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 isWilton 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.
How Energy Efficient Are Double Glazed Windows?Vinyl replacement windows can be a great way to enhance a home's value and beauty. This type of window has many advantages over traditional windows, such as being durable, easy to maintain, energy efficient, and aesthetically appealing. However, these are not the only benefits they deliver.There comes a time when every homeowner must make the important decision of whether or not to replace their windows. With the overwhelming amount of options available on the market, making a decision sometimes can get confusing.There are however good reasons why many homeowners choose vinyl windows over the alternatives, with two of the biggest ones being that they are cost effective and energy efficient. These two factors alone can help homeowners realize that they can have substantial savings by choosing to go with vinyl.Energy EfficiencyThe chemicals used in the manufacturing of vinyl windows ensure that they can withstand extreme temperature changes. It is for this reason that the windows provide excellent insulation, helping keep the home warm during winter and cool during summer. This type of window eliminates any chances of water or air infiltration because the corners of their frames are fusion welded with a strong sash.Some vinyl windows are filled with inert gases between their vacuum filled dual panes of glass (in most cases argon), which reduces heat loss through convection. As a result, this increases the window's energy efficiency and can help families cut down on their energy bill - which is something we all want to do.There is also a special glass coating called Low-E that reduces heat transfer, while still letting the light in and not obstructing your view at all. Glass windows without this coating contain less of an R-Value and therefor cause for a loss of heat in the winter and a house that's all too hot in the summer.Noise ReductionAnother benefit to vinyl windows is that they can increase comfort levels in a room by reducing outside noise, making your home a much quieter and serene place. The windows, specifically those that are argon filled, reduce noise because the gas is denser than the air, which creates an additional layer of insulation that impedes sound transmission.Green livingVinyl windows can provide protection against damaging ultra-violet rays from the sun, which are not just harmful to the body, but also to property. For example, UV rays can cause certain items such as flooring, carpet, window coverings, and even photographs to fade. Fortunately, glazed windows with a special coating reduce the amount of UV rays passing through them.Reduced condensationTaking advantage of higher Energy Ratings and multiple glass options available allow you to reduce condensation since the window's inner surface will be warmer on cold days and nights, this gives your glass a higher tolerance to interior humidity levels. There are recommended humidity levels that need to be maintained to keep condensation at a minimum, usually with combined living habits and efficient windows this is attainable. The results of installing new and energy efficient windows in your home will give you clear views through your windows even during the winter months since they won't fog up.DurabilityVinyl windows are highly durable and require very little maintenance, meaning they will look great no matter their age. They have a high impact construction, are resistant to rot, rust, and corrosion, ensuring long-term reliability. Furthermore, vinyl windows are almost scratch-proof and do not require scraping, painting or staining, so once you install them, you don't have to worry about them again.Design OptionsVinyl windows are made from a chemical called polyvinyl chloride, which makes it possible to have them made in different colors, styles and shapes. These windows can be retrofitted into nearly any window space and colored to suit any structure or room. Vinyl windows can even be coated with a wood grain finish to give you the appearance of wooden windows, but with none of the drawbacks.Easy MaintenanceAnother benefit is that they have a high quality balance system that ensure that sashes work smoothly with no need for adjustments, and makes opening and closing the sashes effortless regardless of the temperature or humidity.Furthermore, they also have easy to lift out sashes or casement windows that open wide enough to allow you to clean them in a safe and easy manner, and require little more than a bit of soap and water. Other types of windows may require more maintenance, which translates to more work and higher long-term costs. Vinyl windows are designed to last with little maintenance and operate smoothly no matter the conditions.
Choosing Bay or Bow 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.
Double Hung Windows - What to Look ForWhy 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.