When looking for a suitable window covering, homeowners have many options to choose from. Though home trends come and go, window shutters remain to be a popular choice. They have notable advantages over other treatments and are often custom-made to match and enhance a home’s style.
Although there are many types of window shutters, each falls into one of two categories; interior or exterior shutters. Below you will find a detailed comparison between the two to help you choose the best shutters for your home.
Interior shutters consist of louvers or raised panels, providing privacy and light control. Wood is the most popular material for these window coverings, but faux wood and composite are common options. Typical interior shutter types include plantation, traditional, cafe-style, bi-fold, and multi-tier shutters.
Getting custom shutters allows you to adapt them to your home style. A professional can make them fit into any window size. Interior shutters open to the sides of a window. Multi-tiered shutters are hinged together and are preferred for bay or bow windows.
Most homes that feature exterior shutters have them only for decorative purposes. Few use them for their privacy or security benefits. Wood is still the most common material for exterior shutters, although it is not as weather resistant as other materials.
Composite, vinyl, aluminum, and metal are more durable options. Exterior shutters come in various designs and can complement almost any architectural style. You can choose between Bahama, louvered, raised, or flat panels.
Rolling shutters can be motorized and controlled via a remote or smart device. Hurricane shutters are required in certain coastal regions to protect against extreme weather. With custom shutters, you can combine different styles to create a unique look for your home.
Interior vs Exterior Shutters: A Side-By-Side Comparison
Choosing between interior or exterior shutters is not so much about which one is better but what you want to achieve, be that functionality, protection, or aesthetics.
Both shutters can enhance and complement the style of your home. Some shutter types are better suited for specific architectural styles. For example, board and batten shutters can enhance a farmhouse look. Interior shutters usually come in subdued colors of white and stained wood to blend in smoothly with the rest of the furnishings.
On the other hand, exterior coverings are made to stand out and come in every hue, from red to green to black. When you opt for custom shutters, a design specialist can help you determine which shutter matches your style best.
Interior shutters don’t require much maintenance. Cleaning them occasionally is often enough, and they need less attention than other window coverings. Exterior shutters are still relatively low maintenance, depending on the material you use.
You may have to clean them more frequently and reapply paint when it starts to flake. Fixed or faux shutters can be particularly challenging to clean. As for exterior shutters that open to the side or upwards, you must regularly lubricate the moving parts to ensure they don’t get stuck.
With interior shutters, you can control the amount of natural light that enters your home. You can adjust them to allow for full or partial views or close them entirely for a darker room.
Exterior shutters, like louvered and Bahama shutters, can also provide some light control. But because they are outside, adjusting them to your liking is harder.
Exterior shutters can increase insulation. During colder months, they can help reduce energy costs by retaining heat. Because they restrict sunlight, interior shutters can keep you cool during summer. They can potentially reduce 20% to 60% of solar heat gain.
Most homeowners, however, do not take advantage of this, and 75% of all the shutters and blinds remain in the same position all day. Adjust your shutters, whether interior or movable exterior, for the most benefit.
Whereas interior shutters provide little or no protection from the elements, exterior coverings were initially made to serve this purpose. They protect your windows during harsh storms and prevent them from breaking. Interior shutters may also be a cost-efficient solution where you do not want to replace old windows but still want to protect them from damage.
These interior shutters are also a more convenient option than storm windows. Although not as visually appealing, Bahama and hurricane shutters are the strongest and most essential parts of coastal homes.
Apart from providing weather protection, exterior shutters can be an effective barrier against intruders. When closed, they can discourage burglars from trying to break in. If you have children, interior shutters are safer than window treatments with cords and strings.
Both interior and exterior shutters cost significantly more than other window coverings. They almost always require installation by a professional. Exterior shutters should fit securely and be properly supported to prevent them from falling off during strong winds and bad weather. They consist of more durable material than interior shutters, which makes them more expensive.
Find Your Style with Window Treatments by Energy Window Solutions
Energy Window Solutions is your local fenestration expert. We offer a wide range of modern and innovative window treatments, from custom shutters to custom blinds.
