Picture On Window Replacement
If you choose wood windows,
you will have to upkeep them. Wood reacts to weather and moisture
by cracking, warping and peeling, so it requires more maintenance.
You have to repaint wood and keep it sanded and free from rot. Some
people use wood on the inside and vinyl on the outside.
Wood is also subject
to insect damage; other materials are not.
Vinyl windows are low
maintenance; in fact; rainfall is often enough to keep them clean.
However, many people wash them with mild, non-abrasive cleaners
from time to time. They never need to be painted. Scratches do not
show because the color goes all the way through.
Fiberglass windows can
be painted. They do not rot or need maintenance.
You can now buy "low
maintenance" glass that not only insulates, but sheds water and
You can usually get lifelong
guarantees on vinyl, aluminum or fiberglass, but not wood. Although
wood windows last for years, they do not hold up as long as other
Many people have expressed
environmental concerns about using vinyl and wood in building materials.
When you use wood, you are using up a natural resource. Because
wood has to be replaced more often and does not provide good insulation,
these factors impact the environment negatively.
In 2005, scientists from
the U.S. Green Building Council reviewed 2500 studies of vinyl and
other materials make a report to the Environmental Protection Agency.
They concluded that vinyl is environmental friendly because it saves
energy. In another study done in 2001, researchers found that vinyl
materials were contributing about 1% of dioxin levels in a house
using vinyl siding and windows. Since then the vinyl industry voluntarily
reduced these emissions by 70 percent.
The most important factors
when you replace your windows are buying the best materials you
can afford and having them installed by licensed, professional contractors.
Windows that are certified
by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the American
Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) have met tough standards
for durability and safety. (Products manufactured by companies such
as Pella and Anderson often meet these high standards.) They have
to be made of high quality vinyl, weather stripping and glass. They
have to have strong connections to be certified. Cheap grades of
vinyl are not as durable and quickly turn yellow. Heat from direct
sunlight can cause problems with cheap grade vinyl, and make it
The National Fenestration
Rating Council (NFRC) is a non-profit organization formed in the
early 1970s when manufacturers were making outrageous claims of
energy savings through window and door treatment. Today their job
is to rate windows, doors and skylights for energy efficiency in
a fair and accurate way. Look for the NFRC, ANSI and AAMA labels
on your window replacements.
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