What is the Best Material for a Window?
LESLIE: Heading to Nebraska now where Ellie is on the line with a window question. What can we do for you today?
ELLIE: I’m replacing a window in the lower level of our home and I was wondering if you had an opinion as to what would be the best material for the window. Vinyl? Wood? Composite?
TOM: What kind of a window do you have there now? Is it a standard sort of double-hung window?
ELLIE: No. It’s actually five windows in one. It’s 9 foot by 3 foot.
TOM: Oh, that’s a big job. Yeah. My first point would be that you need to make sure you’re buying an energy-efficient window because with a space that big, you want to make sure that you’re using well-insulated glass. So I would only buy one that was ENERGY STAR-rated.
TOM: And you want to make sure that the glass is going to have a low-emissivity coating or a low-E coating, because what that does is that reflects the sunlight back out so that it doesn’t overheat your house. Otherwise, you’re going to heat that space up like a big, old greenhouse with a 9-foot window.
In terms of the material itself, I think outside the house, you want something that’s very, very weatherproof, like vinyl. And inside the house, depending on the window you buy, it can be wood or it could be vinyl. So if you look at a window like an Andersen window, they have beautiful windows that are wood on the inside and vinyl on the outside. It kind of gives you the best of both worlds. But again, there are many different types of manufacturers out there. The most important thing is not as much the material but the certification, to make sure that it’s an efficient window that’s going to perform well for you and last a long, long time.
ELLIE: We will look for those energy ratings then.
TOM: Alright. Good luck. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.