3 Frugal Strategies For Window Replacement

Window replacement can be a costly but necessary upgrade for many homes. Owning a home with older windows can mean living with reduced energy efficiency, increased noise intrusion, and uncomfortable drafts. Unfortunately, the cost of replacing your home's windows can make this necessary service seem like a distant dream.

The good news is that upgrading your windows doesn't need to ruin your family's budget. Even if you're trying to save money, replacing your windows now can be more economical and cost-effective than waiting for your current windows to continue to deteriorate. These three strategies will help you make the most of your window replacement, even if you're working on a tight budget.

1. Focus on Energy Efficiency

If you've ever purchased insulation, you've probably had to decide between different R-Values. The R-Value for insulation determines the material's ability to resist thermal transfer, and higher R-Values translate to better insulation. With glass windows, the equivalent rating is the U-Factor. Unlike R-Values, a lower U-Factor means the window provides better insulation.

While better insulating windows will cost more money, they will also provide better savings over the long term. If you can afford to spend the extra money, these better-insulating windows can ultimately be cheaper. Since windows with a lower U-Factor will provide better insulation, you'll more quickly see a return on your investment through lower utility costs.

2. Consider Window Facing and Climate

Should all of the windows on your home be identical? The answer can be complicated. While you want windows with a similar appearance for aesthetic reasons, you can save money by choosing windows with different U-Factors for different sides of your home. After all, not all windows receive the same amount of sunlight, so they won't all require the same insulating properties.

Generally, a lower U-Factor is more important in colder climates, where keeping warm air in your home is critical for energy efficiency. Since north-facing windows receive the least light, a lower U-Factor is even more important in this direction to minimize heat losses. For hotter climates, the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) can be more important; a lower SHGC will resist sunlight and keep your home cooler.

3. Understand Your Options

The cheapest option when choosing new windows will usually be builder-grade replacements. Installing builder-grade windows can usually mean significant savings if you want to save money. However, these windows tend to be lower quality, offer shorter warranties, and usually have higher U-Factors and SHGCs.

While premium quality windows cost more, they can provide longer life and other benefits, arguably making them a better value over the long run. If you can't afford a more premium option, work with your installer to select a high-quality builder-grade brand. Manufacturer quality can vary substantially, so relying on an expert to help you choose can help you get the best bang for your buck. Keep these tips in mind when looking for a residential window replacement service near you.

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