Thursday, July 3, 2008

Lake Norman Real Estate: Windows - Types and Energy Effeciency - Regular glass vs. Low E Windows

Windows 101

Window's in your house do many important things. Window's help decorate a house making it more attractive from the inside and outside as well as leaving in natural light. Unfortunately windows also account for roughly 25% of the heat loss within your house as well.

It is very important when upgrading your existing home, flipping a home, building a home, purchasing a home, or selling a home that you know about the different types of windows and what their features and benefits are. It can easily save you or make you thousands if you make the right decisions. Certain types of windows may be more ideal for a certain area in your home and a higher quality window with a higher insulation value can either save you money in utilities, or be a key resale factor in the future. Make sure you consult a professional when making your decisions.

Types of Windows
Awning Windows
Awning windows have a hinge at the top of the window and usually have a crank located on the bottom of the window. They can be cranked open and shape an awning which means they can allow ventilation even when you have a light rain.

Casement Windows
Casement windows also have a crank usually located at the bottom but they open out to the side, not up like an awning window. Casement windows can usually be found over top of something that makes a crank an ideal way to open a window. They are normally found over a sink, countertop, or in a sunroom.

Single Hung/Double Hung Windows
In a single hung window, only the bottom or top sash in the window move. The other sash is fixed and cannot be opened. Therefore, only half of the window can be opened. Double hung windows allow both sashes to be opened, giving you more options and making the window easier to clean. This window is a nice option for families with young children because the top sash can be opened allowing less risk of falling out of the window.

Glider or Sliders
Gliding windows or sliders are a nice alternative to a casement window if outside the window is in a high traffic area. This reduces the chance of somebody running into a window while it is open.

Picture Windows or Fixed Windows
Picture Windows or Fixed Windows often are put in rooms to portray a picture of the outside or two mainly allow sunlight to come into a room. These windows do not open making them less of a leak hazard.

Regular Glass vs. Low E Glass
Regular glass looks great, allows a lot of light to come in the house, and is cost effecient. Regular glass also allows a lot of heat loss within the home.

Low E glass was introduced in 1979. The E stand for emissivity which works by reflecting heat back to it's source. There are many different levels and types of Low E Windows that may offer some benefits that you are looking for. Appearance-wise you won't be able to tell much difference from a regular glass window and a low E window. Low E windows are usually slightly tinted although this is very difficult to see unless you compare them side by side. The main benefits of low e windows is that it allows visible light to pass while blocking levels of UV and IR light from coming into your home. UV light damages your skin, wood, fabrics, and causes colors to fade (such as hardwood). IR light is simply heat.

In addition to low E windows saving you on heat loss and UV light, they usually also stay cleaner and do not show water spots as bad as regular glass windows.

See Also:
Links for Buyers
Lake Norman/Charlotte Information Links
First time homebuyers
Why do I need an agent to purchase a home?

Contact your Lake Norman Real Estate Expert for more information on this post.

Jeremy Adair
Real Living - Davidson, NC
Cell: 704.315.8106
Fax: 704.892.9766

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