your windows can brighten up your home allowing you to connect with the outdoors, without necessarily letting the outdoors in.
- Energy Savings:
Quite possibly the highest priority on most homeowner’s lists, replacement windows can save you a lot of money over time. The light let in from new windows can not only reduce your electricity consumption, it can also help reduce your heating and cooling costs. Additionally, there are tax credits in place for those who have the Energy Star seal of approval that can offset the initial investment costs of your replacement windows.
Replacement Windows Don’t Have To Be A Pane:
Now that we know more about functionality, we can learn more about window panes. Most simply explained:
Single Pane Windows: are just as it sounds, with one pane of glass.
Double Pane Windows: offer two panes of glass that are separated by a layer of gas.
Triple Pane Windows: offer three panels of glass, with all three separated by a layer of gas.
So, out of these options, which are the best options for your home? If you identified cost savings and a reduction in energy usage as one of your priorities, single pane windows are not for you. They are not very durable and offer almost no insulation.
Triple pane windows are a great consideration for urban living, or in noisier neighborhoods, as they are largely the best for sound reduction. They offer similar insulation to that of a double pane window.
We most typically recommend double pane windows as they offer a substantial amount of cost efficiency while also costing less than their triple pane counterparts.
A Sea Of Styles:
Having taken the baby steps through the boring areas like functionality and window panes, we can look at the fun part of window shopping: the stylistic elements. Here are the top 5 most commonly chosen window types for homes today.
Double or Single Hung Windows:
Double hung and single hung windows are two of the most common replacement window options that you see in any home. There is one major difference between single hung and double hung windows and that is with how the different window sections move.
With single hung windows, the bottom window panel or lower sash moves up and down and the upper sash remains stationary. This means that when you open the window the upper sash is covered on the inside. With a double hung window, both upper and lower sash can be lowered and raised. Each one can be tilted as well.
Bay or Bow Windows:
Bay or Bow windows offer a nice visual architectural accent to a home. Bay windows are usually a better fit for modern homes and bow windows better for older Victorian style homes. Bay windows rely on flat windows set into an angled frame that’s built out of the house. A professional can construct a custom bay window using standard double or single hung windows in a row. Bow windows, on the other hand, rely on custom curved windows that come together to create a circular outcropping in the home.
Both bay and bow windows are nice accents on a home, but it’s important to consider the cost of the window before making a decision. Consider that bay windows are much more affordable than bow windows. Bow windows are generally 2.5 times the price of a similar sized bay window in most instances.
Bay windows also provide more shelf space within the home than bow windows do and many people even create a window seat with their bay windows. In the end, it ultimately comes down to personal style preference and budget.
Hinged or Casement Windows:
Casement windows and awning windows are both built with a hinge in their construction. Instead of sliding open like double or single hung windows, they swing out to the side or up to open. This allows the window to be constructed of solid glass and offers a less obstructed view overall.
Hinged windows are known for being excellent insulators because they do not have the separate pieces and breaks between the pieces that other options have. This helps them keep your home warmer and also keep the weather out more effectively.
Casement windows are known for being particularly effective at ventilating a space, and awning windows are ideal for climates with a lot of rain thanks to the way the window creates a water-resistant awning when opened up
There’s just something enjoyable about looking out a nice big picture window to a great view beyond. Whether you have a lush green backyard that you want to admire, a mountain range or a city skyline, the best way to do it is with a picture window. Picture windows are typically larger windows that don’t have any breaks and provide unobstructed views.
They are known as picture windows because they seemingly turn the outdoors into pictures for you to admire. These windows don’t normally open up and aren’t good for ventilation or for emergency escape. They are, however, one of the best options available for simply admiring nature and letting more light into your home.
When you have a space that you want to fill and standard-sized windows aren’t meeting your needs, you can go with a custom window instead. Custom windows are crafted from dimensions that you, or a professional, measure in your home. These dimensions could be from an existing frame in your home or from an older custom window that you want to replace, or they could be for a new section that you want to fill with a window. Custom windows can be as large as you want them to be, and they offer you the freedom to pick and choose exactly how your home looks. Angled windows or rounded windows offer a more unique, architectural look than standard, square or rectangular windows offer.
Understanding that not all windows are made equally, Windows by Erie knows that a window is more than just the glass. For true energy efficiency, it takes the right blend of glass, frame, and installation. We are here to help you make your visualization into a reality, no matter your style selections or budget.