If you want to explore different options before you decide, you can visit our showroom. Our consultants can help you find and customize a product that suits your style.
See our most recent blog on this topic here.
Which One Should You Choose?
Before answering this question, you need to determine what you want first. Do you want a long-lasting, low-maintenance window covering to protect from the sun? Choose interior shutters. Are you looking for a budget-friendly way to weatherproof your home?
Go for exterior shutters, and you’ll also benefit from an added sense of security. If you want shutters purely for aesthetic value, choose a style that suits your home. Whichever shutter you choose, each can increase curb appeal and the value of your home.
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How To Choose Energy Efficient Windows
If you feel the sweltering heat of a hot summer or a cold draft in winter, it is a warning sign that your windows are wasting your air conditioning or heat. One of the most effective ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency is to install energy efficient windows. These windows have increased insulation that helps keep outdoor temperatures from seeping in and battling with your HVAC system. Research shows ENERGY STAR-certified windows can help lower household energy bills by up to 12%, which is a considerable saving. This blog provides tips to help you switch to energy saving windows.
Choose double glass panes
A crucial feature of any window is its glass. The ideal glass for your energy efficient windows should be optimized for your climate to slow thermal transfer and reduce heat and cooling costs. In this regard, ensure the windows you chose have dual pane or triple pane glass. Ideally, inert argon gas is used between panes of the glass to enhance insulating properties. Other energy efficient glass features to look out for include:
- Lamination and tinting: A window with laminated, tempered, tinted, and obscure insulating glass adds ultraviolet protection to keep your home comfortable and energy efficient
- Heat absorbing film: These special tints darken the glass and reflect light to reduce glare and absorb solar heat from the outside. The film is available in specific colors, particularly bronze, green, or gray tint, that lower heat transfer.
- Low emissivity coating: Low-E glass is a special reflective coating that blocks heat from escaping or creeping into your home based on the season. Select Low-E glass coatings for different areas of your home. The coatings help reflect summer heat and retain interior cooling. They also block harmful UV rays to prevent fading damage.
Consider your region
Your geographical location and climate are critical in determining your home’s best energy-efficient windows. To find the most efficient windows, determine your ENERGY STAR climate zone and use the rating to find windows with the ENERGY STAR label certified for that zone. An ENERGY STAR label means the US government, through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has certified that a window meets or exceeds the energy performance standards of your state. Choosing such windows can help you reduce your annual heating and cooling costs.
Read NFRC label
The National Fenestration Ratings Council (NFRC) is a nonprofit agency for the window industry that created an energy rating system based on the performance of the whole unit product. Checking the NFRC label is one of the most effective ways to determine the entire window’s energy performance, not just the glass’s performance. There are two critical ratings indicated on an NFRC label:
- U-Factor: The U-Factor of a window indicates the heat rate flowing out of the window after every 60 minutes. Most windows have a U-factor that ranges from .20 to 1.20. The lower the number, the better the insulation. Ensuring your U-Factor is .30 or below can help maximize the energy efficiency of your windows. However, your U-Factor should be .40 or below if you live in the Southern States.
- The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC): the SHGC rating measures the amount of solar radiation that the glass transmits into your space. The lower the number, the less heat the glass allows into your home. If you live in a year-round hot region, your SHGC should be less than .25. Those in cold climates can opt for a higher SHGC of up to .42.
Choose frame material
The frame material is another crucial factor to consider, especially when looking to cut costs and save money. Wood is one of the most popular frame materials thanks to its high insulation properties. Wood frames are also stylish, which add a beautiful aesthetic value to your home. Vinyl is an alternative to wood if you are looking to stay on a lower budget. Vinyl frames typically don’t require the same maintenance as wood making them ideal as low-maintenance alternatives.
Consider interior and exterior treatments
Interior window treatments include curtains, blinds, and shades. They can help save energy costs by limiting the amount of heat from the sun and insulating windows. Exterior treatments save energy while adding curb appeal. Some of the popular exterior treatments to choose from are shutters and awnings designed to limit solar heat. There are also specialty window screens that keep bugs out and limit heat gain from the sun.
