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Which Window Materials Are Best for the Humid Atlanta Weather?

May 12, 2021

Atlanta’s summers are hot, sticky, and humid, but the winters can have bursts of cold weather. Why does that matter when selecting windows? It matters, because it’s important to pick the correct type of windows to ensure that the humid Atlanta weather stays where it belongs, outside.

In addition to being more energy-efficient, new windows can help improve your home’s curb appeal. Windows can be modified to suit every homeowners’ needs.

Replacement Windows Come in Many Materials

There are many different materials available for replacement windows. Wood, aluminum, fiberglass, and vinyl are all different types of windows. Each material may be chosen for different reasons. Wood can be beautiful and provide great character to an older home; however, it is not practical in Hot Georgia. The humidity in the summer could cause major issues with wood products, particularly with sweating and swelling due to the excess moisture in the air. Wood windows are often costly, and they require maintenance regularly to stay nice. Typically, wood windows need to be stained or painted. This additional work does allow a homeowner to use more custom colors (which will be discussed later).

The extreme weather changes in Atlanta can also wreak havoc with maintaining those wood windows. Wood needs to be stained or painted to be protected from the elements. The more extreme those elements, the harder they are on the painted window frames. This means more frequent maintenance.

Don’t Want Wood? Consider Aluminum

If wood isn’t the answer, what else is available? Aluminum was popular before fiberglass and vinyl were produced. But aluminum windows do not handle hot, humid weather. That type of weather causes the aluminum to sweat. Aluminum is not very durable and can be easily dented. Sweating metal causes difficulty when opening and closing the windows with regularity. Aluminum only comes in so many finishes, limiting the color choices available to homeowners. Aluminum was once the answer but has been obliterated by the competition in fiberglass and vinyl.

Fiberglass Is A Poor Option

How about fiberglass? Fiberglass is certainly more durable than wood and aluminum; however, it is not the preferred type of window for the humid Atlanta summers. Moisture-resistant vinyl is the optimum material to use for Atlanta weather. It handles both cooler temperatures and hot, sweltering temperatures without sweating and with minimal swelling. Vinyl windows won’t rot, rust, scratch, or fade over time. Their durability is top-notch. Vinyl windows are available in a variety of color combinations.

What Kind of Glass Do You Want?

There are other considerations that a homeowner should think about regarding replacement windows. There are a variety of types of glass available for purchase. There are standard windows with regular two-pane glass. That means there are two separate sheets of glass to protect from the elements more efficiently than a single window pane would. If a homeowner is looking for true quality, they will also consider using a triple-pane window for additional protection from the humid Atlanta weather in the summer.

Many different types of windows can be installed as well:

  • Double-hung (traditional window)
  • Casement (cranks open allowing for maximum airflow)
  • Sliding (like a mini sliding door)
  • Garden window (with a large flat area for plants)
  • Bow/bay window (usually at the front of the home)
  • Awning windows (typically in basements)

Traditional double-hung windows are the most popular due to cost and aesthetics. Casement windows are more expensive to manufacture and, therefore, more costly to order for the average homeowner.

Custom windows are also an option. The sky is the limit when considering custom windows. Each homeowner should consider aesthetics and price to determine what style windows are best for their home or project.

Consider Different Glass Types

With custom windows come custom types of glass. There are different glass types to suit every need. Privacy glass is often favored for bathrooms or for areas where additional privacy is desired. Privacy glass is usually available in many different styles.

Privacy glass is more expensive than regular glass because there are different manufacturing requirements for it. Instead of paying for the more expensive privacy glass, homeowners may consider using a privacy film installed on the inside of the glass. The result is usually not as clean looking as getting privacy glass from the window manufacturer.

One last important factor to consider is the type of glass used for your window replacements. There is standard glass, and there is glass with low emissivity (low-E). Low-E glass is made to reflect thermal rays instead of absorbing them. This process keeps the hot temperatures outside where they belong in the humid summers. Low-E glass is made by adding a microscopic layer of coating to the glass. This allows the glass to be in every window pane. With a triple-pane window, there are three layers of protection.

The other option besides low-E glass is to buy a window film that is installed on the glass by the homeowner or some other hired expert. Window films are not as uniform. It is impossible to get the window film inside the different window panes, leaving your home more exposed to the elements. While window tint is the cheaper option, it allows for a significantly lower level of protection.

The low-E glass helps prevent fading to furniture, rugs, paint, carpet, curtains, etc., from the sun’s rays. Low-E glass is available in literally every window type. It also helps with the durability of the window itself.

Reduce Noise Pollution

An added bonus to replacing your windows is the reduction in street noise inside your home. Typically, with more energy-efficient windows, the noise pollution through the triple-pane windows is a lot less than when it was the original windows of the home.

With new windows can come a new sense of security. Triple-pane windows are more challenging to break through than some original single-pane windows.

There are many options to choose from when replacing your windows in Georgia. It’s important to consider all of them and decide what window is best suited for your needs. In Atlanta, in the hot, humid summers, the transparent window choice for the value is the moisture-resistant vinyl with low-E glass.

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