How to Choose Windows
There are a lot of factors to weigh when it comes time to choose replacement windows for your home. Not only do your windows have to look good inside and out, they have to be durable, energy efficient and easy to maintain, all at a price that makes sense.
The first thing to consider is whether you should replace the entire window—frame included—or only a portion of it.
Generally a full replacement makes sense when the frame is damaged or when there’s potential for a significant improvement in energy efficiency. This option is more expensive because of the added material and labour involved, which can increase further with upgrades to interior or exterior trim.
Partial Replacement (Retrofit)
Alternatively, many homeowners choose to have only the window sash replaced. This cost-effective option leaves the frame and trim intact, which simplifies the installation process but may not deliver the same boost in energy efficiency as a full replacement.
A comparison of the different types of windows will reveal certain advantages and disadvantages for each one, but ultimately the decision should come down to what makes sense for the room. Although your options might be limited by the size or shape of the existing window opening, you’ve still got a lot of choice.
Often it’s the function of the room that will determine which type of window works best. Awning windows, for example, provide lots of ventilation while protecting the interior from wet weather, making them ideal for bathrooms.
Casement windows are popular choices for kitchens because of the same need for ventilation. It’s easy to operate the crank even if you have to reach over the sink, and the larger opening provides lots of natural light.
Due to the variations in design and function, certain types of windows are inherently more energy efficient than others. Operable windows typically sacrifice some efficiency for the convenience of being able to open them. However, the savings over fixed windows is minimal.
Double hung windows, a traditional style often used to maintain the rich aesthetic of older homes, are well suited to most climates, but can lead to higher rates of air infiltration in excessively windy areas. Even with two sashes, though, double hung windows can be highly efficient if they are well made and properly installed. The use of warm-edge spacers and dual or triple glazed windows filled with insulating gas can also compensate for air leakage between sashes.
For rooms adjacent to confined or high-traffic areas such as walkways and patios, an inward-opening window offers the ideal mix of beauty and practicality. Sliding and hung windows are some of the most popular choices here because they still allow for air circulation and easy cleaning without infringing on your outdoor space.
If security is a top priority, you can opt for fixed windows in strategic areas, or equip your operable windows with an upgraded locking system. Our picture windows can also be combined with casement, slider and hung windows for ventilation and impressive styling without sacrificing security.
For more advice on how to choose the perfect windows for your home, speak to a trusted Vinyl-Pro dealer. You can also learn more about our full lineup of window styles and their advantages here.