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Beat the summer heat: 10 reasons to consider new windows

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In spring, many homeowners start looking at ways to fend off the summer heat – better insulation in the attic, a new air conditioner and misters on the patio are common remedies for warm weather worries.

Be sure to avoid the energy-saving myths I wrote about a few weeks ago.

But they often forget about their windows, probably because they often think they last forever, provided that they don’t get broken.

Windows may seem to be the most expensive job of all – possibly $600 to $1,000 per window, according to information from Pella Windows, for example.

But if your home is 20 years old or more, your windows can start failing. Here are 10 reasons why you might want to replace yours:

  1. They are getting difficult to open and close. Maybe some of them have been painted or nailed shut.
  2. You have air leaks in and around your current dual pane windows and there is condensation or fogging in-between the panes. That fogging means that the seal between the panes has deteriorated and all the gas insulation is gone.
  3. Frames and the walls around the window are deteriorating or have water stains.
  4. It’s getting harder and harder to find replacement parts.
  5. Windows on one side of the house may look worse than those on another side, due to differences in sun or weather exposure.
  6. Traffic sounds and noise from the neighbor’s yard are getting more noticeable.
  7. Your window openings are not square and you’re worried about how that can be fixed.
  8. You’ve experienced a lot of fading of carpets and walls due to the intrusion of the sun.
  9. Cleaning has become more difficult because of the condition of your windows.
  10. Your windows have really gotten out of style or maybe they were an inferior quality to begin with.

If your frames are in good shape, the easiest way to replace them is to put the new windows into the old frame. But that’s not always the most attractive alternative. However, it can be an alternative if you need to fix just one or two windows.

What kind of windows should you buy?

  • The most attractive and expensive alternative will be wooden windows with aluminum cladding. These have a wooden frame sheathed in aluminum on the side that faces the outside of the house. That cladding protects the wood frame from rain and sun while the wood that faces the inside provides more insulation.
  • The least expensive material will be vinyl, but vinyl can discolor and deteriorate in our hot, dry climate. There are newer vinyl products on the market that perform better than the old ones used to. But be sure to get a strong warranty if you go this way.
  • A midline alternative is engineered fiberglass which is very sturdy and can be made to look like wood. One of our favorite fiberglass windows is the Impervia Line from Pella Windows.

Always buy dual pane windows in central and southern Arizona. Triple-panes will not be worth the cost unless you live in a colder climate above the Rim or are having serious noise problems. Be sure to add a low-emissivity or low-E coating to prevent heat from penetrating the glass.

The good news is that after replacing windows, your home become more comfortable to live in. It will also become easier to sell if you want to move elsewhere.

For more homeowner advice, DIY tips and videos, and information about all the projects around your house, home, castle or cabin, visit Arizona’s largest collection of homeowner DIY advice and information at RosieontheHouse.com.

And if you are in need of a quality contractor you know you can trust, visit our list of Arizona’s very best contractors or service providers for your home improvement projects at RosieontheHouse.com – Arizona’s most-trusted referral network.

Tune in to KTAR every Saturday morning from 7-11 a.m. for the Rosie on the House broadcast!

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