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 isHoratio 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.
Bay Windows - Provide More Space to Your Interiors
Winter can be a beautiful season, but its pleasures are often best enjoyed from the warm interior of our homes. That's where beautiful bow windows come in. You can sit by the window, comfy and warm on cushions, hot cocoa in hand, all the while watching snowflakes fall or the cardinals and chickadees at the birdfeeder. So, if you have a room that seems to need "something" and you have been planning a renovation that involves replacement windows, consider some of the many benefits of installing a room expanding bow window.
Bow windows are perfect for living rooms, kitchens, sitting rooms, dining rooms, or even master bedrooms. Consisting of a series of four, five, or six identical windows, the bow window gently curves out from a wall, creating a kind of panoramic effect on the view outdoors while offering convenient and gracefully curved seating or floor space indoors. The addition of a bow window actually extends room size, but it also appears to bring the outdoors in without the expense of a sunroom. Your room will be awash with natural light.
You may ask why that matters. If a window frame reacts to changes in temperature differently than the wall where it is attached, then small gaps are created that increase over time and allow drafts in. Wood and vinyl composite window frames respond to changes in temperature very similar to the way your house does; they expand and contract together as the weather changes. That means no gaps or cracks will appear, so your windows stay airtight and foggy windows will be a thing of the past.
So let the cold winds blow! Between today's composite window frames and Low-E glass technology, your house will stay comfortable all winter long, and you can significantly cut your energy bills while you're enjoying the view.
As an added bonus, today's composites offer the real look of wood, both inside and out, so the exterior of your home will also benefit from the addition of a beautiful bow window. Now, all you have to do to make the picture complete is get your landscape in order!
Double Hung WindowsVinyl windows are very easy to clean and they are also a great way to get replacement windows without the high cost that usually comes with windows. There is quite a bit of significance when it comes to vinyl windows. It allows you to update your home rather fast and at a lower cost. This makes vinyl the prime way for you to replace windows in your home.Other pros to vinyl windows There are other pros to vinyl windows as well. You don't have to deal with warped or rotting wood. You don't have to deal with increased energy costs. There is no water or air damage that you need to worry about. You will find that there are many reasons why so many individuals are turning to vinyl windows as the way to weatherize their homes.Another great pro to vinyl windows is the fact that they require very little maintenance. This means that they are easy to clean.Cleaning vinyl windows Something else that is great about vinyl windows is that you can install them and forget about them. The truth is that windows are, in many cases, the last thing thought about when it comes to a home. Although we look out through them everyday, we don't think of how they need tender loving care. That is why vinyl is preferable.What's great is that you clean the interior and the exterior of the window like you would any other window. This means that you can stick with the frequency in which you usually clean your windows. As for the frame, it only takes water for you to clean it. It is as simple as that. It doesn't have to be a huge operation and you don't have to constantly be climbing on ladders to clean your vinyl windows.To be more detailed, here is how you can clean vinyl windows:- Raise the bottom sash so that you can tilt it toward you and make it flat. - Use dish soap and water with a soft cloth. - Move the cloth around in a circular motion until all dirt is removed. - If there are spots, you can use 1 tsp. of Murphy's soap with one gallon of water. Again, use a soft cloth in a circular motion until the dirt is gone. - If there is any mold or mildew, use 30% vinegary and 70% water. This also prevents mold and mildew from growing back. - You then repeat these steps for the top sash.This is something that you will need to do with all of your vinyl windows.Replacement When you find that the color is not right or it is simply time to replace your vinyl windows, replacement is very easy. Because the installation only takes two people and you can just pop them in and out, you can have a different look to your home as frequently as you wish. It really depends on your budget. Fortunately, however, vinyl is tough enough during the installation process that you don't have to worry about the vinyl breaking.After you have replaced your windows, you'll be able to go about your usual vinyl window cleaning habits. Just be sure to keep them very clean so that they will continue to look great on your home. This also makes them last even longer because they are not being eaten away by the mold, mildew, and dirt that tends to attack windows. When you see how much money vinyl windows will save you, you'll be very glad that you made this decision and you'll probably never go back to non-vinyl windows ever again.
How to Clean Vinyl Windows
It's true that replacement windows save money in energy costs. It's true that the proper replacement windows, installed properly can add value to your home. It's true that the cost to replace windows today is by comparison, cheaper then it has ever been. These are all truths about window replacement that have a provable factual basis. What is also true is that 70% of homes 10 years old or more can benefit from the installation of replacement windows. Of course, the older the home the greater the benefit will likely be, words of wisdom that you've probably heard before as well.