Choose professional installation
Even the highest-rated energy-efficiency glass won’t protect your home if the window installation is wrong. Incorrect window installation leads to drafty windows that allow heat and moisture into your spaces. Choosing a professional window installation is always advisable to guarantee leak-proof and efficient windows that prevent air leaks and drafts. Check the level, square, bowing, plumb, and reveal to determine whether the windows are properly installed.
Is thick window glass more efficient?
Unlike what most people think, thicker glass doesn’t necessarily translate to more energy efficiency. However, thicker glasses are more durable, making them ideal for regions that experience high wind loadings. If you are worried about broken glass during extreme weather, opt for windows with thick glass.
Should I choose single-pane or double-pane glass?
Not all glass is equal. The number of glass panes in your windows determines its efficiency level:
- Single pane glass: generally, single pane glass is not energy efficient.
- Double pane glass: double pane glass is more efficient. It is the standard for residential windows
- Triple pane glass: triple pane glass has a higher energy efficiency but isn’t ideal for all climates.
Contact Energy Window Solutions for all your window needs
Studies reveal windows account for 25 to 30% of residential heating and cooling energy use. Choosing energy efficient windows should be a priority if you are looking to save energy costs and improve the safety of your home.
Energy Window Solutions provides homeowners and businesses with the most energy efficient windows, entry doors, patios, and siding on the market. Our windows are made to keep out the ever-changing North Texas weather conditions and ensure your family is comfortable and safe in your home. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
See our most recent blog on this topic here.
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Double-Pane Vs. Triple Pane Windows: What’s The Difference?
Windows may seem mundane in our homes, but they play a significant role in our comfort and overall aesthetics. When it comes to choosing the right windows for your home, you’ll likely come across the terms “double pane” and “triple pane.” But what’s the difference between the two, and does it matter? In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of double-pane and triple pane windows, from their construction to their benefits, and help you make an informed decision.
What Is the Difference Between a Double and Triple-Pane Window?
A window pane, or glazing, is the glass panel between your home’s interior and exterior. The difference between a double-paned and a triple-paned window is somewhat self-explanatory. Double-paned windows feature two panes of glass, while triple-paned windows have three. The layers are separated by a spacer and filled with an insulating, non-toxic gas. Argon is the most common gas used in these windows. However, krypton (which is denser but more expensive) is also an option
How Do They Compare?
Triple- and double-pane windows are superior to single-pane windows when it comes to energy efficiency. Compared to single-pane glass, double-pane windows provide nearly twice as much insulation, and triple-pane ones offer the highest level of efficiency. Some triple-pane options are up to 79% more efficient than their single-paned counterparts. So, why are triple and double-pane windows more efficient than single-pane ones?
First, an almost imperceptible Low-E coating is applied to each pane of glass to aid in heat reflection and maintain indoor comfort by filtering most of the sun’s damaging UV rays. Low-E glass is used in both double and triple pane windows. However, the latter has an even more significant solar heat gain and glare reduction.
The insulating properties of windows are another feature that helps reduce energy use. The R-value is a standard for evaluating the total thermal performance of a window. If a window has a high R-value, it provides excellent insulation. There is an air gap between the panes of glass in double and triple-glazed windows. Argon gas, which is inert and does not conduct heat, can be utilized as an additional layer of insulation between panes of glass. The R-value of a triple-pane window is higher than that of a dual-pane window making the former the clear winner in this category.
A window’s STC rating indicates how well it blocks outside noise. “STC” is an abbreviation for “sound transmission class.” The greater a window’s STC rating, the better it is at blocking outside noise. While there is no such thing as a soundproof window, double and triple-pane options significantly lessen outside noise.
As was previously mentioned, the air and space between windows serve as insulators and reduce ambient noise. So, the amount of outside noise is diminished as additional panes of glass are added to a window. Additionally, incorporating panes of varying glass thicknesses aids in reducing sounds of varying frequencies. The highest STC rating can be attained with three panes of glass of varying thicknesses, as this configuration causes the greatest disruption to the sound waves.
