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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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Window Replacement Salt Lake City Utah

Window replacement is a highly rewarding renovation project, due to the dramatic improvement the project brings to the function and appearance of the home, as well as the healthy return on investment.

While window replacement can be a daunting prospect, the outcome is substantial benefits in reduced energy costs, a more comfortable home environment, and the "wow factor" of the upgrade, that help make it one of the best investments you can choose from the home improvement menu. 

A value-added aspect of replacement windows is the fact that there is a thriving window manufacturing industry in the United States, including right here in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Energy Efficient Window Replacement by Salt Lake Window Company

Heat gain and heat loss through conventional windows lead to 25 to 30 percent of energy costs in the home. But technological advances have vastly improved the energy-efficiency of windows, resulting in lower heating and cooling costs. 
A window that is Energy Star-certified -- as products from AMSCO Windows and Cascade Windows are -- has met the government program's standard of contributing significant energy savings, while delivering the features and performance that consumers need. In fact, if your windows don't have an Energy Star sticker, it's an indicator that the windows should probably be replaced.

Energy efficient performance can be further heightened with certain features. For example, both AMSCO Windows and Cascade Windows
offer several options for the glass in windows, including coatings with a high energy performance rating. At AMSCO, argon gas can be added to any of the glass configurations for increased energy efficiency.

You can also choose other special features that suit your preferences, such as added protection from UV rays, or glass that's easier to clean.

Types of Windows - Composite, Vinyl, and Wood


Contemporary vinyl windows are fabricated with a high degree of craftsmanship and in a wide range of styles, allowing replacement windows to integrate visually and functionally with the architectural style of the home. When preservation of a certain aesthetic or period detail is desired, pocket windows are available that fit into the opening with minimal disturbance to the interior trim or casing -- that's the intention of the AMSCO pocket window in the Renaissance Signature Series. 

Advanced vinyl technology has created vinyl windows that are durable even in Utah's climate, remaining stable and resisting warping and discoloring from ultra-violet rays. AMSCO has developed improvements in the color process that allows rich, contemporary colors that were not available before for vinyl windows.  

Windows made from composite wood products are stable, with the same -- or better -- structural and thermal properties as conventional wood, with superior moisture and decay resistance. 

Wood has good insulating properties and is favored for its timeless aesthetic, though it's the most expensive option. One approach to lower the cost is a wood veneer finish that retains the appeal of wood windows.

Real Estate Value

While your window replacement is a substantial expense, the return on investment is reportedly quite high -- realtors estimate between more than half to up to 78 percent of the cost of the renovation is recouped when the home is sold.

The curb appeal of upgraded windows provides a significant incentive to the potential buyer when you're ready to sell. Buyers are aware of the benefits of an energy-efficient window to monthly energy costs and that creates a preference for up-to-date windows in the market. That can mean a faster sale, at a higher price.

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Buyer's Guide to Window Replacement in Utah

Is that breeze coming from an open window or an unwanted draft? When
colder temperatures approach, it's time to evaluate your windows for a
possible upgrade. The good new is, the window industry is constantly
growing and you have lots of options when it comes to Utah window
replacement. Let's take a look at the types of windows and window frames
available.

Composite Windows

Composite windows combine the durability of a timber interior with the
easy maintenance and modern look of a metal exterior (often aluminum).
Composite windows may also be covered in vinyl. In short, you'll benefit
from the reliability of a sturdy wooden frame but you never have to
stain the windows and cleaning is easier than ever. This type of window
frame can accommodate all styles of window opening, from casement to
tilt and turn.

Wood Windows

There are many clear advantages to wood windows. They insulate better
than nearly any other type of frame, have a classic look that never goes
out of style, and they can be very environmentally friendly. It's no
surprise that wood frames from companies like Pella Windows are so
popular. For homeowners in Utah, windows that last a lifetime are a
financially sound decision and show you care about quality. Your options
range from hardwoods like oak and teak to softwoods including fir and
red cedar. Some wood window frames are solid wood, and others are
reinforced by a strong metal interior.

Vinyl Windows

Is low maintenance at the top of your priority list when it comes to
window replacement? Vinyl windows never need to be stained, painted, or
refinished in any way. Your vinyl windows will never flake or peel and
they are easy to wipe down. If vinyl sounds appealing, you're not alone:
Vinyl windows from manufacturers like AMSCO and Cascade are the most
popular option on the market right now because they are so long lasting.
You can choose from a variety of finishes, so your new window frames
always blend in with your decor and can even be matched to your real
wood cabinets or flooring.

Price Comparisons

The type of windows you install may be based on your budget. Casement
and single-hung windows are affordable options that grant you proper
ventilation without sacrificing proper insulation or function. In terms
of framing, vinyl is often the most affordable option. Standard wood and
composite frames can still be cost-effective, with custom frames coming
in at the most expensive.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficient windows and frames keep your home cooler in the summer
and warmer in the winter. They cut back on your HVAC costs and can save
you a lot of money in utilities. Most modern frames are designed to be
very energy efficient, and the Energy Star rating on windows lets you
know the design has been approved for maximum efficiency. Vinyl and wood
frames have a particular reputation for being insulated. Consider adding
window film to your panes at the time of installation to make them even
more efficient.

When it's time for a Greater Utah or Salt Lake City window replacement,
choosing a frame and pane that you trust begins with choosing the right
style for your home. From there, you can narrow down the right windows
by maintenance and longevity. New windows are an important investment --
they keep your home energy efficient and feeling modern. Start planning
your window replacement today!

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