Costs And Benefits Of Window Replacements
New windows ensure that your rooms always stay pleasantly warm and at the same time reduce energy consumption. We will tell you when you should replace your windows, what the replacement costs and what benefits you will get from it.
Old windows are often no longer leakproof. As a result, humidity quickly settles and ice flowers sometimes grow when the outside temperature is cold. Expensive heating energy is wasted, and near windows, it is often cold and uncomfortable.
Simple glass windows, for example, give away the heat of around 55 liters of heating oil per square meter every season. In a detached house with an average of 25 square meters of windows, this adds up to 1,375 liters. Also, burning one liter of oil produces 2.6 kilograms of CO2.
This makes old glass windows not only expensive in terms of energy consumption but also less environmentally friendly.
But who else has such windows? Too many, as https://legacyusa.com/ confirmed: there are still 60 million single-glazed windows in the USA today.
Type of glazing - the differences
A distinction is made between three types of glazing - insulating glass, thermal insulation glass and superglass.
Are your windows from the 70s, when insulating glass became fashionable? This glass consists of two firmly joined panes that are approximately 20-24 millimeters thick and halve the loss compared to simple glass.
Inside it has nine degrees when outside it is minus ten degrees. It is cooler at the edges, where condensation can form because of an aluminum spacer couples the two panes all around. The space in between is filled with air.
Thermal insulation glass
Thermal insulation glass is usually around 30 millimeters thick. With this glass, the inert gas argon is used instead of air in the interspace.
They thinly vaporized the inner pane with a layer that throws heat rays back into the room. At an outside temperature of minus ten degrees, it has 14 degrees inside. This thermal insulation glass with a low-E layer was introduced in 1995. Heat loss: around one fifth.
Superglass uses three panes instead of two - so it's thick and heavy. The triple thermal insulation glass became common in 2002 and contains two instead of one Low-E layers of krypton instead of argon on the inside.
The surface of the window glass has at least 17 degrees inside if it was minus ten degrees outside. This allows the energy loss to be reduced to one-tenth.
Check window glass
Would you like to know whether your windows are energy wasters and whether you should have them replaced? There are two ways to do this:
Determine the year of construction of the window
On the one hand, you can conclude the year of construction of the window about the existing quality of the thermal insulation. To do this, refer to the type plate of the window, which is normally located on the upper side of a window edge or the spacer between the panes.
A year of construction before 1995 usually indicates that your windows do not have thermal insulation glazing. In this case, the renewal of the windows should be considered.
Determine the type of window glass
But you can also find out without the nameplate if you should replace your windows. With the help of a simple lighter test, you can find out how tight your windows are. Simply hold the flame when it is dark outside in front of the window. Now observe the reflections of the flame.
Each pane of glass reflects the flame slightly offset and creates a pair of mirrors of the flame. With double glazing, you will see four flames. If your window glass has thermal insulation glazing, one reflection must have a different color than the others.
This effect is created by modern thermal insulation glazing in which there is no vacuum but inert gases in the space between the window panes.
The window frame
The frames also belong to the window. They are made of plastic, metal or in combinations. To keep frames load-bearing and yet optically slim, they are reinforced on the inside, reinforcement fibers embedded, webs optimized and profiles laid flat. However, the profiles should not only be load-bearing and slim but should also insulate as well as possible.
For wood, insulation was not a problem for a long time. But combinations of materials had to be used for high-performance windows.
One or more layers of rigid foam or cork insulation are often built into the frame. Insulating foam fills the profile chambers in plastic or metal frames. The following applies to all frame materials: Today, any insulation level can be achieved, right up to passive house windows.
New frames and panes can accentuate the beauty of an old building, enhance inconspicuous houses and harmonize unsuccessful house views.
Who needs assistance in style and energy questions, turns to a wood craftsman from the network wood - he informs about reorganization methods, advises with choice of frame material and glazing and finds together with its customers the correct number and size of windows and wings and their rung division.
Three ways to renovate windows
There are several ways to give your windows a new shine. You can either replace the sashes, install replacement windows or replace the windows completely.
New sashes can be hung into existing window frames. However, this only makes sense if the old component is still intact. Flaking paint, weathered glaze or rotten spots also recommend replacing the frame. Completely new windows often cost only slightly more than patchwork and have more favorable heat values.
A replacement window in the old frame
Another possibility is to saw off the window frame up to the wall connection. After you have shortened it, you put a conversion frame on the stump, fasten it with screws and cover it. It is important that the substance of the old window is still intact and that the frame wood has no moisture damage or infestation by fungi or pests.
The advantage: the old window does not have to be torn out of the wall and the wallpaper and tile covering remain intact on the inside, plaster and facade cladding on the outside. The remaining frame and the new frame together increase the wood content of the window, the glass surface is reduced and less light falls into the room.
However, this renovation method has a much greater disadvantage for the energy balance of the house: the old wall connection allows heat to escape and the joints between frame and wall are inadequately insulated and sealed.
Replacing the windows completely
Old windows out, new ones in - today the windows of a single-family house can be replaced within a day, but the subsequent bricklaying work is of course added.
The frame installation
The frame should be installed in the outer wall without thermal bridges - professionals know how this works. Where a window is ideally located in the wall and how it is fastened depends on the wall construction.
In a single-shell outer wall, windows should be installed in the middle third of the wall, in multi-shell wall constructions in the inner third of the insulation level. Installing windows in this ideal line are technically complex.
Their energy balance deteriorates by only about five percent if the outside of the frame is flush with the outer edge of the masonry. This makes it easy to insulate and install without additional fastening elements.
A load of a window is transferred to the wall via support blocks. Fixing elements such as frame anchors or wall anchors are used perpendicular to the window level, nails no longer correspond to the state of the art.
The spacing of the fixings depends on the material of the frame - for wooden windows and wood-aluminum frames it is a maximum of 800 millimeters, the fixings are made in each case a maximum of 150 millimeters from the inner corner.
Avoid thermal bridges
In old buildings without external insulation, new windows insulate heat losses, but in the reveal area the heat flows past the frame to the outside - on the outside of the frame only a few centimeters of reveal masonry offer "heat protection".
These thermal bridges can cause mold problems. It would make sense to insulate the façade - as a temporary solution, insulation in the window reveal, also known as "frame insulation", is recommended.
Important in new buildings as well as in uninsulated old buildings: A tight connection of the windows to the sealing level - i.e. the vapor barrier on lightweight walls, the interior plaster on solid walls. The Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV) stipulates the windproof installation of windows - on all four sides, experts say "all-round".
The window fitter is required to point this out to building owners and renovators before starting work and to carry out the sealing by today's technical rules:
It should be tighter on the inside than on the outside so that the seal on the room side resists water vapor more than the seal on the weather side. This creates a water vapor gradient to the outside - should moisture penetrate, it can evaporate to the outside. PU foam, hemp plaits, sheep's wool or other materials insulate well but do not seal - warm, moist room air penetrates the joint and condenses; moist insulating materials lose their function.