Your windows should be sturdy enough to defend your home from intruders or flying debris during a windstorm. Double-glazed windows offer a lot of safety. It would take something powerful to smash through your double-paned window.
Triple-glazed windows add an extra layer of safety to a building. For any potential intruder, more glass means more work. This window is also noticeably heavier than others, making it significantly less susceptible to breaking.
When it comes to safety, the glass in your windows is the most crucial component. Always use a top-notch professional window installer to guarantee the highest quality products and service.
It’s crucial to have your windows installed correctly. The same holds for double or triple-glazed windows. However, remember that the procedure for installing double and triple-glazed windows is different.
Most window frames are built to accommodate a double-pane window. Professional installation is of the utmost significance to guarantee your window’s correct fit, seal, and operation.
Triple-glazed windows are usually much bigger. Some triple-glazed windows are difficult for even seasoned professionals to install into pre-existing window units and frames. After all, triple panes are exceedingly heavy and bulky, straining and maybe breaking these frames. One needs a steady hand to install a set of triple-glazed windows. While there is always a chance that parts of the window frame could be damaged, there is no danger to the rest of your home. Nonetheless, double-pane windows are always a good option for a hassle-free installation
As a result of using additional components, triple-glazed windows are more expensive than double-pane ones by 15% to 25%. Triple panes are famously tricky to install due to their weight and mass. Therefore, you can expect to pay more for labor. It’s true that over time, lower energy expenses will pay for the additional expense of installing triple panes, but that time frame can vary from three to seven years.
Triple-glazed windows are even more durable than double-paned ones, as they have three layers of glass instead of two. They should survive for at least 30 years if you care for them. Because of this extra durability, triple-glazed windows are superior to double-pane ones in terms of withstanding high winds and other forms of extreme weather.
Are Triple-Glazed Windows Worth It?
Triple pane windows are more expensive than double-glazed ones but have many advantages, such as better insulation and less outside noise. They are an excellent investment if you expect to stay in your house long. Will you be there long enough for the cost savings from reduced energy consumption to pay off? Consider the weather patterns where you now reside. If you live in an area that routinely experiences very cold or warm temperatures, triple-glazed windows may be the best option.
Upgrade Your Windows Today: Choose the Pane That’s Right for You!
The choice between double- and triple-glazed windows ultimately comes down to your specific needs and preferences. If you live in a colder climate or want maximum energy efficiency, triple pane windows may be the way to go. However, double-pane windows can still offer significant benefits if you’re on a tighter budget or live in a milder climate. Regardless of your choice, upgrading to modern, energy-efficient windows will save you money in the long run.
If you’re ready to upgrade your windows, look no further than Energy Window Solutions. Our team of experts can guide you through choosing the right windows for your home, and our top-quality products will surely exceed your expectations. So why wait? Contact us today and start enjoying the benefits of upgraded windows!
See our most recent blog on this topic here.
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Custom Blinds Vs Store-Bought Blinds: Which Ones Are Better?
Are you looking for the perfect window coverings to enhance your home style? Or are your blinds showing signs of wear and tear? Blinds are just one of the many window treatment options available to homeowners. Although some people think they are outdated and have no place in modern homes.
But window coverings are not just a piece of decor. They provide privacy and protection from the sun. They can also help reduce your utility bills by reducing energy loss. After all, windows can waste 25 percent of the energy used for heating and cooling your home. Blinds are especially helpful during warmer months, as you can control the light entering your home while reducing heat transfer.
Finding the best blinds to match your style is essential to making your home comfortable and enjoyable. Apart from designs, colors, styles, and functions, homeowners can also choose between custom-made and store-bought blinds. But what is the difference between the two? Does it matter? Find out below.
Store-bought window coverings cost less because they are often made of low-quality materials. With custom blinds, a window treatment specialist does not work to keep costs as low as possible; here, customer satisfaction matters most.
Much care and attention go into making custom coverings because clients expect them to be of superior quality. Although you can get premium store-bought blinds, they seldom match the quality of custom fittings.
If the product does not match your expectations, the store will do little about it, if anything. On the other hand, you can directly talk to your installer should you have an issue with your custom-made blinds.
