Choosing the right windows for your home is no walk in the park. There are so many types and styles to pick from that it can be hard to know where to begin, especially if this is your first time. There’s also the issue of quality and cost- how do you tell you are not being overcharged and that the windows will stand the test of time? Windows are a substantial investment and you want to ensure that they are not just appealing, but provide other benefits like improving your home security, making the house more energy efficient, and making the home quieter.
From costs to the type of glass here is our guide to choosing the best windows for your Irish home.
1. Determine Your Budget
This one is a no-brainer but it is vital in determining the material, style and type of glass. Each window comes at a varying price and so, you’ll need to do your homework. Generally, uPVC windows such as the ones from expertwindows.ie are the most cost-effective, and aluminium is slightly costlier. Timber is still pricier, but alu-clad, a composite of aluminium and timber is the most expensive.
2. Consider the Different Styles
There are numerous types of windows and the one you pick will primarily depend on your taste and needs.
- Sliding Windows– these are the most cost-effective and thus their huge popularity in Ireland. They require less maintenance, but they do not provide as much ventilation since only half the window can be opened.
- Double-Hung Windows– These lend a traditional style since they slide up and down. However, they mostly feature a spring-mounted mechanism rather than the weight and pulley one.
- Casement Windows– These windows pivot on hinges on each side of the frame, allowing them to open like doors. They tend to be taller than they are wide and arguably provide the best ventilation.
- Bay Windows– If making a statement is your priority, then you should settle for these. Bay windows make the room appear larger, making them excellent for breakfast nooks and dining rooms.
3. Window Glazing
Glazing is an aspect that will determine the efficacy of your new windows and so, it is important to pay close attention. There are different types of glazing, each with varying benefits as discussed below:
(i) Double Glazing
This entails fitting two glass panes with some space in between. Double glazing comes with benefits like:
- -Retaining heat to keep the interior warm during winter and insulating the home against the strong sun rays during summer.
- -Protecting your house against external noise. This can be attributed to the thick glass panes and the space between them.
- -Minimizing condensation. This is a great benefit as it protects your home against dampness and mould, especially in the moist Ireland climate.
This entails fitting an additional pane to the window, resulting in a total of three glass panes. This offers the following benefits:
- -Excellent for those in cold climates as it has the best heat insulation properties. This allows you to save a lot of money on your energy bill.
- -It has the lowest U-value compared to its counterparts. If you are environmentally conscious and want the best at minimizing heat loss, triple glazing is the right pick.
(iii) Secondary Glazing
This entails adding an additional framed glass within the existing frame. This allows for the following benefits:
- -Provides the highest protection against sound, usually up to 90%. This makes it the best pick for homes where noise reduction is necessary.
- -The most convenient and cost-effective option. You don’t need to replace windows for secondary glazing, making it cheaper and less consuming compared to a full replacement.
4. Go for Energy Efficient Options
As you hunt for the best windows, check the R-values. This is an indicator of the energy efficiency of the glass and insulation. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation. For instance, a single-pane window may have a rating of 1, while a double-pane one can rank as high as 4.
Do not forget to check the U-factor as well. This indicates the rate at which glass transfers heat flow. So, the lower this factor is, the higher the energy efficiency.
5. Add a Layer of Security
Nowadays, windows feature a 3 or 5-point locking system. These pins are installed along the frame length, ascertaining a strong deterrent to potential intruders. Keep in mind that even triple-glazed windows are still susceptible to breaking and if you leave the keys permanently in the inner lock, they are easier to access. As such, you should consider an extra layer of security and make a habit of hiding your keys.
Windows are vital in allowing natural light to enter your home, deterring the elements and tying your house’s aesthetic together. This makes purchasing new windows a crucial investment and so, you ought to be prepared. Use the tips mentioned above and don’t hesitate to take your time to ascertain an informed decision.
Lynn Martelli is an editor at Readability. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University and has worked as an editor for over 10 years. Lynn has edited a wide variety of books, including fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, and more. In her free time, Lynn enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with her family and friends.