3 Ways Better Windows Can Help You Live a Greener Life

3 Ways Better Windows Can Help You Live a Greener Life

Modern windows have a lot more going for them than older models, both in eco-friendliness and in functionality. In fact, you can combine quite a few different modern improvements to windows to get the ultimate energy-efficient window. Learn three ways better windows can help you live a greener life. 

1. Tighten Your Home’s Envelope 

The less your home leaks heat and air, the less you contribute to greenhouse gases just by staying warm (or cool). This is called having a tighter building envelope, and it means that your building has less of a negative effect on the atmosphere as a whole. One easy way to accomplish this is by improving insulation in windows, walls, and attics.

You also reduce your effect on local ecosystems when you improve your building envelope. That’s because of something called the heat island effect. This term describes the elevation in heat that happens in urban areas due to human activities and construction. 

Not only is this difference in heat bad for the creatures that are native to that exact spot, but it also heats up stormwater runoff. So the plants and creatures in nearby and surrounding waterways also have to contend with temperatures that they’re not adapted to. Since heat islands are so harmful, reducing your contribution to the effect is the responsible thing to do.

2. Reduce Your Energy Use

The less you need to make up for windows that lose energy, the less time, effort, and money you need to put into heating and cooling your home. Energy sourcing and usage has ecological effects, especially since a high percentage of American energy is still sourced from petroleum products.

If you want to reduce your impact on the environment, then reducing the amount of energy you use to heat and cool your home is a big step in the right direction. You can do this not only by choosing double-or triple-glazed windows but also by choosing low-emissivity glass or adding a coating that protects your windows against non-visible heat and light rays.

3. Reduce Virgin Material Use 

If you source windows made of recycled glass, you can reduce your effects on the environment even further. In addition to reducing your usage of virgin petroleum products for energy, you can reduce your reliance on the virgin materials used to create glass. And the process used to recycle glass is more earth-friendly, producing fewer greenhouse gases than new production.

Although recycling paper and plastics is important, getting into the habit of recycling glass and using recycled glass products is even more important when you consider that glass may remain intact for a million years before biodegrading. Another reason why it’s especially helpful to recycle glass is that unlike plastic, it can be recycled over and over again.

Some manufacturers also offer window frames made with eco-friendliness in mind. When choosing an ecofriendly window frame material, you need to take under consideration several factors. Firstly, look for energy efficiency, since this quality can save energy throughout the life of the window. Secondly, look for recycled content and recyclability (composites aren’t recyclable).

These are just three ways that choosing eco-conscious, high-functioning windows can help you live an environmentally friendly life and reduce your home’s impact on the environment.

No matter what type of window you’re looking for, JFK Window & Door Co. can help you find quality products such as double hung windows, specialty windows, combination windows, and much more. We also offer expert installation and aim for complete customer satisfaction. Get in touch with us today to let us know what you’re looking for and learn how we can help you.

What Kind of Windows are Best for Your Sunroom?

What Kind of Windows are Best for Your Sunroom?

Sunrooms, though beautiful and fun for spending time together, have not always been the most comfortable rooms in the house. The secret to a comfortable sunroom is the installation of the right kind of windows. If you’re a homeowner who would like to make your sunroom a better place to spend time, these tips will discuss the hows and whys of replacing your windows. 

Why Does Your Sunroom Need Special Windows?

Without the right kind of windows, sunrooms can get very, very hot, especially in the middle of summer. Traditional single-pane windows without any special coatings allow UV rays to enter the home, thus allowing heat gain to increase the temperature in the house.

Sunrooms that are attached to the rest of the house can increase the temperature all throughout the house. By creating excess heat, sunrooms can make it difficult to control the temperature in the rest of the house. 

Special windows are helpful in sunrooms for more reasons than temperature. Sunlight can be surprisingly damaging. Over time, sunlight can cause floors to fade and upholstery to deteriorate. Without special windows, sunlight can cause serious problems, leading to the premature replacement of furniture and necessary flooring repair. 

What Type of Windows Are Best for Your Sunroom?

You can keep your sunroom in good condition by installing windows that offer UV protection and insulation against outside temperatures.

Insulation 

Windows have different kinds of insulation. Multiple panes of glass create a barrier that can prevent heat transfer from outside the home to the inside of the home. This also prevents the loss of warm air inside the sunroom during the winter, so the sunroom can be used all year round.

Two panes of glass may be the most common option; however, some homeowners choose to install triple-pane glass. Though more effective than double-pane glass, triple-pane glass is also bulky, heavy and more costly.

