How to Choose the Best Value for Replacement Windows

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Replacing the windows in your home can actually help to add value to your property. However, this is usually only possible if you choose the replacement windows wisely. Some replacement windows might seem like a good deal and might be more inexpensive than other options, but that could be because you are not getting the right value for your money. Choosing the best value for replacement windows that still fits into your budget will make your investment worthwhile.

  • Find out whether the replacement windows are Energy Star-qualified. Energy Star is a government program that sets standards for energy efficiency in products, such as replacement windows. For the best value, find windows that have Energy Star labels.

  • Check the R-value. The R-value is the resistance to heat flow. This information can be found on the National Fenestration Rating Council, or NFRC, label, which is located on all Energy Star-qualified replacement windows. It can also sometimes be found in the manufacturer's product description. The R-value can range from 0.9 to 3.0, and the higher it is, the better the replacement windows.

  • Look at the U-factor. Like the R-value, the U-factor will help you decide what kind of value the window offers. It measures how well a window conducts heat. A U-factor can range from about 0.25 to 1.25, and the lower the U-factor, the better the windows. You can also find the U-factor on the NFRC label found on Energy Star-qualified windows or sometimes in the manufacturer's product description.

  • Find windows with triple glazing. This adds value because it adds triple the insulating capability to the replacement windows.

  • Pay attention to whether the replacement windows have a low-E coating. Low-E stands for low-emissivity. This coating helps maintain the temperature in your home, keeping it cooler in the summer by blocking the sun's heat and warmer in the winter by reflecting the sun's heat into the house.

  • Look for replacement windows that have a tilt-in sash feature. This feature adds value because it makes the windows much easier to clean.

  • Check the cost of the material and installation of the replacement windows. Replacement windows that include the features above and are offered at a reasonable price, such as between $300 and $700 per window as of 2007, will give the best value.

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