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How to choose Energy-Efficient Windows for Minnesota homes

How to choose Energy-Efficient Windows

The heat loss or gain through windows in the average United States home accounts for up to 30% of your home’s heating and cooling costs.  We can find Minnesota homes nestled comfortably in the top end of that figure, thanks to our frigid winters and hot summers.  The primary culprits of energy inefficiency are subpar windows and children that habitually leave exterior doors and windows openeven in subzero weather.  We have yet to solve the latter, but offer the following advice on choosing the best windows for Minnesota homes. 

Factors in choosing Energy-Efficient Windows 

Once you decide to replace the windows in your home with more energy-efficient options, there are a number of important features to consider.  

Glass

For maximum energy-efficiency, consider dual-pane or even triple-pane windows, instead of single-pane models. The extra layers of glass provide more insulation to keep your home comfortable, no matterthe outside temperature. 

Want even more protection against the cold Minnesota winters? You can also choose windows with argon gas between the panes. This helps to provide additional insulation and reduces thermal transfer.  It will keep your house noticeably warmer, even the coldest Minnesota nights. 

Frame 

You have several options when it comes to choosing the framing material for your new windows. While part of your decision will be based on the look of the material, there are also benefits to each option. 

Wood windows, for example, provide great insulation for your home. However, they also require more maintenance than other window materials, as wood is more susceptible to rotting and warping.  

Vinyl windows, on the other hand, are both energy efficient and low maintenance, making them a popular choice for many homeowners. The downside is that they come in fewer colors and designs, so you might not find a vinyl window option that fits your aesthetic.  

Windows made from Fibrex, a popular alternative to vinyl windows, strikes the best balance between efficiency and aesthetics. They are more durable than a vinyl alternative and are built to handle Minnesota’s weather extremes throughout the year.  

Benefits of Replacing Your Windows 

At first glance, a window replacement might not seem like the most exciting home project.  The truth is there are a fair number of benefits that result. 

Qualify for Tax Credits 

In addition to saving on your monthly energy bill, you may also qualify for tax credits when replacing your windows. When you install energy-efficient windows before December 31, 2020, you could be eligible for a tax credit of up to $500. Our team at Minnetonka Construction can help you better understand the rules and limitations to qualify while we work on your replacement window project.  

Your Home’s Value Can Increase 

Whether you’re thinking of selling your home in the next few years or you have no plans to move, it’s always nice to see your home value go up. Replacing your windows is a great way to improve home value.  On average, wood window replacements offer a 68.9% return on investment (ROI), while vinyl window replacements offer a 72.1% ROI.  

Your Home Gets a Refreshed Look 

Aside from all the energy-efficiency benefits of new windows, you’ll also enjoy the refreshed look your home has once you get new windows installed. New windows are a great way to make a home look newer, and the options for unique window designs are endless.  This can quickly change your home’s overall look and feel of your home, leading to more pride in your home and a better chance of hosting those fun holiday get togethers. 

You’ll Save money 

It might sound counterintuitive to say that you’ll save money by buying new windows, but it’s true. After the upfront cost of the project, you should begin to see significant savings on your energy bill.  

Not only will your house feel more comfortable, but your heating and air conditioning units won’t have to work as hard to keep your house at a comfortable temperature.  The reduced use of heating and cooling systems could potentially lead to a longer lifespan of your HVAC and reduced maintenance costs. 

Choosing a Window Replacement Company 

While it is possible to take on the project yourself, most homeowners prefer to use a professional window replacement company to ensure the proper design, selection, and installation.  There are several important factors to consider when locating the right window installer for your home.  

1. Read Reviews 

One of the best ways to know what to expect when working with a home improvement contractor is to read real, validated reviews from their previous customers. For example, you can browse past window installation reviews by customers of Minnetonka Construction. These real reviews are validated by third parties, such as HomeAdvisor and Google. They can provide great insight as to what to expect and how the company operates. 

2. Work with Licensed and Insured Companies 

What happens if you hire a home improvement contractor and someone is hurt during the project? If you work with an unlicensed or uninsured vendor, you could be held responsible. Before signing a contract, ask to see the contractor’s license and insurance information to make sure everything is on the up and up. 

3. Choose a manufacturer with a good reputation and warranty 

Quality products that endure are backed by warranties from their respective manufacturers.  The leading window manufacturersAndersen Windows and Marvin Windows, both provide warranties on their installed windows.  It is important to note that most manufacturer warranties will not cover incorrectly installed windows, thereby increasing the importance of having certified and professionally-trained installers install your windows. 

Find the most current warranties for window products:  Andersen Windows | Marvin Windows. 

4. Financing options 

If you are replacing all, or many, of the windows in your home, it may be a smart option to finance the project.  Home improvement financing loans have become widely popular, including financing options we have sourced to help Minnesota homeowners achieve the lowest rates possible for their window replacements. 

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