In addition to multiple panes of glass, homeowners also have the option to fill the space between the windows with gas. These products are usually filled with a gas called argon, an odorless and nontoxic gas that helps create an additional barrier which prevents heat transfer. 

Special Coatings

Special coatings like low-E coatings and tintings can block UV rays, preventing them from entering the home during the summer. In winter, low-E coatings also prevent warm air from inside the home from escaping through the windows.

ENERGY STAR Windows

Of course, the best windows are ENERGY STAR models. These windows are rated by the US ENERGY STAR program and, when installed throughout the house, are known to lower residential utility bills by as much as 12 percent annually. 

How Can You Decide Which Options Are Best for You?

Since there are multiple types of coatings and windows with two or three layers of glass, some homeowners can have a hard time deciding which option is best for their home. In this case, consult with a window professional. 

Your window installation professional can discuss your priorities with you, including budgetary concerns and biggest sources of discomfort in your current sunroom. With this information, he or she can help you decide which windows are right for your needs. Your window installer can even show you windows in a showroom that can help you decide which will look and perform best in your home. 

Where Can I Find Information About Windows and Sunrooms?

If you want more information about energy efficient windows in sunrooms, contact a professional window installer in your area. At JFK Window and Door, we help homeowners by answering their questions and giving them information about windows. Contact us today to find out more.

Give Your Old Home an Update with New Windows

Give Your Old Home an Update with New Windows

Windows are integral to the design and efficiency of your home. If you have an older home that you want to update, new windows are an excellent solution. Here are a few things to consider when replacing the windows in your home.

Consider Bigger Windows

Older homes tend to have smaller windows, owing to the technology of the time. One of the easiest ways to modernize a home is to put in larger windows. You may think that the structure of your home will prohibit installing larger windows, but window specialists can create new openings for window in many cases. Even brick homes can have walls modified so new window frames can be placed in. A larger window will open up your space and let more light in.

Prioritize Energy Efficiency

Is being green and sustainable important to you? If so, consider replacing your windows. Old windows tend to be drafty, reducing the energy-efficiency of your home. Your home’s energy efficiency can increase dramatically if you put in the right windows. You can save up to $340 per year in energy bills by replacing outdated single-paned windows with Energy Star–rated windows.

Modern windows are well-insulated, and new advancements such as double-paned windows filled with argon gas and low-e coatings do even better at retaining the heat and cold. Even better, you may be able to get a break on your taxes for these energy-efficient improvements. Consider Andersen windows, since Andersen has been an Energy Star Partner of the Year.

Add Windows Next

Remember what we said about making windows larger? You can also add windows to your home. For structural reasons (and because of cost), some older homes don’t have enough windows. Windows can be added over doors, over other windows, or next to windows. You can also give the appearance of adding a window by adding glass doors or front doors with glass panels. 

Make sure to check the regulations for your property; finished basements and new additions might actually need windows large enough to climb through in order to be considered legal living spaces — without these egress windows, the basement or addition may be not be safe.

Make Sure the Windows Aren’t Historic

New windows are going to add energy efficiency and comfort to a home. However, if you live in a historic home, you may need to follow special rules when you replace your windows. Speak with your window specialist to find a style of windows that meets the rules but still satisfies your requirements for aesthetics and energy efficiency.

Remember to Have a Plan

When you update your windows, you can install window sills and trim that matches what you already have. But what if you want to update these items as well? If you want new sills or trim, you might need to update the rest of your interior to match. 

Make sure you have a plan for the rest of your home; windows can do a lot, but they don’t do everything. Your window style should also be designed to match the doors of your home; you don’t want to marry modern, bold windows with a rustic, aged door. Of course, if you really love a certain window style, you can also replace your door to match it instead of the other way around — do your research first so you get the best results for the best deal. 

If you want to give an older home an update, there’s no better service than JFK Window and Door. JFK Window and Door sets itself apart from the competition by offering staining and painting services to match your new trim to the rest of your existing trim on your windows and doors. Contact JFK Window and Door to schedule a consultation or visit our website today.

Mold in the Home? Look at Your Windows

Mold in the Home? Look at Your Windows

If you have been suffering from unexplained symptoms like sneezing, headaches, and itching that gets worse when you are at home, mold may be the culprit. Some people have mold in the basement or between their walls, but homeowners often forget to check a major spot for mold growth: the windows.

Old windows, in particular, are a common breeding ground for mold. Here’s a closer look at why mold grows in old windows and what you can do about it.