Store-bought window treatments are only available in limited designs, colors, styles, and sizes. Finding a product that matches your home style can take time and effort, and you may have to settle for something less satisfying.
Even if you find something suitable, it may be the wrong size with limited functionality. Store-bought blinds also come in limited quantities. Once they are sold out, you might not find the same design and will end up with a patchwork of styles and colors.
As for custom-made blinds, there’s no limit to your imagination. Not only can you choose the colors and patterns, but you can have the blinds tailor-made to your wishes. You also benefit from the insight of expert designers. They will ensure a seamless design while making your home unique.
Another reason why custom-made blinds are so popular is their adaptability. Custom treatments can fit into any household, whether you prefer traditional corded blinds or automated coverings. You can connect motorized window treatments with your home automation system and control them from anywhere.
If you are not big on smart gadgets, you can still enjoy convenience through remote controls. With store-bought blinds, your options are limited. You might find automated blinds, but they may be the wrong size or not match your style. It’s hard to find a store-bought product that fulfills all your criteria.
It’s no secret: windows waste a lot of energy. About 76% of cooling energy escapes through them, not to mention the heat lost during winter. But replacing windows is costly, and they do not always pay for themselves.
Thankfully, window coverings can prevent a lot of energy loss. Custom blinds offer you more control over how much light enters your home.
Store-bought blinds can’t be adapted to different windows. For example, a north-facing window does not need the same protection as one that faces east. A window treatment specialist can provide you with blinds customized for each window.
When you buy store-bought blinds, the price does not include installation. You have to put them up yourself. If you are not a seasoned DIYer, this can be a challenge. You could damage the wall or the blinds and may not have the necessary tools. The price of custom window coverings includes the installation by a professional.
The technician can complete the setup with little time and effort and will ensure you are satisfied with the job. The added benefit of convenience often makes it worth the cost. Additionally, you can readily fix the blinds should they get damaged. With store-bought blinds, you may not always find the correct replacement parts.
One advantage store-bought blinds have over custom-made ones is their price. Custom blinds cost more, and for that reason, some homeowners opt for the cheaper option. Store-bought coverings do not require all the measuring, deciding, and negotiating. You immediately get what you want, most of the time.
Apart from their design limits, store-bought blinds are often shipped overseas, where manufacturing standards differ. With custom-made blinds, you know exactly who makes them and know they live up to US standards.
Last but not least, custom blinds last much longer than store-bought coverings, up to 10 years or more, as opposed to a maximum of five years. They offer you the best value for your money.
Are You Ready to Get New Window Treatments?
Energy Window Solutions is your trusted window expert. Whether you need window treatments or new windows, we have a solution. We have been building windows for over 20 years and have garnered a reputation for excellent service.
Our comprehensive service includes window installation, replacement, service, treatments, doors, siding, and gutters. We have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and won numerous awards. We are dedicated to bringing you the best in fenestration. Want to find out more? Give Energy Window Solutions a call today.
Custom window treatments are clearly the winner in the debate of custom-made versus store-bought blinds. They are made for quality, not quantity, with the client’s best interest in mind.
With the help of a professional, you will get the look you want and enhance your home style. If you are worried about the costs, talk to your local window treatment specialist. They usually have options for every budget.
See our most recent blog on this topic here.
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Weather Stripping: Tips On How To Improve Energy Efficient Windows
From window replacements to light bulbs, you can reduce your energy costs in many different ways. Some of the more effective methods don’t even strain your budget. One of those cost-friendly methods is weather stripping.
Weather stripping helps keep warm air in during winter by reducing air leakage through windows. It also prevents the summer’s heat from entering, keeping you cool and your energy costs low. Weather stripping improves not only old, drafty windows. It’s beneficial to new energy efficient windows as well.
A window’s insulation weakens with time, causing air to enter a building. Weather stripping can mitigate this without having to replace the whole window. If the window installation was poor, weather stripping helps to seal those gaps.
Importance of Weather Stripping
Heating and cooling systems account for over half of a home’s energy use. And windows waste 10 to 25 percent of that energy through insufficient insulation and air leakage. It’s easy to see how sealing all those air leaks can significantly lower energy costs.
