Selecting a New Window for Your Remodel & Passive Homes
Mehmet Murat ildan said “enlarge your windows till you get a window where you can see the whole universe with one look”. Okay, so maybe they don’t have to be that big, but replacing your windows in your home will leave you feeling better.
That’s because windows need to be replaced in time to provide you with better security, easier cleaning and better efficiency. Newer windows also raise your home’s value. And you may not realize it, but better windows in your home will make you feel mentally and physically better because they provide better light and fewer drafts.
When replacing your windows, consider the window frames since they make a huge difference in how long the window lasts. Your frame choices include:
Metal frames don’t contain the heat as well, but they are stronger. Generally, vinyl and wood are the options of choice these days. Be sure the vinyl frames have molded seams, as those constructed with screws can loosen.
Other features to look for when shopping for new windows include:
- Cladding: Look for cladding on wood window frames, this protects the wood and prevents the need for painting
- Glazing: Double or triple glazing provides two and three panes of glass which will reduce noise and provide better insulation
- Low-E Coating: this transparent coating reflects the heat from sunlight while still providing natural light
- Tilt-in: Windows that can tilt in provide easier access for cleaning
Choosing the proper windows for your home can be a difficult decision, but the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) will be helpful in making that decision. The NFRC provides ratings based on air seal, light efficiency, air leakage, and solar penetration. However, the rating system is for new windows and does not provide ratings for the long term stability of the window.
If you want to have an energy efficient home, consider the passive house concept created by the Passivhaus Institut in Germany. It’s a construction concept that provides the utmost in home efficiency. In fact, they don’t even utilize your typical heating and cooling systems like furnaces or HVAC systems.
It utilizes construction which includes:
- Heavier insulation
- Energy efficient windows
- Central ventilation system
Passive homes also remove thermal gaps in the home, which come in the form of poor windows, cracks around doors and poor insulation. The home is then heated and cooled with the fresh air from outside, solar heat and body heat. While new homes built today provide 75 percent of energy-related savings, the passive home provides upwards of 90 percent.