Key Points of Window Installation in San Francisco
When looking to upgrade your home, professional window installation is essential. It will allow you to achieve the exact outcome you want, will enhance your overall property appearance, and will increase the value of your home if you are planning to sell it at some point. Nevertheless, prior to planning for a window installation in San Francisco, it’s important to understand your options and what type of installation window you need.
This guide will help you decide what kind of windows would be best for your project including the glazing options and installation type.
Although windows come in a wide variety of styles, designs, shapes, and sizes, most of them are largely predetermined, unless you’re building a new house. Exceptions do exist, however. It is possible that an earlier homeowner replaced the original windows with inferior or historically inappropriate ones.
Perhaps you’re planning to add a family room at the back of the house, where casements may be more appropriate than double hungs used in the front; in this case, you could choose to use them. In some cases, homeowners may wish to increase or decrease the size of the replacement window. But if you are like most homeowners, the major decision will be based on energy-saving features and ease of maintenance.
Replacement Window Glazing
Glazing is one of the most important aspects of energy saving. Windows that are efficient are usually made up of two layers of glass, which are referred to as dual-pane or double-pane windows.
The small gap between the glass layers creates a barrier to heat flow, which may be enhanced with an additional layer of glass (two separate insulating chambers), in which case it’s called triple-glazed. It is common for the gaps between layers of glazing to be filled with a gas, which further reduces heat transfer via conduction. Most gas fills are composed of argon or krypton, or a combination of both.
Reflective Films, Tints, and Coatings
The performance of windows can also be improved through the application of reflective films, tints, and low-emittance coatings.
Reflective films keep windows cooler by absorbing and reflecting radiant energy. However, they also block most of the visible light. Furthermore, they tend to give windows a mirror-like appearance, resulting in household residents using more electric lighting to compensate for the reduced daylight.
By reflecting radiant energy, bronze- and gray-tinted glass can reduce cooling load while allowing a substantial amount of visible light into the home. It is common for the glass to have a visual transmittance (VT) of 60% (as opposed to 90% for clear glass).
A low-E coating offers more versatility and is practically invisible compared to either reflective films or tints. Nanosized metal particles and metallic oxide particles are used to reduce the flow of radiant heat out of windows and allow different amounts of solar radiation to pass through. During times of high heating demand, low-E coatings may be used to prevent radiant heat from escaping while allowing high solar heat gain.
Especially in regions that require both heating and cooling, low-E coatings can help reduce radiant heat loss and allow moderate heat gain. However, a primary goal of low-E coatings is to reduce solar heat gain in climates where cooling is a major concern. A low-E coating can even be customized with a solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) that’s higher for south-facing windows and lower for other orientations.
Replacement Window Construction
The material used to build the window frame will also determine the efficiency of the window. Frames made from insulation-filled vinyl or fiberglass perform better than those made of wood, wood-clad, or non-insulated vinyl. The performance of aluminum and steel is the worst among the above materials.
There are three approaches to window replacement: sash-only, insert windows, and full-window replacements.
A sash-only replacement kit includes new liners for the sash and the jamb in order to improve the operation of the window. Although they are easy to install, they should only be used in windows that are otherwise in good condition.
A retrofit window (also known as an insert) is designed to fit into a pre-existing window frame. All that needs to be removed are the old sashes and window stops. Moldings that are already in place, inside and outside, are not affected. It is only possible to install inserts if the old window frame is in good shape, rot-free, and square. In comparison to full-frame replacements, inserts require less labor, lower costs, and less mess for window installation in San Francisco.
It is normally custom-built to match the specific dimensions of your opening and to match the angle of the existing sill. Among the advantages of retrofit windows is that they are available with tilt-in cleaning.
Full Window Replacements
Full window (full-frame) replacements usually require the removal of all the existing components, such as the casings, frame, sash, and exterior trim. You may use this method when your old window frame has deteriorated, is out of square, or if you would like to change the type or size of your window. Despite the additional cost, disruption, and labor involved in full-frame replacements, you will be able to better insulate around the window frame, which is a common source of energy leaks.
By removing the trim from the window frame, it will be possible to spray closed-cell foam insulation between the frame and the studs. Replacements of full-frame windows are usually possible with standard window sizes, but they can also be ordered in a custom size. The additional benefit of replacing the frame rather than inserting a new frame is that no glazing area is lost when the frame is replaced.
Saving Money on Replacement Windows
Energy-efficient windows have several benefits, but you shouldn’t expect dramatic savings on your heating bill right after replacing old ones. Most replacement windows have R-values of 4 or 5 compared to 2 for single-glazed with a storm window.
Considering the window area is only a fraction of the overall wall area, it would make more sense to invest in insulation for the attic and walls, weatherstripping, and sealants such as caulking, duct mastic, or even insulation for the windows. A great deal of heat enters and/or escapes your house through attic floors, attic hatches, recessed light fixtures, fireplaces, and other penetrations in the envelope of your home.
When to Replace Your Windows
Deteriorated wood windows that have been affected by water infiltration and rot are prime candidates for replacement. Perhaps your windows are no longer functioning properly and the cost of repairing them is prohibitive. You may also wish to upgrade your windows in order to facilitate maintenance.
Washing exterior windows on ladders isn’t fun, but today’s new window designs make it easier to reach exterior glass from inside. Also, aesthetics can influence the decision to replace windows. It has been reported that storm windows have been installed on many historical homes in an inappropriate manner. You can improve the appearance and value of your property by replacing them with stormproof windows in the appropriate style.
Window Installation San Francisco
As a leading residential window replacement company, Best Exterior offers complete window replacement/installation services. Our team of licensed technicians are available to meet our clients’ needs — 24/7. We treat our customers and their requests respectfully, and we are always here to help. Call (866)-314-6701 to learn more about windows we offer or to get a free quote on professional window installation in San Francisco.