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 isMena 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.
Bow Windows Features and BenefitsWhy 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.
An Introduction to WindowsMake Money by Saving MoneyMany homeowners seek to increase the property value of their homes by remodeling or adding on. One of the best and less expensive ways to do so is to install vinyl replacement windows. The impact of the appearance can be sufficient reason in some cases to make this all the home improvement you need. Additionally, there are so many other reasons to install them.BenefitsNot only will you save money, but you can benefit from the energy efficiency. Everyone knows windows and doors are where most of the heat in the winter, and cool air in the summer, escapes. Vinyl windows will keep the heat and cold right where they belong - out of your home. Your energy bills will go down significantly when you install them. In some cases you could see a savings of almost thirty percent. The old, drafty houses with single pane windows become cozy and warm homes like they were meant to be.What to Look ForWhen shopping for these windows for your home, there are some terms with which you need to become familiar. The first is the U-factor. The U-factor lets you know how quickly heat can escape. The lower the U-factor, the better the windows are at keeping heat in the home. You will generally find vinyl windows with U-factors between 0.2 and 1.2.The R-factor is just the opposite. This is the number which tells you how well the window will act as an insulation barrier. You will want this number to be high. The higher the number, the better the window is doing its job.When comparing vinyl windows from different manufacturers, you should also look at the solar heat gain coefficient or SHGC. The SHGC will tell you how capable the window is of blocking the heat of the sun. The range can be anywhere from 1.0 which is the worst, to zero - zero being the best.You may also see the air leakage rating listed on a tag or the window's box. Of course, you want this number to be as low as possible. It only makes sense to keep as much air out or in, as the case may be.InstallationYou can install vinyl windows on your own. The job will be slightly complicated for certain window frames. However, you can special order your vinyl windows to fit the existing window measurements. This will allow you to remove the old window and with a few quick adjustments put in the new one. An entire house of 10 to 12 windows can actually be completed in a day. You will find that the addition of vinyl windows is one of the best and least expensive steps to improving the value of your home.
How to Prepare Your Home For Replacement WindowsAs winter sets in, drafty windows and doors can quickly drive utility bills through the roof. Energy efficient vinyl windows and fiberglass exterior doors are crucial to maintaining your home's comfort all year long, especially during the coldest months. Research shows that homeowners who replace single-pane glass windows with ENERGY STAR® qualified products can save $125 to $450 on energy costs annually. To maximize a home's energy efficiency and money saving advantage, consider the following tips:- Start with Exterior DoorsConsidering all the times you enter and exit your home through the front door in a given week, it can play a vital role in conserving energy. If a door doesn't close properly or lets in a draft, you'll pay the price in your utility bills. Check the weather stripping for any gaps around the door that can let heat escape or enter the home. If issues can't be easily fixed, it may be time to replace the door. When choosing a front door, make sure to pick materials that won't swell, decay or warp in extreme conditions, as cold weather brings moisture that can damage unprotected doors. A fiberglass exterior door may be a good choice as it's not vulnerable to the elements in the same way a wood door is. It's also a good idea to check all exterior doors including sliding patio doors.- Windows MatterChoosing windows, patio doors and exterior doors with Low-E glass is very helpful in making a room more energy efficient. This special coating is designed to reflect infrared light and keep homes both warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. An upgrade to higher performing Lo-366 glass provides increased heat retention in winter and even greater energy savings. Insulated double-pane glass also greatly enhances energy efficiency as compared to single pane glass.The easiest way to select efficient wood or vinyl windows is to look for the ENERGY STAR label and the efficiency ratings. Efficiency ratings are based in part on the U-factor, which is the amount of heat that escapes the home through that product. The lower the U-factor, the more efficient the product. Efficiency is also measured by Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC), which indicates the ability to block the heat generated by sunlight. The lower the SHGC, the more heat is blocked. Experts also evaluate Visible Light Transmission, which is the percentage of sunlight that penetrates a window or door. Higher percentages mean more light will enter through the glass.- Drive Home EfficiencyThe garage is often forgotten when it comes to energy efficiency, but it's one of the largest entry points of the home. Survey results found that the garage is the most frequently used exterior door when entering the home - even more reason to make sure the garage door is efficient. The temperature of a garage can greatly affect the overall temperature of the entire home. Garages are more susceptible to temperature fluctuations, given how frequently homeowners enter and leave through their garages. Having a proper-fitting garage door and an energy efficient door connecting the garage to the interior provides the best protection.- Energy Efficiency Pays OffBeyond the initial purchase price of a product, also consider the long-term value that energy efficient products offer in terms of annual measurable savings. In addition, many local utilities offer rebates for purchasing ENERGY STAR qualified windows and doors. To find available rebates or incentives, visit ENERGY STAR's Rebate Finder online.- Give Your Home an Energy MakeoverA survey or audit of a home's energy usage and costs can identify specific ways to reduce your home energy bills. Many state energy offices and local utilities offer energy audit services, or may be able to provide other sources for this service. ENERGY STAR offers a tool to assess your home and compare your household's energy use to others across the country and to get recommendations for improvement.