Windows & Doors

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If you are planning to add or replace storm windows or doors or you’re considering new replacement windows and/or exterior doors, here’s some information to assist you in making the best decision.

Storm Windows

Storm windows save on fuel bills in two ways.
A tight storm window cuts down drafts and saves on heat loss through the glass itself.
A storm window traps a “dead air” space between the prime window and the storm. This helps hold heat inside the house.
Today, most exterior storm windows are triple-track and include a screen. The windows and screen move along tracks for easy     cleaning. The installer should leave small weep holes at the bottom of each window in order for moisture to escape. In cases where exterior storms aren’t feasible, such as in a historic home, there are interior storm options, which save fuel and increase comfort in the same way as exterior storms.

Replacement Windows

If your windows are rotted, weathered, and cannot be repaired or weather-stripped, it may be advisable to replace them with new double pane windows with “Low-E” or low-emissivity coating. This coating is applied to one surface of the glazing and reflects heat back into your home, thereby increasing the energy efficiency of the window.
When looking for replacement windows, check the weather-stripping. A quality replacement window has durable weather-stripping on all sides of each sash and is easy to operate. The most significant point on a replacement window is the edge spacer, which holds the panes of glass apart, and provides an airtight seal that keeps air and moisture from between the double panes. Pay particular attention to warranties against seal failure when selecting replacement windows.

Storm Doors

Storm doors are important because they provide extra draft protection and insulation value to non-insulated exterior doors. They also help to protect the exterior door from the elements. Most storm doors come with a screen for the warmer months. A quality storm door should be sturdy and tight fitting.

Replacement Doors

Exterior doors that are cracked and warped should be replaced with insulating replacement doors. Replacement doors have built-in weather-stripping and a core of insulation in order to stop drafts and slow heat loss through the door. They do not require a storm door for energy efficiency. Remember that windows and doors, no matter how costly, are only as good as their installation. The installer must ensure that storms and replacements fit properly, are adequately caulked and are flush and square in the rough opening. An unprofessional installation will compromise the energy efficiency of window or door, no matter how high-priced or high-tech.

You and Your Contractor

When considering particular storm or replacement windows and doors, make sure you discuss both the warranty and length of warranty with the contractor. The contractor should provide you with all warranty information in writing.
For additional information or suggestions on hiring a contractor, call the Energy New England Toll free Energy Hotline at 1-888-772-4242.