If people want to reduce their energy bills as much as they can, replacement windows may be the answer:
Replacement windows are windows designed to fit into the same structure that the old windows come out of.
When considering which type of glass will work best for you, consider the R-value and the U-factor. These are ratings replacement-window manufacturers assign to their windows that tell you how efficient they are.
The R-value of a window indicates how well it insulates. These values go from 0.9 up and a window that insulates fairly well will have a rating of 3 or more.
The U-factor is how well the window does at keeping the heat in. In this case, the lower the number the better, so you want a value from 1.1 to 0.3. Only use single pane windows if heat loss isn’t a factor, such as detached garages or sheds. Double and triple-pane glass use panes of glass, hermetically sealed with airspace in between.
Some windows may even incorporate specially-treated glass like low-e (low emissivity) and heat-absorbing variants to enhance their energy-efficiency properties. In essence, the choice of glass plays a major role in making a window as energy-efficient as possible. However, the frame used by the window deserves some attention too since some materials, like wood, not only have great R-values but also good insulation properties.
These things should go hand-in-hand when you're looking for replacement windows in Maine, like those offered by Renewal by Andersen, fox maximum energy savings later. However, some factors should also be considered, like glare control and sound dampening, to help make things more comfortable at home. Buying window treatments like solar shades can also go a long way in improving energy-efficiency.
Of course, homeowners should consider replacement windows a huge investment: the overall value of a window is determined by its reliability and durability, especially if it is from a reputable brand like Andersen windows from Maine. Additionally, they should also know that the energy savings from windows are gained over a period of time, not instantly. As such, long-term maintenance costs and possible effects on the property's retail value are even more factors that should be kept in mind as well, especially when buying casement, double-hung, or other types of windows.
(From Tips on how to choose replacement windows, LA Times, April 13, 2013)