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 isOzan 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 BenefitsAs 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.
Replacement Windows: No Big Secrets, Some Negative Aspects? (Part 1)You finally decide that you are going to wash those dirty, streaky, hazy looking windows. After scrubbing and washing the inside you see that they are still looking quite bad so, you rush and do the outside. Still, they look they same as they did when you started.As you take a closer look you notice that the haziness and streaks are actually inside the panes of glass. You might even see water droplets inside as well. How did this happen and what should be done?What you see is caused from a failed or broken window seal. Double and triple paned windows and doors are constructed using two or three pieces of glass. In between these pieces of glass is an air space that is enclosed with a seal. This air space is usually filled with a gas such as Argon or krypton. This air space acts as an insulation that reduces the transfer of unwanted losses of warm or cool air inside the house. When the seal eventually cracks or breaks, moisture from the surrounding air is drawn in and will condense on the inside of the glass. Usually the main reason for a failed window seal is age. Typically a window seal will last around 10 - 15 years. This all depends on the manufacturing quality, and how much stress or abuse the window is subjected to during its life.Factors that aid in the deterioration of a window seal include:- Pressure changes caused from hot and cold weather. - Building settlement. - Movement from opening and closing. - Objects hitting the window (balls, birds, etc.). - Pressure washing. - Deteriorating frameworks.Unfortunately, once you have a window with a broken seal there is nothing you can do except replace it. Besides the obvious visual impairment, a broken window seal will not significantly affect the insulating factors to any noticeable degree.Here are some things you can do to help prolong the life of your windows.Give your windows an inspection about once or twice every year. Look for any signs of aging or defects. If you have deteriorating outer perimeter seals, you can simply apply a bead of caulk around the edges to keep water from coming in contact with the sash. To keep a wooden window frame from becoming rotten, make sure it has a good coat of paint. If you have windows that get a lot of sun exposure, consider putting up window awnings or outdoor shades. Also make sure the windows get good air circulation indoors and out. This will help keep outer condensation levels to a minimum thus reducing the chances of mold development. If you decide to replace a window or two, do a bit of research. Find a company that offers a good warranty plan. Most of the higher quality windows now days offer a 10-20 year and even life time warranty.
Repairing Windows Vs Replacing Windows - Deciding the Best Option is Not Always EasyThe aim of this article is to give the layman an introduction to Windows in the 21st century. We will break down the topic into 4 parts:1) Basic Make-Up of a Window 2) Various Types of Windows 3) Window Design and Application 4) Examples of Window Manufactures1. Basic Make-UpThe 3 basic components of most windows are: a) Frame b) Sash c) Glassa) The frame is the outermost border of the window. It is the part that connects to the walls of a house. It can be made out of Wood, PVC, Aluminum, Steel, Iron, etc. The frame gives structure to the window and together with the sash determines what the window looks like on the exterior and interior.b) The sash is the second layer, in a manner of speaking, and holds the glass. It can easily be overlooked because it is often difficult to see where the frame ends and the sash begins. It becomes, however, much easier if the window is operable (able to open) because then the sash moves with the glass leaving only the frame stationary. Again, design-wise, the sash plays a big role and the sash-glass interface, namely the glazing bead or glazing stop, can change the look of a window.c) The glass is what makes a window a window. This is especially true for the layman or novice who might not notice anything but the actual glass. However, the glass is just the most central (physically speaking) of the 3 components. It can come as a single, double or triple layer in various thicknesses. It can be Clear, Tinted, Reflective, Textured or have ornate designs such as Stained Glass. 2. Various Typesa) Picture or Fixed b) Single and Double Hung c) Casement and Awning (and Pushout) d) Hopper and Pivot e) Tilt & Turna) Picture or Fixed WindowsThe term Picture is used interchangeably with the term Fixed. And they are the same in that both do not open. However, sometimes the term Fixed refers to the fact that there is a non-operable sash present, whereas the Picture Window skips the sash and has the glass mounted directly into the frame.b) Single and Double Hung WindowsSingle and Double Hung Windows are tried and tested and have been around for a very long time. Both refer to windows that are horizontally divided into an upper and lower sash. In a Single Hung the lower sash moves up and down and the upper sash does not move. In a Double Hung both sashes move up and down independent of each other. Because gravity would pull these sashes down immediately after being opened, these types of windows use weights, springs or friction to keep the sashes in the desired position.c) Casement and Awning (and Pushout)WindowsBoth these types refer to a window where the sash opens towards the exterior. In a casement style, the sash is hinged either left or right causing the window to open like a swinging door. I an awning style, the sash is hinged at the top and pushed out via scissor hinges at the bottom. In both cases a rotary mechanism (with a crank) is employed to operate the sashes. Pushout windows are hinged in the same locations as casements and awnings but instead of cranking the window open you simply push it open once you unlocked it.d) Hopper and PivotHopper and Pivot Windows usually open towards the exterior as well but the hinges are located either at the vertical centre or at the very bottom allowing the window to open like a "V". These types of windows have mostly become obsolete which might in part be due to them catching the water on a rainy day.e) Tilt & Turn WindowsTilt & Turn windows have long been a staple of Europe. This type of window swings or "turns" and "tilts" to the interior when opened. It is hinged on either the left or right as well as always on the bottom. When fully tilted inwards, the windows is open by about 6" allowing for ventilation at the top. The operator is a lever similar to a door handle.3. Design and ApplicationsTo start off, it has to be said that Hopper and Pivot Windows are almost completely out of use. Of the remaining 4 types, Europe uses mainly Tilt & Turn windows. This might have something to do with the larger wall depth you see in concrete/stone block construction in Europe and with the higher energy efficiency requirements. Tilt & Turn windows address both these issues better than any other type.As we have seen, Picture/ Fixed windows do not open. They are still the most widely used window by quantity. Their function is to provide light and to have the closest possible seal towards the exterior. Oftentimes, Picture/Fixed windows are used in conjunction with operable types either in between, below or above. The latter is most commonly seen above entry doors of a house. North America and the older parts of Europe make heavy use of Single and Double Hung windows which have a great longevity while looking very traditional. Combined with a Stained Wood Interior, they can be very appealing, however, in most cases you sacrifice a bit of the view because of their horizontal division.The casement/awning window is the most widely used window in North America today. Without any dividers, they offer a clear view while still being operable. A possible downside is the crank operated mechanism which can suffer from prolonged use.To achieve a traditional look you want to make use of either Wooden Single and Double Hungs or Casements and Awnings with External Grilles. These grilles are glued to the top of the glass on the exterior and/or interior giving the appearance of many small squares of glass.Contemporary designs tend towards using large glass-to-frame ratios and also the use of metallic frame and sash materials such as aluminum.Lastly, here are some examples of North American window manufactures that encompass most of the discussed types of windows:Picture/Fixed/Single; Double Hung/Casement/Awning:a) Andersen Windows b) Pella Windows c) Milgard WindowsTilt & Turn:a) Gaulhofer Windows b) Euroline Windows c) Innotech Windows