f you are researching windows to install in your home and come across one called a bow window, don’t worry. It’s not a typo. Bay windows and bow windows are very similar, but not identical. If you are unsure which one best suits your space, learn more about what each has to offer.
</p><p><strong>Bay </strong></p><p>A bay window isGenoa a three-paneled window that juts from your home, and typically features a window seat or storage bench below it, on the inside of the house. It is an attempt to bring the outside indoors. By creating the illusion that while in your living room, you’re simultaneously in your yard, the bay window creates a unique space in your room and eye appeal.</p><p><strong>Bow </strong></p><p>Bow windows are typically larger than bay windows, but serve a very similar purpose. Usually, bow windows have five panels, which cause them to curve like a bow instead of appearing more rigid like a bay window. The size makes them a prominent feature in your room, so it’s important that you have the wall space to incorporate them, and that you are comfortable with the light and exposure they allow.</p><p><strong>Customizing </strong></p><p>Once you have decided between bay and bow windows, the fun begins! You can customize with finishes such as:</p><p></p><ul> <li>Wood color</li> <li>Glass type</li> <li>Hardware</li> <li>Grilles</li> <li>Screens</li></ul><p>These choices will dramatically change the look of the window, so before you commit, envision the window with all of your selections. Have a good sense for the finished product before you head home. Otherwise, you may have an unpleasant surprise when the window arrives for installation. Once the window is in, you also have the opportunity to create a new internal space.
An Introduction to Windows
If you are reading this article, chances are you've made the decision to have your windows replaced, or you are at least considering it. Good decision! Your home will look great and feel comfortable with your new windows installed, and you'll even save money on your energy bills if you've chosen to replace your old windows with energy efficient models. Here are some tips to make sure the installation process goes smoothly.
-Clear the windows. Take down all curtains, blinds, and any other window treatments, and check your yard for any plants or bushes that may need to be trimmed away from the windows. The replacement crew will need about two feet of space in front of each window, so go ahead and prepare this area for them. This will reduce the amount of time it takes the workers to install your windows, which will also save you money if you are being charged by the hour.
-Cover up. A good replacement window company will clean up a worksite after the installation, but it doesn't hurt to take some precautions just in case. After all, old window sashes are often very dirty. Cover up your furniture, and ask the workers to bring a tarp or drop cloth to protect the floor.
If you have done your homework and chosen a good replacement window company, these tips should help the installation go off without a hitch. Enjoy your new windows!
Repairing Windows Vs Replacing Windows - Deciding the Best Option is Not Always EasyWhy Choose Vinyl Windows?The biggest advantage with vinyl windows is that they are maintenance free. Make sure the vinyl window products you choose are 100% virgin vinyl, which means it will never pit, crack, peel, fade or require painting. Vinyl is a natural insulator which adds to the energy efficiency of the windows. Vinyl will not swell, rot or be susceptible to insect damage. Vinyl windows are a maintenance-free addition to the home.How does Low/E Work?Solarban 60 Coated Low-E Glass allows natural light to enter freely. In winter, indoor long-wave heat energy is reflected back into the house, lowering heating costs. In summer, outdoor long-wave heat energy , radiating from objects, is reflected back outside, lowering cooling costs.What is an Energy Star Window?The ENERGY STAR label for residential windows simplifies your purchasing decisions. You can be confident that ENERGY STAR-labeled windows, doors and skylights exceed the minimum energy efficiency criteria for the climate region in which you live - sometimes by as much as 40 percent! This means that ENERGY STAR window products will reduce your home energy costs compared to other products.Look for the label on the window that identifies it as a qualified ENERGY STAR product, and tells you in which regions it qualifies. Windows can qualify in some or all of the northern, central, and southern climate regions. Additionally, all ENERGY STAR qualifying windows, doors and skylights will carry another label which indicates that it has been certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). These independent ratings provide the basis for ENERGY STAR´s window performance requirements.ENERGY STAR performance requirements are tailored to fit the energy needs of the country´s different climate regions - northern, southern and central states. Additionally, recent technological advancements -- new materials, coatings, design and construction features -- make it possible to choose window products that allow you to balance your winter heating and summer cooling needs without sacrificing versatility or style. Look at the Climate Region Map on the ENERGY STAR label to be sure that the window, door or skylight you have selected is appropriate for use where you live.About Climate ZonesThe ENERGY STAR label identifies efficient windows appropriate for the following three broad climate areas.Buying a Window for the Northern ClimateENERGY STAR windows in the northern region must include features to reduce heat loss (windows with a lower U-factor have lower heat loss). The most common way to do this is with a low-e coating, which is a microscopically thin metal coating that