According to ENERGY STAR, increasing a home’s insulation can save 15% in heating and cooling costs. Drafty windows also make a room less comfortable, and the damp air can damage other parts of the home. Weather stripping is a simple, cost-efficient way to reduce air infiltration through windows.
What Is Weather Stripping?
Energy efficient windows alone won’t increase energy savings. They require proper installation and adequate insulation. Weather conditions and wear and tear can weaken the insulation. Weather stripping is the process of sealing gaps around windows and doors by applying narrow strips of materials.
Although the application can be relatively easy, hiring a professional will ensure proper installation. Additionally, a window specialist can get high-quality materials unavailable to homeowners.
Finding Air Leaks
Before you start weather stripping, you need to detect the leaks. This can help you choose a suitable material and insulation method. Weather stripping is usually applied to the movable parts of a window. It won’t solve leaks caused by cracked caulking and other issues.
To find leakage around windows, you could go around each window and feel for drafts. However, this is tedious and inefficient. You won’t be able to detect the more subtle leaks. A professional can perform an energy audit that will not only detect air leaks for energy efficient windows. The auditor will assess the whole house and tell you which areas need improvement.
The Uses of Different Types of Weather Stripping
Weather stripping is available in different materials, and products differ on where and how they are applied. Some weather strips are made specifically for doors but won’t be covered here.
Tension seals or V-strips are very effective at sealing a window. They go inside the tracks of vertical or horizontal sliding windows and block drafts by pressing against the sides. You can get vinyl, aluminum, or copper tension seals. V-strips are the most common weather stripping because they are durable and invisible when installed.
Felt and foam strips go around a window sash. When you close a window, it compresses the strip or tape. Foam tapes are not as efficient as other materials but are inexpensive and easy to apply. They can be an easy fix for a drafty window, although they are not visually pleasing. Note that you’ll have to replace the strips more frequently as they only last a year or two and are susceptible to moisture.
Another highly effective method is to use magnetic weather stripping. It works excellent for double-hung windows and attaches to it when closed. It creates a near-perfect seal, almost like a refrigerator gasket. Magnetic stripping costs more than other options but lasts longer.
Although a little challenging to install, fin seals are another long-lasting option. They are very effective at preventing air leaks as long as you know how to apply them right.
How to Choose Weather Stripping
Choosing the correct weather stripping is necessary to seal a window properly. Look for a product that can withstand harsh weather, fluctuating temperatures, and wear and tear. In sliding windows, for example, you want a material that can withstand constant movement without wearing out or slipping.
Also, ensure the weather stripping does not affect a window’s operation. Spending a little more money on weather stripping materials and hiring a professional will ensure it serves you for a long time.
Some windows come with built-in weather stripping. When it wears out, you can replace it. Be careful you read the manufacturer’s manual and only use approved materials. Otherwise, you could void your warranty. You can also call the installer who first set up the windows, as they usually provide other window-related services.
When to Replace Weather Stripping
Weather stripping wears out over time, and some are faster than others. It would help if you replaced it before you notice cold drafts coming from your windows. Check the stripping regularly, at least twice a year, and replace damaged parts. Pay special attention to windows that are exposed to the weather.
Weather stripping is just one way you can make your windows more efficient. Other options include window treatments, insulation, window screens, and caulking. Each method can reduce energy costs to varying degrees. Used together, they provide the most energy-saving benefits.
Looking for Quality Window Services?
Choosing the right windows for your home is essential. What’s more important is choosing the right installer. A good installer will ensure you get the most value for your money. Energy Window Solutions strives to provide the best quality window services at competitive prices.
Our top-rated services have earned us the trust of our clients. When you come to us, you know you are dealing with experts. If you want to know more, give us a call today.
Weather stripping can improve overall comfort in your home. Once installed, you can instantly feel the difference. It’s easy, inexpensive, and provides long-term benefits. With energy efficient windows being such a huge investment, little improvements can go a long way to make that investment count.
See our most recent blog on this topic here.