As a homeowner, you want your house to reflect who you are. When replacing your windows, you are presented with various choices and options to customize the look, aesthetics, and operation of your windows.
In addition to decisions on window style and material, there are optional window features that can add to your home’s style and comfort. To help you determine your replacement needs, we’ve detailed some of the features you have to choose from.
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Important Window Features
The basic design of a window is generally composed of insulating glass with a frame to hold it in place. Many windows are designed in a way that allow even more components or multiple windows configured together to fill an opening or meet a certain aesthetic. Aesthetics are an important aspect of a window, but functionality is also important. For instance, window glass is an important aspect of window efficiency, helping maintain your home’s ideal temperature.
The glazing of your window is an important thing to consider. Generally, most windows in modern homes are made with Low-E glass that helps maintain the home's temperature. You have plenty of options to consider, two things to look for when choosing a window are the U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient (which can be found on the NFRC label). The U-factor measures the rate of heat flow through the window while the solar heat gain coefficient tells you how much solar heat comes through the window. Both are very important replacement window features.
When you decide to shop for a window, the hardware not only contributes to comfortable operation, but also to the design and aesthetic appeal of your window. Choose hardware that fits the style of your home and coordinates with other decorative elements such as light fixtures and cabinet hardware. Window hardware varies based on how your window operates - sliding sash windows and hinged (crank) windows require different hardware options. Some homeowners prefer to install fold-away cranks for casement windows because this style does not interfere with window treatments such as blinds or shades.
You may also wish to consider shades and blinds. Your privacy is an important consideration when deciding on replacement window features. Between-the-glass blinds are a great option. With built-in blinds, you can control light and privacy while keeping your blinds protected from little hands and pets.
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An important feature that many homeowners forget to consider when thinking about window options is the window screen. Your window screen can be an important part of the functionality of the window. You can choose mesh wire screens, but there are other window options as well. More transparent screen materials and retractable window screens will be less likely to detract from the aesthetics of your house while still getting the job done.
One of the newest window features to consider is smart technology. Insynctive, a family of smart home products, provides the capability to know at a glance whether your windows are open or closed. This innovative design also allows you to program your between-the-glass blinds and shades to raise and lower throughout the day to control privacy and help keep your home more comfortable. Both of these tasks require connection to a compatible home automation system and using a smart device.