These days, everyone wants to improve energy efficiency. It is both an environmental and an economic matter. Whether you are a business owner or a homeowner, there are plenty of things you can do to improve efficiency and drive down your electric and gas bills. One of the easiest ways to do this is to make sure your windows are contributing to your insulation, rather than getting in the way of it.
First of all, you need to ensure that your windows are not too old to provide adequate insulation. After a certain amount of time, most windows become so worn that they are no longer serving to insulate your home, allowing lots of warm air to escape every winter. If your windows have reached this point, it is time to replace them, since resealing them does not make much of a difference in the long-term. Fortunately, replacing windows is a fairly easy process, and it is also not terribly costly. That being said, if it is time to replace your windows, do so fully informed. There are various kinds of replacement windows, and some are much better at improving energy efficiency than others. Obviously, avoid materials that are poor insulators and seek out those that insulate well.
Wooden replacement windows are fairly good insulators, but they do have their downsides. Chief among these disadvantages is the fact that wooden window frames are a lot more susceptible to water damage than any other material. So, even though they help insulate, they require a lot of upkeep, in order to keep them water resistant.
Vinyl windows are much better, in terms of holding up against water. Plus, they have a bunch of other practical benefits. They are affordable, for one thing. They are very easy to install. In fact, they are so easy to install that many homeowners handle the installation themselves, which saves even more money. So, if you are looking for the most cost-effective and practical replacement windows, vinyl windows are a good choice.
Aluminum windows are cost-effective and durable, but they do not make good insulators, so they will not have a positive effect on your energy efficiency. They are, however, easy to install.
Fiberglass windows are definitely the best, in terms of sheer insulation. Fiberglass is actually what comprises the insulation in most homes, so utilizing it in window frames makes sense. If you do decide to invest in fiberglass replacement windows, you do need to hire a professional to install them. They tend to be more difficult to install than other types of replacement windows. This, of course, makes them more costly. On top of that, fiberglass as a material costs more than vinyl or aluminum, so you are going to be spending a bit more than you would on other replacement windows. That being said, the savings you will see, in regards to your heating and cooling bills, will make a big difference. Plus, fiberglass windows are even advantageous if you decide to sell your home, as they can add to its value.