Archive for the ‘Windows’ Category

Skylight Windows Brings The Outdoors Indoors

July 15, 2010

Skylight Windows

Skylights add value to homes, and helps them sell faster.  A good skylight adds light, spaciousness, and value to a home, but a badly made or poorly placed skylight can drain a house of warmth, introduce unwanted glare and heat, and create a leak risk.  Manufacturers and designers have worked hard to create skylight solutions that reduce the anxiety many builders and homeowners have over punching windows into a roof.

  • Research has shown that 55% of new homeowners rate skylights as desirable or essential.
  • 78% of new homebuyers are asking for more light and more open space.  Skylights can help create the illusion of bigger rooms by bringing the outdoors – indoors.
  • Skylights help create more privacy.  Rather than installing large Bay or Bow windows, skylights help bring the light into a room without enabling your neighbors to peek in.  Skylights can also generate more usable wall space.
  • Energy efficiency. With many of today’s skylight systems you can help reduce energy costs and provide natural sunlight instead of turning on the lights.

There are new products on the market that are less expensive, more practical, and easier to install.  Velux now offers an electronically tintable skylight using electrochromic glass, which allows for remote control of the amount of light and heat that enters a room.  Homeowners can quickly vary the tint to limit the heat gain and reduce glare, adding both to comfort and energy savings.

Window maker Milgard is now offering a skylight that comes framed in heavy-duty, bronze anodized aluminum.  The 750 and 780 series are thermally broken with a polyurethane barrier that separates the interior and exterior aluminum frames.  Users can open them manually, through an electrical wall switch, or by wireless remote.  Various glazing options, including tinted or reflective glass, are available.

Many skylight manufacturers are offering “out of the box” solutions, such as Velux’s VSE electric venting skylight.  It comes with an upgraded, pre-installed mounting bracket that allows roof mounting with nails instead of screws, making it quicker for the installer—and less chance for problems later on.

Tubular skylights represent the fastest-growing segment of the skylight market, providing natural light in tight spaces like hallways, laundry rooms, and bathrooms.  Solatube is now offering their 10- and 14-inch Solatube as an Energy Star-rated product.  The dual-glazed diffuser helps reduce interior heat loss during winter and solar heat gain during the summer months.
Velux, meanwhile, offers the Sun Tunnel in both Flexible and Rigid options.  The Flexible model simplifies installation around attic obstructions, while the Rigid model features easy alignment with dual adjustable elbows. Builders can upsell the product talking about its ability to save energy, while making natural light available without the need for windows.

Are Your Windows Energy Efficient?

February 16, 2010

When you’re choosing new or replacement windows, it’s always good to look for the Energy Star label.  But the information on each window’s NFRC label allows you to delve deeper and find the best match for your particular needs.

Hundreds of window, door and component manufacturers belong to the National Fenestration Ratings Council and submit their products to be rated for energy efficiency.  The NFRC’s distinctive label on each of its members’ windows rates several categories – different features may be more important in your particular situation, but in general all the ratings measure how well the window keeps the inside in and the outside out.

The U-Rating measures how well the window keeps heat from escaping – an especially big issue in the winter when you want to keep that expensive heat indoors.  The lower the number (on a range between 0.20 and 1.20), the less heat escapes.

The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient measures how much heat the window lets in with the light – particularly of interest in those southwest-facing windows, perhaps.  When you want to keep the A/C bills low, look for windows with a low solar heat gain coefficient.

Visible Transmittance measures (on a scale of 0-1) how much light the window allows to pass through; the higher the number, the more light is transmitted.

Air Leakage looks at one of the biggest culprits in a home’s unwanted gains and losses of heat: flow of air through less-than-perfect seals and other joints on the windows.  The lower a window’s AL number, the less air it lets through.

Consult with your local window contractors about which features are most important to your project and learn more about energy star windows.

What Window Considerations Should You Look For?

February 11, 2010

Window Specifications: Glass, Glazing, and Frames

When it comes to Vinyl Replacement Windows or Installing Windows, there are 4 areas of the new window’s makeup that should be of concern when making your choice.  Watch for the various window models and options available to assure you that you are getting the finest performance and durability available in today’s window products.

When selecting new windows, there are basic standards to be considered in 4 critical areas:

1.  The Glazing System: Permits light to enter without regard to the weather.

2.  The Operating Sashes: Hold the glass, and open and close to allow ventilation.

3.  The Frame System: Anchors the window unit to the wall.

4.  Hardware System and Components: opens and closes the sash, (tilts, slides or hinges) and/or locks the sash.

Each of these areas are important considerations in your selection.  It is these systems, working in concert, that produce energy efficiency, beauty, durability, ease of operation and safety and security in all products you may consider.

New windows add value and style to your home, reducing maintenance and cleanup while saving energy and the environment.  Contact us United Roofing today at 612-617-1717 for a free consultation on how we can transform your home.