When you think about the important aspects of your home, you’ll likely develop a list within seconds. One important factor to the overall look and feel of our homes is our windows. If eyes are the windows to human souls, windows are the eyes to the soul of your home. Windows can set moods and open spaces when correctly selected. Without giving it a second thought, we use our windows daily. Whether it is to check the weather, see who is passing by, or just daydream, our windows play a major role in our lives. Though we don’t often think twice about our windows, there are amazing must-know facts about your windows that may make you stop and look at your windows just a bit closer.
When it comes to material options for window framing, you have a lot to consider. A shortlist of your many options includes:
- Wood provides a classic look that works in any home. It can be a great insulator against both heat and cold. It can also be costly due to necessary maintenance and its tendency to swell and contract due to weather. Wood is more susceptible to moisture, which can lead to mold and other unwanted complications.
- A popular choice for roofing, siding, and window frames is vinyl, largely because it’s one of the most affordable and low-maintenance options on the market. It’s available in a variety of colors to match your home, but the color can fade over time.
- This material is perfect for those who want something that can last for a long time without breaking the bank. Aluminum is strong, affordable, and low maintenance. The downside to aluminum is that conducts both heat and cold.
- This option combines the benefits of wood and either aluminum or vinyl. The wood material is located inside, while the aluminum or vinyl is on the outside. This increases its ability to withstand weather conditions, especially where moisture is involved. It is one of the most expensive options, so you’ll want to weigh what matters most when making your selection.
- This material is great for those who love something that provides a solid middle-ground of the variety of options. It is stronger and more durable than materials such as wood. It can also be customized to match the look of your home.
Cutting Utility Costs
Your windows play a huge role in the efficiency of your home. Windows are the top culprit for allowing warm air to escape, and cold air to enter your home. This can cause your heating system to kick in more than necessary, especially during the cold winter months. Replacing your windows comes with a list of questions to help determine if replacement is necessary. There are factors such as age since most windows have around a 20-year lifespan. There are also obvious signs such as cracks or breaks. More subtle signs can be drafts or moisture trapped between the panes of the window.
To help you save each month on utility bills, installing double-pane windows is an excellent place to start. You can find glass that has a heat-resistant coating. Airtight frames and top energy star ratings also help to ensure that you are choosing the best window options for your home. You’ll be amazed at how much money you can save, and how much cozier your home feels on cold, bitter days.
Most newer window models come with double-pane glass. This is a great option for those who want to block out drafts, but many don’t realize how great they work to reduce noise as well. Double-pane glass can help to cut out a vast majority of outside noise from coming into your home. This is especially beneficial to those who live on busy streets or in crowded neighborhoods.
Skylights have been rapidly growing in popularity over the years. They not only look good but can be good for you too. Skylights provide more than 30% more light than vertical windows of the same size. Countless research has been done to show the vast benefits of natural lighting. Natural lighting improves both the look of the space and the mood of the individuals within that space. It has been proven that natural lighting increases the productivity and overall happiness of those in that space.
Windows Impact the Feel of Your Space
Windows can shape both the interior and exterior of your home. If you have a small, cramped space, a large window that allows in natural lighting can instantly make the space feel larger and more welcoming. Therefore, large windows are often spotted in living rooms and dining areas. Windows can open a space without changing anything inside. Small accent windows in kitchens and bathrooms can have the same effect. As a rule of thumb, there is never too much natural lighting that you can allow into your home.
The Latest in Advancements
Technology has impacted all aspects of our lives, including our household. You can invest in Low-emissivity glass, aka Low-E glass. This glass contains a thin metallic coating that will keep heat inside during the cold months and get the inside of your home cool in the summer. It does this by blocking UV rays while still allowing 95% of natural light in. This option will also significantly lower your energy costs.
Another great technological advancement is the suspended particle device. This device can be used with new and existing windows. It allows homeowners to use a dimmer switch to tint their glass panes to control the amount of light coming into the home.
The Wonder of Windows
Though we don’t often give them much of a thought, our windows play a major role in the look of our home both inside and out. Take the time to stop and examine your windows and your space. Are your windows working effectively? Are they providing enough natural light? Maybe it’s time to consider an upgrade. Window materials and glass panes have advanced greatly in recent years. You’ll be amazed at what you can learn about something so simple.