When it’s time to replace the windows in your home make sure that the windows you choose will provide maximum comfort and value for your investment. People are often surprised by the cost of window replacement but in the long run, the only thing more expensive than a high quality set of vinyl windows is an installation of poorly made windows. For those of you living in colder areas of the world, R-Value is an important term to understand well when considering window replacement. Here’s a look at the term and how it relates to windows.
Window Replacement and R-Value: A Guide
- So what is the “R-Value”?
Fundamentally, R-Value measures the amount of thermal resistance in a material. In layman’s terms, this is a measurement that tells us how well or how poorly temperature changes can migrate through a material. The higher the R-Value, the slower heat or cold temperatures will transfer from one side of a material to the other. The term R-Value is most often used in the building and construction industry.
- Is R-Value the most important window replacement indicator?
The short answer is “it depends”. Not exactly what you wanted to hear, but there are a lot of different factors to consider. While R-Value is an important consideration it is not the only one. A very sunny climate can minimize the importance of R-Value as sun coming through a window adds to the warmth of a home in the winter. Conversely, windows that don’t use reflective glass will create heat in the summer that you don’t want. In both of these examples the windows might have the same R-Value but provide very different performance in practical applications. Consumers should look for window companies that can explain these details in an understandable way and guide you through the selection process.
- What is the right R-Value for my application?
There is no “right” number when it comes to R-Value. The best vinyl windows will have an R-Value of 3.3 and there are some new designs on the market that have an R-Value of 5. The difference between 3.3 and 5 amounts to a 50% reduction in heat flow between the outdoors and the inside of a home. These windows are expensive but if you live in a colder climate like that found in Ontario, it might be a good investment.
If you live in the Durham, Markham, Richmond Hill or Scarborough areas, we invite you to visit us at Superior Home Improvements for further details on R-Value and window replacement.