Do you have aluminum frame and/or single pane windows? Or perhaps a window that transmits too much sound? Now is a good time to remodel and upgrade, especially if you are eligible for energy efficiency tax credits. If you haven’t taken advantage of personal tax credits given to homeowners who improve the efficiency of their home, or applied for more than $500 in previous years, you may want to take advantage of this incentive that expires December 31, 2011. You can qualify for credit for 10% of the cost, up to $200 towards the cost of an Energy Star qualified window, and also reap the utility savings. It doesn’t even need to be used for a replacement, you can install a new Energy Star window, including windows for a new addition, or use it for an Energy Star rated skylight. You can read the specifics here.
A popular trend is building, buying, or remodeling smaller homes in anticipation of rising utility costs. To make it seem more open and spacious, designers use larger windows and install window wall systems to bring the natural light and extend views to the outdoors. Windows and doors are the weakest components of a building’s envelope. Energy loss through windows accounts for 30% of heating and cooling usage, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Double hung windows and sliders tend to leak more than other designs. Although there are many inexpensive windows on the market, choosing higher quality will be investing in more durable, longer lasting windows that provide better results and value. Cook Remodeling and Custom Construction typically recommends vinyl window frames (no need to ever paint) or fiberglass window frames (either prefinished or can custom paint), that are dual pane with low-e coating and a U-value of .30 or less.
When replacing windows, consider if you want any to be specified for noise control. If you have a bedroom facing a busy street, or a noisy neighbor, or are near an airpark, e.g. Scottsdale airport or a retail center in Scottsdale, you will be surprised what a difference an acoustic casement window can make.
You can also learn more via Understand Solar.
Don’t wait until its too late!
Happy Home Remodeling!