Replacement windows can be a good solution to many different homes. They take the place of existing windows when they have become deteriorated, drafty or non-functional. New replacement windows may also greatly decrease energy loss and outside noise. Suntech offers this service in Connecticut.
A replacement window is a hybrid. They come in many different materials – wood, aluminum, vinyl and even fiberglass. In one scenario, the old window-frame is left in place. The “guts” are removed first. The new window, which is about as thick as the old frame, is put in to the hole, screwed in on four sides, insulated and caulked, and it’s done.
Replacement windows can increase resale value and energy efficiency. Several types of typical windows are listed and discussed below.
Replacement window options
Wood “drop-in” replacement windows and vinyl windows are designed to sit in place of the existing sashes and are constructed at 3 1/4″ thickness in most cases. These type windows sit in the opening where the top and bottom sash originally moved in their respective wooden “tracks” The stop between the two sashes must also be removed in this type of refurbishment or retro fit installation. It requires minimal movement of existing trims both inside and out.
Wood windows also have standard sizes that determine the installation and application. Custom-sized wood windows are also available.
The alternative is to replace the entire wood window including jambs. This requires the reworking of interior and exterior wood trim to accommodate the size of the modern wood window. Modern wood windows are available in with 4 9/16″ jambs as a standard feature but can be equipped with “jamb extensions” to extend to 5 1/4″ or 6 9/16″. This is to accommodate the wall thickness as needed.
Windows with two panes of glass – or double-glazed windows – has been the standard since the late 1970s. Modern windows can have two or more layers of glass, often referred to as insulated glass. And the Energy Code sets certain standards for performance of products installed in homes which now requires Low-E Glass in all residential homes.
Low-E is a film that is several layers of metal poured microscopically thin over the surface of newly poured glass. This heat reflective film is transparent but can be darker or lighter depending on the type and manufacturer. Darker glass with heavier Low-E will have less Visible Light Transmission. Low-E glass is up to four times more efficient than clear glass.
Other options include triple-glazing (a third pane of glass), higher quality spacers between the panes, which reduce the failure rate and conduction that allows seal failure. This creates “fogging” or condensation to form between the panes. Modern windows also have optional gases between the panes that have higher insulative qualities than air, such as argon or krypton gases.
“Double-hung” windows are the most common traditional window. They have an upper sash and a lower sash, both of which slide up and down in the window opening. “Single-hung” windows operate the same as “double-hung” windows, but their upper sash is fixed in place. By virtue of being stationary and permanently secured, single-hungs are often more energy efficient than double-hung windows depending on the type and style.
Most windows (Single and Double Hungs) now feature “tilt-in” sashes for cleaning of the exterior surfaces. The industry moved towards this approach for service and replacement reasons as well as accessibility to the exterior from the inside of the home.
Casement windows are hinged on one side and are typically operated using an interior hand crank. Awning and Basement windows hinge on top and bottom respectively.
Sliding windows, or “sliders”, are sometimes used in openings that are wider than they are tall.
Non-operable or “fixed” windows also called “Picture Windows” are common in larger openings.
Benefits of installing replacement windows
In 2009, the United States Federal Government passed a stimulus package allowing a 30% tax credit, with a $1500 cap, on purchases up to $5000 for qualifying energy saving products purchased in 2009 and 2010. This includes insulation, radiant barrier, air conditioning upgrades and most energy-efficient replacement windows and doors. Actual requirements can be found at www.energystar.gov.
Suntech is proud to carry quality products from the following brands and suppliers: