Throughout the year, your home’s windows do more than simply let the sun in. If chosen well, they can actually protect your home from damage, decrease your risk of high sun exposure, and increase your house’s curb value over time. That’s why it’s so important when looking at different types of windows, to choose the kind that’s going to impact your home in a beneficial way as the years go on. It’s not simply a matter of choosing the most energy-efficient windows (though that helps.) To make the right decision, it’s important to use what you know about your home’s climate to give you a sense of what kind of weather concerns you’ll have to deal with on a regular basis. Whether you live in a dry climate, a hot, humid area, or a place that’s prone to long, wet winters, here are a few tips for choosing the right windows for your home based on climate.
No matter where you live, you’ll need your windows to do a great job at keeping the less pleasant aspects of the outdoors, such as drafts, moisture, and dirt, far away from your home’s interior. That’s why you should start by choosing windows that have great insulation value during winter and summer. Things to look for are double-paned windows, which feature increased insulation through a secure airlock panel in the middle of the inner and outer glass panes, and windows featuring low-E coated glass. The lower your E coating is, the more you’ll be able to use the sun’s heat and light to your advantage on cooler days while preventing it from overheating your house on hot summer days. You’ll also want to keep on the lookout for windows with a high R-value to help with insulation, as well as a low U value. Choosing the most energy-efficient glass is always a good start to finding the right window for your climate. Now, you’ll need to get a bit more specific.
When choosing frames for your windows, you’ll be presented with a number of choices for materials, such as vinyl, composite, wood, and fiberglass. While each of these options can be great for a specific climate, choosing the wrong one could create a huge negative impact on your home’s ability to withstand the weather. For instance, let’s say you live in a warm, sunny climate that doesn’t see a lot of rain. Using vinyl will help protect against UV ray infiltration. They’re also a low-cost alternative to more expensive, less durable options and don’t require painting. Wood is also a good option for homes that don’t experience a ton of rainfall or moisture. However, for climates that deal with muggy summers and cold, wet winters, using a composite material is a better choice, since wood tends to warp when exposed to too much heat and moisture. Vinyl-clad wood can be a great middle ground for homes that deal with some humidity but not a ton of year-round moisture.
Protect Against Wind
Thinking about the impact of temperature is an important part of choosing the right window for your home. But your windows aren’t just protecting you from heat and cold. They’re also doing a lot to make sure your house can withstand high winds, dirt-filled rains, and sleet. If your home is located in a climate that has to face high winds, sleet, and even the possibility of tornadoes or tropical storms, you want your window to be able to keep all of the nasty residue out of your home’s more vulnerable areas. Fiberglass is a great, sturdy option that can withstand high winds and cold temperatures. Vinyl-clad wood also presents a strong surface that can hold up against flying debris and won’t buckle under inches of snow.
Avoid Metal and Single-Pane Options
For those who live in desert-like climates where it’s dry and hot all year round, it might seem like a wise choice to go for a single-pane, lightweight window that doesn’t require too much fuss, especially if you use screen windows for most of the year. However, even if you don’t think you need the protection of a traditional double-pane window, your home will benefit from the extra protection. No matter where you are, you don’t make the mistake of assuming that a temperate, consistent year-round climate won’t benefit from energy-efficient windows with high insulation value. Whether you’re protecting your home from dirt, rain, and snow, or trying to keep your house as airy and cool as possible, your window choice matters.