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The Official Blog of Salt Lake Window Company, a Salt Lake City, Utah based provider of high quality windows manufactured by AMSCO & Cascade Windows.



How to Select the Best Windows for Your Home in Utah

How to Select the Best Windows for Your Home in Utah - Our Guide - Salt Lake Window Company


An aspect of proper home maintenance is window replacement. Just like you replace and upgrade appliances over time, your windows also need replacing to improve the livability of your residence, boost the aesthetics of your home, improve noise insulation, get access to more natural light, and allow easier cleaning. But perhaps the most crucial factor in replacing windows is the drastic reduction in energy costs. Around 45 to 61 percent of your home's heating energy can be lost through subpar windows, and approximately 79 to 86 percent of heat can be gained. It all hinges on the window you end up choosing. Then again, selecting the best window suitable for your home is not easy. There is no one-size-fits-all approach because it's dependent on a number of factors, the most important of which is the climate.

How the Weather Affects Your Windows

The area where you live is what heavily affects your decision when choosing windows. If you reside in Utah, a region that experiences four seasons, the window should have features like insulated protection, excellent solar heat resistance, and spectrally selective coatings.

Across the state, the most popular window type is the horizontal sliding window, which comes in multiple variants: single or double sliders and single-hung. These styles are user-friendly and allow for less air infiltration compared to other types. For optimum performance, they can be paired with energy-efficient glass. It's best to avoid single-pane windows because they provide little solar resistance, which can result in higher energy bills.

To aid you in choosing the best windows for your home, here is a handy guide that you can serve as a reference, categorized by the climate in your area:

 

If you live in a warm climate:

The southern part of Utah can experience weather as warm as low 100s in the summer. Your priority, then, should be cooling your home and preventing heat from coming in. Choosing double-glazed windows with a lower SHGC is recommended since they deliver good insulation, especially in homes using frequent air-conditioning.

 

If you live in a cold climate:

Central Utah experiences cooler weather with a high of 83 degrees and a low of 48 degrees on average. If you reside in this area, you should opt for windows that are triple or double-glazed and feature high SHGC coefficient and low U-factor. These types of windows maximize winter solar heat gains and minimize heat loss. You can also consider windows with high visual transmittance and low air infiltration like casement windows.

 

If you live in a mixed climate:

If you reside in an area that experiences a mixed climate, it is advised that you stick to windows with a lower U-factor, about 0.40 or less. That way, less heat is transmitted, allowing you to reduce the cost of air conditioning and improve the overall comfort in your home. But you also have to consider the direction the windows face as it affects the optimal SHGC value.

 

In conclusion

The number one factor to consider when choosing the best windows to replace your current ones is the climate. If you're due for a window replacement in Utah, get in touch with us to see how we can help.

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Choosing Vinyl Windows For Your Home

When choosing window frames for your home, you should definitely consider vinyl windows over the more traditional aluminum or wooden frames. While these older window frame options may be traditional and even a little less expensive, the advantages that vinyl frames offer are incredible. They'll definitely pay for themselves in no time through reducing your energy bill during both summer and winter. Vinyl window frames are virtually maintenance-free and offer a host of benefits, including custom-fitted windows for any shape you desire, and immunity to insect damage and peeling paint.

Vinyl Frames over Wood Frames

These frames are made from polyvinyl chloride, otherwise known as PVC, which is a virtually maintenance-free material that never requires the refinishing and repainting that wood frames requires as paint chips and peels. Wooden frames are also subject to swelling, warping, shrinking, and twisting due to changing climates. These conditions reduce energy efficiency and eventually, require replacement of the frames. Vinyl windows are immune to damage caused by changing weather conditions. They also resist insect damage, while wooden frames are prone to damage caused by insects like termites and other insects that can burrow into wood.

These frames also offer the convenience of a consistently easy-to-operate system that will never be impaired by paint build-up, frame swelling, or warping, which causes many wood frames to stick as you attempt to open them. Wooden frames come in many standard sizes, but if you're looking for custom-made window sizes, vinyl frames are your best bet. They are not only available in a wide selection of sizes, but also a wide variety of colors and styles. Finally, vinyl frames utilize fusion-welding for maximum strength and the best energy efficiency. They also prevent water and outdoor air from entering through cracks or insufficient seals.

Vinyl Frames over Aluminum Frames

Vinyl windows also offer many advantages over aluminum frames. Aluminum window frames will require repainting once the sprayed-on color begins to scratch or peel. The color of your vinyl frame is incorporated into the PVC material, so it will never scratch off or flake like paint does. Aluminum frames are also subject to denting or scratching, if they come into contact with a heavy object, while vinyl window frames are more structurally sound. While aluminum won't warp or swell in wet conditions, it may begin to corrode. During the winter, aluminum easily conducts cool air into your home causing you furnace to run more than it would if you had non-conductive vinyl frames. The same applies to the summer heat. It's easily conducted through aluminum frames causing your air conditioner to work even harder to keep you home cool.

Vinyl options offer several conveniences that aren't available with aluminum window frames. Aluminum windows tend to come in standard sizes, but not in the custom shapes offered by vinyl manufacturers. Aluminum windows can sustain abrasions or corrosion, which will make raising them harder since they begin to stick. Finally, aluminum window frames are screwed or glued together, which reduces their energy efficient quality.

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