There’s so much more to replacement windows than glass and frames. Modern high-tech windows provide energy savings, sound reduction, automation, security and convenience. There are new window just right for any Madison WI area home.
The buzz word for 2021 is “smart.” Smart technology is everywhere from garage doors to vacuum cleaners. Replacement windows haven’t been left out. New technology and fine-tuned upgrades improve windows all the time.
After another tough Wisconsin winter are you ready to replace old windows? Were rooms drafty? Are window frames cracked? Is it just too hard to keep your windows clean? Answer yes to any of these and it’s time to explore what new, high-tech windows have to offer. Now’s an ideal time to prepare for next winter’s chilling winds, isn’t it?
With all the short-term, immediate benefits of new windows it’s easy to overlook one of the greatest benefits: increased home value. Of all the home improvement projects you can undertake, replacing windows has one of the biggest payoffs. In Remodeling magazine’s 2020 Cost vs. Value reportresearch showed that new vinyl windows returned nearly 75% of a window project’s cost.
High-tech Windows – Improving Life
Window technology has two objectives: make life easier for you and make your home more comfortable. Well-sealed, well-designed windows get high marks for both.
The days of single-pane windows are behind us. Argon gas-filled double- or triple-glazed (two to three panes of glass) windows are the rule. They prevent heat transfer year-around and reduce the intensity of ultraviolet rays (UV) entering the home. Windows with the latest design feature provide a boost to the efficiency of your home’s heating/cooling systems.
Count down the benefits of replacing old, outdated windows with the latest science has to offer:
- Boost energy efficiency – reduce drafts and heat islands so furnaces and air conditioners don’t have to work as hard. Both wood-frame and vinyl-frame windows come with the latest technology. Wood is a good insulator so it transfers heat poorly. Wooden window frames are highly efficient in keeping out cold in winter and keeping cool air in during summer. Vinyl windows feature multiple layers and air chambers to keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer. A word of caution: don’t expect to see huge savings on your first energy bill after replacing windows. It doesn’t work that way. Savings accrue over time, some each month. That’s still worth the investment, though, isn’t it?
- Improve indoor air quality – listed among the most popular window treatments are blinds and shades, each are great dust collectors. If you have blinds or shades on your windows you know how difficult it can be to keep them dust-free. High-tech advances in modern windows put blinds and shades between panes of glass inside the window. No dust there. Less dust means fewer allergens and less time spent cleaning. Between-the-glass blinds and shades are cordless so they’re safe, too.
Windows That ‘Work’
If you’re facing the daunting chore of springtime window washing the ideal of little or no maintenance is appealing, right? Convenience features like built-in blinds make it easier to keep dust out. Modern window designs also feature tilt-in sashes so even second floor windows are easy to reach. No one has come up with a “self-cleaning” window, but who knows…
Dust and pollen in the air collecting on windows obstructs your view. It also contributes to an unhealthy atmosphere if it gets inside. Studies show that outside noise is also a health concern. Nobody likes to listen to the neighbor’s lawnmower when you’re trying to relax in the evening, do they? The latest in window technology has a remedy for that, too. By applying high-tech insulation and glass to modern frames outside noise is dramatically reduced. Peace and quiet is a valuable asset in these days of work from home and online meetings, isn’t it?
What’s on the drawing boards for window enhancements to make your life easier? Possibilities include:
- Quick change windows – windows that change from clear to tinted at a touch of a button. Designed to aid in energy conservation while adding to privacy. Or there are designs in the works that use sensors so windows change automatically as their surface temperatures change.
- Energy capture – wouldn’t it be great of the windows on your house that get direct sun would work as solar collectors? Scientists are looking into it.
- Bird-friendly windows – have you ever had a bird fly full-force into a window? That’s an event that’s never good for the bird or the glass. New glass coatings are being developed that only birds can see and will steer them away from a collision.
Advancing Technology Keeps Windows ‘New’
In the past 60 years the window industry changed drastically. Consider what lead up to the replacement windows you buy today:
- Insulating glass – in the 1950s the name “Thermopane” became well known. It represented two panes of glass with ¼-inch layer of air between them. By the late 1960s this kind of insulted glass was in about half of all new windows. As technology advanced the space between panes widened and better seals were added. By 2007 about 90% of all windows had insulated glazing.
- Vinyl window frames – the first vinyl framed windows appeared in the U.S. in 1964 but they didn’t catch on until the 1980s. Now more than 60% of all new and replacement windows feature vinyl frames.
- Clad windows – Clad is a term for covering a frame with a second material. Vinyl was the first but Pella Windows developed aluminum-clad products by the mid-1960s. Almost 95% of today’s windows have either vinyl or aluminum cladding.
- Low-E glass – a low-E coating is a thin layer of transparent metal that slows heat transfer through glass. It reflects heat into the room during winter and heat from the sun away from the window in summer. Discovered in the mid-1980s, the properties of low-E glass are now in more than half of the replacement windows sold.
- Smart apps – Pella Windows has introduced its Insynctive System app that’s free for iOS and Android smart phones. It allows you to monitor window and door status and control blinds and shades from almost anywhere. Have you ever worried if you left windows open or unlocked and had to go home to check? Now there’s an app for that. It’s been available since 2015 and works with a variety of Pella products and several home security and automation systems.
High-tech Windows Deserve High-tech Installation
Whether you’re replacing one or two windows or every one in the house, you’re making a significant investment. You expect high-end performance when you invest in high-end windows, don’t you. The final performance of any replacement window depends upon the team installing it.
The window specialists at Sims Exteriors & Remodeling are available to advise you on what’s best for your home. We represent the highly-rated wood-frame and vinyl windows. Our installation crews are experienced and factory trained. We’re so confident in the work our people do we offer a 10-year workmanship warranty for any residential window replacement we do. That’s on top of the lifetime warranties provided by Pella and Alliance windows. We deliver high-end products and peace of mind for decades to come.
When you’re ready to take a serious look at replacing the windows in your Madison area home contact Sims Exteriors & Remodeling at 608-825-4500 or via email for the latest look at high-tech windows for your Madison WI home.
Replacement Window Buying Guide – Consumer Reports