Thinking about replacing the windows in your home?

Here are some helpful tips that you need to know when you begin looking for the best windows for your home.

Air infiltration. This refers to the movement of air at a different temperature through the different interfacing surfaces of the sash and frame. Look for windows that are designed for absolute minimum air infiltration.

Clad. Clad refers to the covering on the exterior window or patio door unit. From the inside, you see the beauty of wood while the aluminum clad “shell” on the outside ensures the life of your wood windows for many years.

Low-E. Low-E or low emissivity, refers to how a window reflects certain length waves. A window with a good low-E will lower your energy bill because in the summer it reflects sunlight and in the winter it absorbs it to help in heating your home.

Insulation. One way that insulation is created is with dead-air space between panes of glass in the window. Therefore a double-paned window gives more insulation than a single-paned one.

Argon and krypton. Some other factors contribute to the insulation qualities of a window as well, such as the gasket, the material type, and the gas used in a gas-filled window. Two types of gas are used to fill the space between panes of glass: argon and krypton. These gases are denser than air, which contributes better insulation. Krypton is even denser than argon, hence slightly more expensive.

U-value and R-value. The U/R value tells how the product insulates, essentially its energy efficiency. It is a formula derived from the efficiency of the product, and that formula takes into account many of the factors just mentioned. U refers to the measure of heat conductance and R refers to the measure of heat flow resistance. A good R measurement is a high one, while a good U measurement is low since U is the reciprocal of the R. Typically homeowners are more interested in the R value, while builders are interested in the U value.


Bob Beisbier, owner of BK Home Inspections, is a Certified Master Home Inspector who has been providing professional and thorough home inspections in southeast Wisconsin for over 12 years. Bob is Infrared certified, DILHR Certified, and provides Home Energy Tune-ups, Environmental Data Reports, Pre-sale Home Inspections and Pre-offer Home Inspections.