How to Shop for Replacement Windows
LESLIE: Going out to Colorado with Nancy. How can we help you today?
NANCY: Yes, I have a townhome that I’ve lived in for about eight years. (inaudible) new replacement windows. I have a very inexpensive metal frame window that is not at all energy efficient.
NANCY: And I’m wondering what I should replace it with. I’m the association president so I would like the information because people are going to be turning to me and we need to have something identical in all of the buildings.
TOM: Oh, good for you. Mm-hmm.
NANCY: So I’m looking for efficiency in what’s out there right now and what’s a good product to consider investing in.
TOM: Well, first of all, you want to look for a window that’s Energy Star rated.
TOM: And that would be like the first thing that I would check.
TOM: Because an Energy Star rated window is going to be efficient. Secondly, you want to buy from a named manufacturer rather than one that’s not heard of. I would buy something from a good manufacturer like Andersen or Pella …
TOM: … or Weather Shield. I would stay with a good brand. You might want to consider the NFRC rating, which is the National Fenestration Rating Council, which has a set of standards by which energy efficiency is measured and clarity of glass is measured in windows.
LESLIE: And Nancy, both the Energy Star and the NFRC rating are going to be on stickers right on those windows as well. So you’ll know exactly what you’re getting.
TOM: And you have a lot of buying power because you’re going to be specing this out for the entire development. So you’re definitely doing it the right way. But those are a couple of things to check for: Energy Star rating and also the NFRC rating which will give you the information you’ll be able to use to compare apples to apples. And I would definitely stick with a name brand manufacturer rather than a replacement window company that you don’t know who’s making them.
NANCY: OK. And then are the metal framed windows now much more efficient than they were, let’s say, 14 years ago when my (inaudible) were built?
TOM: (overlapping voices) No, you hardly ever see metal frame windows anymore. I know exactly what you have. And especially in an area like Colorado. Those are going to be really super drafty windows.
TOM: The springs tend to break down very quickly. And so this is a situation where you’re probably going to be taking them out and putting in a new construction window because you can’t do a replacement window inside of a metal frame.
LESLIE: And then you can also look for options that have vinyl on the exterior and wood on the interior so that you’re giving the folks who live within the association the opportunity to either paint or have a stained trim on the inside to go with whatever their decorating style is.
TOM: And Nancy, because this is such a big project, I would do the research and then I would suggest you have an association meeting and present the research to the owners. Because this is going to be an expensive and an inconvenient project and they should feel very comfortable that you have done the research and have made the best choice for their situation.
NANCY: OK, thanks so much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.