is applied to the glass by the manufacturer.All low-e coated glass products reduce heat loss compared to clear glass products without a low-e coating. Look for a low U-factor on the product´s NFRC label to be sure. Some low-e products also reduce solar heat gains. The percentage of solar heat that is admitted through a window is shown by the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) rating. The lower the SHGC rating, the less solar heat the window transmits into your home. If you live in a house that is designed to take advantage of the free solar heating, or you have minimal concern about summer cooling you should look for windows with somewhat higher SHGC ratings.ENERGY STAR qualifying windows in the northern climate region must have a U-factor rating of 0.35 or below. Skylights must have a U-factor rating of 0.45 or below.Buying a Window for the Central ClimateENERGY STAR labeled windows in the central region must include features to reduce both heat loss and solar heat gain. The most common way to do this is with a low-e coating. All low-e coated glass products reduce heat loss compared to clear glass products without a low-e coating. Some low-e products also reduce solar heat gains more than others. The percentage of the solar heat that is admitted through a window is shown by the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) rating. All ENERGY STAR qualifying windows for the central states must have a U-factor rating of 0.40 or below and a SHGC rating of 0.55 or below.If you live in a home that is designed to take advantage of the free solar heating, or you have minimal concern about summer cooling costs, you can look for windows with somewhat higher SHGC ratings on the NFRC label. If you are concerned about both heating and cooling costs, you may want to look for windows with lower SHGC ratings.Buying a Window for the Southern ClimateENERGY STAR labeled windows in the southern region must include features to reduce the solar heat gain. Two of the most common ways to do this are through tinted glass and low-e coatings. These features limit the amount of solar energy entering your home and reduces the amount of air conditioning needed to keep you comfortable.All windows, doors and skylights qualifying for the ENERGY STAR label in the southern region must have a U-factor rating of 0.75 or below and a SHGC (solar heat gain coefficient) rating of 0.40 or below.
Window Treatments for Bay WindowsWith the price of heating and cooling rising almost daily I started looking at my old windows and wondering if it wouldn't be worth it to replace them with newer, more energy efficient ones. I had read about Energy Star® Ratings and how they are (supposedly) indicative of the most energy efficient appliances and building materials available.I started to do a little internet research to see if it would be a good investment to install more efficient windows in our townhouse. I wanted to find out if they could really pay for themselves and how long the payback period would take.After a little searching I found a simple calculation that will yield your payback period for installing new energy efficient windows.According to Energy Star, "An average household spends over 40 percent of its annual energy budget on heating and cooling costs. You could reduce those bills by up to 15 percent with ENERGY STAR® windows."We can break that claim down into a simple formula:(Your average monthly energy bill (if you have gas and electric just add them together) X.4 ) X.15 = projected savings per month. Divide this number into the cost of upgrading your windows and you have how many months it would take to recoup your investment.To make a long story short, projected savings are 6% of your monthly energy bill.For our house the calculation looks something like this:Average month's electric bill: $141.20* Times 6% X.06 = Avg energy savings per month $8.472Cost to replace 6 windows with Energy Star windows: Approx $330 (at the low end) per window X 6 windows = $1980 (if you have special tax rebates available in your area subtract those from your total).Next I figured out the projected payback period:$1980 / $8.472 = 233 months or 19.5 years (Update: since I wrote this article the Energy tax credit has been phased back in, so you would subtract the $1500 credit available (0r 30% of the cost of the windows not including instalation costs and take whichever is smaller) before dividing by monthly usage ratio. In the example you would take 1980-1500 = 480 and divide by 8.472 = 56.66 months until payback).Based on my math the investment without the tax credit hardly seemed practical. I calculated this based on costs which include installing the windows myself. Now including the tax credit in our calculation the payback period is 4.72 years, making it a very worthwhile investment, to get that return on an investment I'd have to get a 50% return on your money....pretty good huh?)You can take this same calculation to decide between replacing your windows with cheaper ones or going for the added expense of putting Energy Star rated windows in, just subtract the cost of the cheaper windows from the cost of the Energy Star windows and see the projected payout period differential.While the additional expense doesn't seem worth it for my project, perhaps with better tax rebates available in your area, and/or a higher energy bill it may be worthwhile for you. Just remember before making any major purchase, first DO THE MATH!*Note: I already knew my average monthly bill, but you can get a fairly accurate estimate of the average for your home by calling your local utility and asking them about their monthly budget plan. The budget plan amount for your house and family will be a fairly accurate estimate of your monthly energy bill customized to your home size, number of occupants, and your geographic area.