How are your windows holding up this season? Windows are easy to ignore as a main fixture of your house, but they should be updated and replaced as part of regular household maintenance. Here are our tips in protecting your investment as experts in window installations.

First, you need to take some time to inspect your windows. Check the wood around your windows for chipped paint and signs of water-damage, warping, and rot. Run your hand along the surfaces and edges of your windows. You shouldn’t be able to feel any cold air passing through them. Significant increases in your energy bills can also be telltale signs of window deterioration. If your windows are failing to perform their most basic functions, it’s time to buy new windows.

Investing in the right windows is an integral part of home maintenance and upkeep. Besides providing your home aesthetic curb appeal, more comfort, and improved security, new windows can increase the value of your home considerably. What’s more, the right windows can beef up your home’s energy efficiency and really knock down hefty energy costs. As noted on HomeTips.com, by installing the right energy efficient windows, you could save as much as 27% to 38% on winter heating bills and 16% to 32% on summer cooling bills.

Buying Windows on Your Budget

Buying windows is often expensive. But, you can keep costs to a minimum by doing your homework and partnering with a trustworthy installer who has been in business for years. Once you know what kinds of windows suit your home’s particular needs, you need to set a budget for just how much you’re willing to spend on them. There are lots of options to choose from, and a window’s brand, quality, style, material, and size all factor into determining its cost.

When buying windows, as when buying most commercial products, you tend to get what you pay for. Cheaper windows are not likely to hold up as well as their higher-quality alternatives. And while it’s always important to be economical, sometimes it’s more practical to think long-term. Consider how many times in your life you will have to buy new windows. Investing in those more expensive, durable, energy efficient windows might set you back a paycheck or two now, but could benefit you greatly as time goes on. Quality windows can last longer and save you money on yearly energy bills while also increasing the comfort level and value of your home.

Buying the Right Types of Windows

While browsing through the wide array of window options, you may be tempted to replace your windows with the same exact ones you had before. Though this makes window shopping simple, it is not always the best choice. There are new advances in window design and technology that can better meet your home’s needs for comfort, security, and energy efficiency. When searching for the right type of window for you, the three most important things to consider are window material, window style, and glass type.

Window material is what a window’s frame is made of. Your options in this department are wood, clad-wood, vinyl, aluminum, and fiberglass, and each material has its own advantages. Wood is effective at keeping out cold, heat, and condensation. Aluminum is cheaper, light, and durable. Fiberglass is especially good at keeping the elements at bay.

Window style options are a bit more complicated. On a basic level, you have windows that are either operable, meaning they can be opened, or windows that are fixed, meaning they cannot. Beyond that, you have a ton of choices—single-hung, double-hung, casement, awning-style, and hopper-style windows—just to name some. Each option operates slightly differently and has a different set of benefits, so you should shop around for the style that works best for your home. If you aren’t familiar with these different styles, do some online research or talk to an expert.

Glass type is the final thing you want to take into consideration when buying windows. Certain types of window glass are better suited to different conditions. You should generally base your glass type decision upon where you live. Do you need your glass to be especially resistant to harsh temperatures? Would you benefit from glass with sound protection? Features like double and triple glazing and low-E coatings can make your home much more energy efficient.

Once you’ve established a budget and settled upon a desired type of window, all that’s left to do is find a reputable contractor. Buying windows can be made simple with a little research and practical thinking.