Windows are an investment in the security, energy efficiency, and appearance of your home. However, that doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to pay top dollar for quality windows for your home. Knowing what your home needs as well as how different factors will affect the cost will help your family decide which windows will be the most cost-effective both in terms of energy savings as well as replacement window cost.

Number of Panes

In general, the more panes there are in a window, the higher the price. However, fewer panes also means less energy efficiency. In areas like Pittsburgh with snowy winters and hot, humid summers, homeowners should always install at least double-pane windows. With more panes, there is a greater buffer between indoor and outdoor temperatures. Not only does a greater buffer prevent more heat transfer, it also reduces or eliminates condensation from forming on windows. The accumulation of moisture on and around windows can damage walls and create mold problems. Those desiring additional efficiency along with sound reduction may consider the investment in triple-pane windows.

Filler Gas

In double-pane and triple-pane windows, an important component that helps create the buffer against temperature change is the insulating gas between the panes. These gases are much denser than the air in our atmosphere and move very slowly, minimizing convective currents within the window; therefore the loss of energy through the glass is reduced. The gases most typically used are argon and krypton. Both gases are inert, non-toxic, clear, and odorless. Argon is an excellent insulator and abundantly available, making it a relatively inexpensive option for windows. Krypton is an even better insulator, although its cost is significantly greater. Between cost and performance, argon has a higher efficiency per dollar rating than krypton. Sometimes other gases are mixed with krypton in windows to make the cost less prohibitive.

Type of Window

Different types of windows require different types of hardware, and this can affect price. For example, casement windows are some of the easiest to open for many people. However, the hardware and construction are also more advanced in these windows than in other designs, like the relatively straightforward double hung, so casement windows generally cost more. Homeowners should weigh how important different usability features are while deciding on windows.

Window Material

There are extensive options for window material, and they have a great impact on the cost of replacement windows. The most popular window options are:

  • Vinyl – One of the most affordable options for windows, vinyl is highly energy efficient, durable, and requires little maintenance. It also has some noise and condensation reduction properties.  Good quality vinyl windows typically carry a lifetime warranty.
  • Aluminum – The strength of aluminum frames allows them to be thinner, letting in more light than some other frames. Its strength and durability also lends itself well to commercial applications.
  • Fiberglass – Fiberglass is a composite material that will never rot or decay. It usually requires only minor maintenance aside from painting the exterior and is one of the most energy efficient window options. The cost of manufacturing fiberglass is relatively high, but its energy efficient qualities make it an investment worth considering.
  • Wood – Wood frames are particularly valued for their warm, natural beauty. They offer decent energy efficiency savings and are less prone to condensation formation. However, wood is often the highest priced option, and it requires constant maintenance. If wood is not properly protected against the weather, it can warp, rot, crack, or stick. Due to the natural properties of wood, the warranties are usually somewhat limited.

It’s difficult to calculate the average cost of replacement windows because there are so many variables that ultimately affect the price. To have your windows assessed by professional remodeling contractors and buy replacement windows in Pittsburgh, contact Legacy Remodeling.