25 Things to Know About Windows
1. Leaky and inefficient windows, skylights, and glazed doors account for more than 25 percent of the average household's energy bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. You can cut energy costs by as much as 15 percent by buying windows with double-pane insulated glass, heat-resistant coatings, airtight frames, and/or Energy Star ratings.
2. Cut noise with insulated or double-pane windows featuring 1/4 inch to 1 inch of air (or argon) between the panes. Wider air spaces and thicker glass reduce noise more.
3. Useful Life: Most manufacturers say windows should be replaced after about 20 years. Signs of a failing window include being sealed or painted shut, draftiness, and panes that collect condensation, ice, and frost.
4. Skylights provide 30 percent more light than vertical windows of the same size.
5. Add custom grilles to standard-size windows. Special grilles don't significantly boost a window's price, and you can even have grilles made based on a drawing or sketch. Ask a local retailer about the options and costs from various makers.
On November 19, 2010