Texas is a state wrought by storms, hurricanes, and hot summers that keep even the most sun-friendly people indoors. When you have to retreat to the sanctuary of your home to escape the brutal elements, you need your indoor haven to be comfortable and safe, with just the right temperature and amount of sunlight. And that relies heavily on the quality of your windows.
Every climate comes with its own challenges, so what are the features that make some windows the best for Texas and some more like… Kentucky? For us, it starts with energy efficiency.
Energy efficient “green” windows are the latest technology that everyone’s talking about, and top window replacement companies are selling them like crazy because of the difference they make in temperature control, cost savings, and longevity, especially if you live in a home that was built before 2002.
If you’ve driven through Bear Creek Park, Jersey Village, Bunker Hill Village, The Heights or any older neighborhood around Houston, you can understand why new window replacements are all the rage. The median year of homes built in Houston is 1984, and with summer temperatures topping more than 100͒ , Houstonians are turning to the latest technology in windows for better temperature control with up to 20% or more in cost savings.
So what are these so-called “energy efficient windows?” Let’s take a look at the anatomy of a window- including the glass, frame, filler and sash- to better understand them.
The best windows for Texas are:
1) Designed with advanced window technologies.
- Vinyl Windows: Window designs have come a long way since your home was (probably) built. Today, the best windows will have frames made of smarter materials that can handle more wear and tear over a longer period of time than plain old wood ever could. Vinyl windows have proven to be one of the most effective materials at protecting against the Houston elements of heat, rain, and humidity. Vinyl is durable, easy to customize, and whether you choose a single hung or double hung style, the frames are designed with removable sashes so that the ordinary hassle of cleaning windows is eliminated.
- Low-E Glass Windows: When you’re shopping around for window replacements, make sure to get ones with Low-Emissivity glass technology. Some window contractors include the cost of Low-E in their pricing and some offer it as an upgrade. Low-E reduces the amount of infrared and ultraviolet light that can pass through glass without impacting the amount of visible light that comes through your window. The less heat that creeps into your house, the less your AC has to run to get to cool your home – and that means a lower energy bill!
- Double, Triple, Quadruple Glazed with Warm Edge Technology: Depending on your budget, you should be looking into double, triple, or quadruple glazed insulated glass with warm edge technology. Unlike standard windows, these are designed with multiple panes to reduce heat transfer. With warm edge technology, moisture is prevented from getting inside the panes, which would fog and ruin your windows.
Some window companies also offer foam-filled frames for added insulation and minimum penetration. Foam-filled frames can increase efficiency, reduce noise pollution from the outside, and give your new windows a longer lifespan. Talk to your local window replacement company about these and other benefits, including ENERGY STAR certified windows.
2) Installed by experts to ensure long-lasting effectiveness.
The most important part of a window is the person who installs it. Even the best windows on the market aren’t any good if the installation isn’t done properly. That’s why, when shopping around for the best replacement companies, you need to find a window contractor that understands the local climate and knows all the little details that go into an effective installation. Make sure the company has good partnerships with local replacement window manufacturers to ensure the products you get are designed specifically for Texas climate. The top window replacement companies will also have the most knowledgeable installers on staff to ensure the job gets done right.
3) Backed by a lifetime warranty on parts AND labor.
In life- and especially in Texas- anything can happen: hurricanes, hailstorms, and other acts of God. Even if you made the investment and got some beautiful double-hung Low-E triple-pane foam-insulated windows, they are not impervious. Most window companies only have a warranty on parts; but top-rated window replacement companies will offer limited lifetime warranties that cover both parts AND labor – no matter what happens.
So if you are looking for the best windows for Houston, or Texas in general, remember that it isn’t just about the products themselves. Make sure you find a window replacement company you can trust and one that will provide the installation expertise and services you need to achieve quality windows that last a lifetime.