Why Do Old Windows Get Moldy?

Mold spores are all around you. They’re in the outdoor air, and most indoor air contains some mold spores too. When the spores land somewhere moist where there is also a good source of organic matter like dirt or dust, they sprout and develop mold.

Old, wooden windows are the perfect spot for mold growth because they tend to be both moist and a source of organic matter. Many old windows are leaky because the glass has begun to separate from the sash. Water seeps in when it rains, keeping the sash and sill moist. The wood itself then begins to deteriorate and becomes the perfect food source for the mold. Once the mold has set into the grooved, deteriorated wood, the mold becomes difficult to remove.

How Can You Tell if Your Windows Are Moldy?

All you have to do is look. The most common place to find mold is along the bottom window sash or sill because this is where moisture settles. However, you may also see mold along the sides of the window sashes. Keep in mind that not all mold is black. Some species are white, cream, or green, and molds can look slimy or fuzzy.

What Should You Do About Moldy Windows?

When you discover mold in your windows, you should adopt both a long-term and short-term plan for dealing with the problem.

Short-Term Solutions

To get rid of the mold and try to ease your allergy symptoms, start by wiping up the mold with a solution of bleach and water. The CDC recommends using a 50/50 mixture of bleach and water for maximum effectiveness. Spray the mixture into the moldy areas, let it sit for a minute, and then wipe it away with a sponge.

Also, consider installing a dehumidifier to reduce humidity levels inside your home and reduce the amount of condensation that accumulates on the inside of windows. Whenever you shower or cook, run the exhaust fan to expel excess water vapor from the home.

Finally, look over each window to see if you can spot areas where air and water are leaking in. Apply caulk or rope caulk to these areas to reduce the amount of water that seeps in.

Long-Term Solutions

Once wooden windows start molding, keeping the mold at bay is an ongoing battle because of the porosity of the wood. To permanently get rid of the mold, the best approach is to replace your old windows.

New windows should be free from leaks, so rain water won’t seep in and contribute to mold growth. Many replacement windows are now made from a wood composite material, which resists mold and mildew growth much better than natural wood. Keep your new windows clean and locked to help deter mold growth in the future. 

Windows are a common source of mold growth in the home, and even a small amount of mold in your windows can lead to unpleasant symptoms and allergy attacks. If your old windows are beginning to mold and deteriorate, don’t waste any time. Clean the mold up with bleach as a short-term fix, and then contact JFK Window & Door Co. to schedule a window replacement estimate. 

A Guide to Window Terminology

A Guide to Window Terminology

As you shop for new windows, you will run into a lot of terminology that may seem foreign. But while you don’t have to be a window expert to choose good windows, you should know what to look for and what design elements you want. 

To help you find the perfect look and efficiency, read this short guide to some basic window terms and functions. 

The Frame

Each window is made of two parts: the frame and the sash. The frame is what attaches to the walls around the window. Frames generally consist of three parts:

  • The head. This is the top unit in the frame. It’s usually horizontal but may also be arched or diagonal. It can also be referred to as a head jamb.
  • The jambs. Jambs are the side pieces of the frame. Side jambs, as they are sometimes called, are usually vertical but can be other shapes in unique windows.
  • The sill. The most common term is the window sill. The sill is the horizontal piece along the bottom. It is often wider than the jambs. 

Frames are usually made of the following materials: vinyl, wood, fiberglass, aluminum, or Fiberex. Each material has pros and cons. Which material is best for you depends on how energy-efficient and low-maintenance you want your window to be.

The Sash

The operating portion of the window is called the sash. The sash is made of these basic parts:

  • The stiles. These are the vertical pieces that hold the glass in place.
  • The rails. The rails are the same as the stiles, but horizontal.
  • The panes. The glass itself is often described in terms of how many pieces are hung together as a unit. Double-pane windows feature two panes of glass set into the sash with a pocket of insulating argon gas between them. Triple-paned windows have three panes for more energy efficiency. Different coatings can be applied to the panes to help with energy efficiency too.
  • The grills (optional). The sash may have additional material between the glass to give another decorative detail. Grills come in different styles, including colonial, prairie, and diamond. You can also choose to have applied grills, which give the grills a more defined look.  Many people choose to have interior removable grills. These grills give you flexibility to take out the grills for an unobstructed view.

Speak with a window expert to learn more about your options for how your windows look and function.

Energy Efficiency

You’ll likely want a very energy efficient window with an Energy Star certification. Double-pane and triple-pane windows are more popular for their energy saving layers. But there are some other factors.

