Choosing the right type and style of windows is one of the most important decisions you will have to make when remodeling your home. You need to consider light, the view from a room, and the appearance from outside as well as from inside.
Before choosing windows, you need to consider three things: the position of the room you are remodeling with respect to the sun, the size of windows that will best serve your needs, and the type of window frames you want.
Window Location and Size
Windows not only provide you with a view, but they can also do a great deal to help you keep your electric and heating costs low. Rooms in your home with south-facing windows require less energy to heat, particularly if the windows are large and the frames are made of a material that insulates well.
Generally speaking, the larger a south-facing window, the more it will do to heat a home. However, choosing the right window frames also plays a large role in how efficiently south-facing rooms keep a house warm in the winter.
Window Frame Types
There are four types of window frames you can choose from: wood, vinyl, aluminum, and wood-clad.
With respect to preventing heat from escaping in the winter and conditioned air from escaping in the summer, wood frames function better than vinyl, aluminum, and wood-clad frames. But, as Alyson McNutt English of HGTV.com points out in an article titled “Choosing Energy Efficient Windows for Your Home,” wood frames require a great deal more upkeep than window frames made of other materials.
So, while wood is the best insulator, without proper maintenance, wood-frame windows lose their insulating capability sooner than the other three types of windows.
The least expensive of the four types, vinyl frames don’t require the same amount of upkeep as wood or wood-clad windows. However, vinyl frames are not as solid as aluminum frames, so they are not recommended for Kansas home remodeling projects, because of the tornado factor.
For a Wichita home remodeling project, aluminum frames are a very good choice. While aluminum frames do not insulate as well as wood, they are considerably stronger and a good choice for window replacements.
With a vinyl or aluminum exterior and a wood interior, wood-clad frames are both low maintenance and solid insulators. However, for a basement remodeling project, as well as for a bathroom remodeling project, aluminum or vinyl frames may be better. This is because the wood inside wood-clad frames has a tendency to rot in humid conditions.
Factoring in Air Conditioning Expenses During the Summer
While it is tempting to have a number of large, south-facing windows, just as these windows heat a house in the winter, they will do the same in the summer. It is important to consider how you will keep a room cool if it has a large number of windows facing south. While curtains are the traditional means, blinds with a reflective back side can work wonders towards keeping a south-facing room cool in the summer.
For more insight on home remodeling, Wichita-based Southwestern Remodeling contractors are experts in their field and can help you convert your house into the perfect environment for your family.