Over time window sealing effectiveness deteriorates and energy is lost through the leaks around windows. Of course that information isn't new either. So to save energy or add value, home owners often replace windows and doors without considering some of the negative aspects of having a tightly sealed home.
Actually negative might be the wrong word to use. I hesitate at using the word negative, because it might sound as if I were advocating against replacement windows, which is not the case at all. Rather I think it is important to be aware of changes that replacing windows might bring about in the home. Two things come to mind that may need to be addressed along with windows and door replacement. These things can cause some potentially serious problems.
The first that comes to mind is the changes in indoor air pressure. If you have electric heat or a newer (within the last 5 years or so) thermo efficient gas or propane heating system, air pressure may not be a concern. Still you may want to think about the information presented and apply it to investigating your own home situation.
Why would we be concerned about air pressure in the home? Many homes over the last ten to twenty years, in many parts of the country have opted for such things as under floor and baseboard hot water heating, systems that utilize a boiler to heat water and circulate it throughout the home for heating purposes. When these systems were originally being installed, little thought was given to where the oxygen would be coming from that would complete the combustion process that the boilers need to heat the water.
Why would we need to think about such things? Well twenty years ago we probably didn't need to. But with homes being build tighter and tighter all the time, it has become more of a concern, here's why.
A gas or propane heating system, regardless of how it operates, either by circulating hot water from a boiler or via an induction type forced air system; they all require air, or oxygen to complete the combustion process to create heat. So where does this oxygen come from. Well for the most part it comes from the air that we utilize inside our homes. In older homes, where there were always tiny leaks in different places throughout the home made it possible for these heating systems to draw in enough air to operate smoothly. People never really noticed any problems and paid the cost of fuel. Already you might be seeing the fallacy in thinking everything was well.
- Air comes in through tiny cracks around windows and doors
- Heating system burns air from within the home to heat the home, causing more air to be drawn in through tiny cracks around windows and doors (cold air)
- Temperature falls because of the influx of outside air around leaky windows and doors
- Temperature falls because of the influx of outside air around leaky windows and doors
So now we seal up the windows and doors either by replacement or maintenance, add more insulation and the result is a nice warm tightly sealed home that is more energy efficient right?
Yes and possibly no. Here is the catch for older homes with out dated heating systems. Creating a tightly sealed home can actually cause your older heating system to work harder and use more energy. How is that possible? By sealing up all those places where the heating system was drawing oxygen for combustion, we have effectively starved that combustion almost to death. Sometimes that sealing off of incoming air it so effective as to make that system quite ineffective as a heating source and creates negative air pressure in the home.
How can you know if you have a negative air pressure situation? Just open a door. If you hear air suck past a door when opened while the heating system is engaged, then you can be almost certain that a negative air pressure situation exists. If a negative air pressure situation exist, then you can be assured that your heating system isn't running as efficiently as it should. It isn't getting enough oxygen to complete the combustion process properly, thus wasting fuel. Another big clue that you have a negative air pressure situation is that you find a point or two that you now notice very cold air coming from in the home that you never noticed before. Not that the spot is by comparison cooler then others in the home, places where you can actually feel the cold air rushing in.
The reason that these cold spots develop in a negative air pressure situation, after windows and doors are replace is because your heating system that in the past had multiple places to draw air from, now only has a very few, and to maintain the combustion process, it must draw a greater volume of air from the few remaining sources making them more noticeable.
So we fix one problem and end up with another. But the solution is rather simple. Just replace the heating system. Simple right? Ok, so that isn't funny, but there is a lesson to be learned, which new heating systems have taken into account.
New heating systems generally take into account that homes are more tightly sealed then ever before, and in knowing this they have provided the heating system with its own outside air source. Usually a two or three inch PVC pipe through an outside wall, one that is as close as possible to the unit's location. In doing so, the need to draw air through the rest of the house is effectively eliminated, while supplying all the oxygen needed for healthy and energy efficient combustion at the heating unit.
The reason that the outside air source needs to be as close as possible has to do with the path of least resistance law of flow. Air just like water will take the path of least resistance when flowing. If the provided outside air source is too far away, and the system can draw oxygen from a closer source easier, it will do so.
In part two of this article I will discus another major concern that may need to be dealt with when replacing the windows in your home