You will also hear about U-value and R-value. R-value measures resistance to heat flow and therefore energy blockage. You want a higher R-value. U-value is the measure of heat transfer. For U-value, you want a lower number. 

Energy efficiency ratings also often include the idea of low-E windows. This stands for low emissivity, and it’s a reference to the amount of natural radiation that passes through the glass and heats up your home. There are two methods for coating glass to produce this effect, called soft-coat low-E and hard-coat low-E glass. 

Types of Windows

Window design may not be at the forefront of your mind when you think of your home, but these architectural features can be quite varied according to what you want them to do.

Stationary windows, for example, do not open. They are decorative and often found in less-accessible places like attics, stairways, and halls. Similarly, a transom window lets in additional light and design interest above a door or window. Transom windows can be a couple different shapes, including rectangles, half-rounds, arched, or eyebrow. Bay and bow windows extend outward to provide more space inside.

Many windows are also described by how they move. Here are some examples:

  • Casement. The sash swings out from the left or right side.
  • Awning. You can crank the windows to swing out and upward from the center.
  • Single-hung. Either the top or the bottom sash moves up and down along the jambs. Typically, the top sash is fixed and the bottom sash operates.
  • Double-hung. Both sashes operate by moving up and down along the side jambs. 
  • Gliding.  These windows have two sashes side by side. The left or right sash moves horizontally along the jambs.

To learn more about the basics of window choice and how to decide what’s right for a particular spot in your home, contact JFK Window & Door Co. today.

Replacement Windows for Every Design Style

Replacement Windows for Every Design Style

Upgrading your home’s windows shouldn’t just be about functionality. Even though windows protect your home from the elements, can prevent heat and cold loss, and even save you money on energy bills, windows also provide aesthetic accents to your overall décor scheme.

If you consider form, and not just function, while you’re choosing replacement windows, then you can completely revamp the look of your home, change the style, or finally create one cohesive design throughout your entire home.

What are your window options? Beyond that, how do the different types of windows influence your style? Take a look at the decorative side of selecting new windows for your home.

Traditional and Classic

Your style is clearly classic. Traditional describes what your home décor revolves around and that means your home is filled with furniture and accessories that have a calm, simple, timeless feel. There’s nothing showy about your cozy kitchen breakfast nook, your wood-clad living room, or your neutral-toned bedroom.

What types of windows go with a traditional or classic style? Again, this style tends to lean towards the simple and plain. Anything ostentatious, such as colorful stained glass or decorative panes, won’t match the clean lines of a traditional home’s exterior and the same goes for the interior.

Double-hung windows are simple, no-fuss options that compliment a classically timeless style. If you want something that stands out, without straying from a traditional look, then a bay window offers a sense of hominess that flows with your home’s design. Likewise, a transom window makes a decorative impact, without going overboard or getting away from the classic look of the home.

Contemporary and Sleek

A sleek, chic, industrial style makes a modern statement with the help of clean lines, minimalist décor, and neutral color palettes. Coordinating this style with new windows means straying from anything that looks traditional.

A contemporary style lends itself to a glass-filled design. Floor to ceiling windows or large (and very plain or unadorned) picture windows are marks of modern décor.

If your redecorating plans don’t include removing parts of the walls to make space for larger replacement windows, the solid plain panels of casement windows create a seamless look. The key to using these windows with a contemporary style is to keep the frames minimal. Thinner frames or a frameless type of design can take more traditional windows and turn them into a contemporary dream.

Eclectic and Individual

Are you a true individual? Do you like to mix the old with the new, or match traditional accents with modern, edgy pieces? If eclectic describes your home’s décor (both inside and out), then you have plenty of window options to choose from.

Keep in mind, even though you may enjoy mixing up different types of décor or styles, replacing your windows with every model available may not look the way you’d imagine.

The key with eclectic homes is to create balance. This might mean choosing a bay window in the living room to go with simple, smaller sliders. In contrast, you could frame a picture window with slim casement windows. Adding a transom over a window or an entry door also adds an eclectic sense of style that can showcase your individuality.

Along with a mix and match approach, choosing specialty windows can add to an eclectically designed home. An unexpected window shape, such as an oval, can stand out among the traditional rectangles. While this doesn’t mean that you need to replace every rectangular window with an oval (or another shape), a rounder window in a hallway or at the top of the stairs creates visual interest and can even add a funky style to your home.

Are you ready to renovate your home’s design with replacement windows? Contact us at JFK Window & Door Co. for more information.