Vinyl – Aluminum Combination Windows
Vinyl / Aluminum Combination Windows
Have you started to talk to replacement window sales people yet? It will be an experience, I can assure you of that! Some of these people could talk their way out of a date with the Devil himself! On the other hand, some of them are highly professional and will treat you with the highest respect. It is very likely that you will readily see the difference between the two.
All you have to listen for are the tall tales, exaggerated claims and the hollow promises. That will be the signal of the imminent shakedown. The professional salesperson will provide you with facts, written documentation of claims, and a list of truly satisfied customers.
The Payback Period
Whatever you do, don't buy vinyl windows because you think they are going to pay for themselves. This claim is simply not true. How do I know this? Here is a very simple example.
What is your average heating bill per season? To calculate this look at your oil bill or the portion of your heating bill that deals with gas (You fully electric people are going to have a tougher time..). The gas portion of my utility bill averages about $110 per month for 7 months during the heating season. Subtract from that the gas for the hot water heater, clothes dryer, and cooktop. Let's say that I'm left with $85. This means that it takes $595 per year to heat my house.
OK. Let's say these super duper new vinyl windows are going to save me 25% (I'm not saying I believe that number, mind you...). A 25% savings represents $148.75. For now, let's forget about inflation.
What are your new windows going to cost you? Let's say that the average house will cost about $8,000 to fit with new high quality windows. How long will they last before you need new ones? How about 25 years?
If my math is right, it is going to take nearly 54 years to pay off the windows.......... ($8,000 divided by $148.75). Hang on, because this gets much more interesting.
For sake of discussion, let's say you were going to extract the $8,000 from your hard earned savings account. At current interest rates, you are probably getting about 5.5% in a one year CD. This means your $8,000 is spinning off $440.00 per year in interest! Think. You could actually keep your $8,000 in the bank and just use part of the interest to pay for the extra fuel!
Comfort & Posterity
The math is great to do and impressive, but comfort and looks are important parts of the equation. Who wants to sit in a drafty house and be miserable. Besides, new windows will enhance the value of your house. So, if you are planning to sell your home (the average family moves every seven years!), then your house will show much better.
The point is this. If you are going to jump in and make the purchase, let's be sure you buy the best money can buy. This is one way to preserve and protect your capital.
Style & Character
One of your biggest challenges in selecting new windows will be to stay in character with your house. The aluminum / vinyl combination windows will help you do this. The aluminum exteriors provide you with infinite exterior color possibilities. This is extremely important if you want to maintain a high value for your house. Don't forget, some vinyl windows can actually detract - or steal - value from your house. Beware of the slick sales presentations by the crooks. They will skirt this issue by making you focus on energy savings and such. Energy is important, but we have already seen from the math that it is not as important as the salespeople would like you to believe.Look at Options
While you are shopping for your vinyl windows, pay attention to the new options and features. Test the motion of sliding windows. Note how easily the vinyl / aluminum windows move. The difference is striking.
Glass... I can't say enough about glass. It is - in many respects - the most important part of the window. You want the best high performance glass you can afford. This will be soft coat Low-E or one with high performance Low-E film in between the panes of glass.
The Low-E films and coatings work hard to reflect heat back to its source. This means savings in both winter and summer months.
Inquire about the air infiltration performance of the windows. This value is given as how many cubic feet of air per minute leak past the window per lineal inch or foot of weather-stripping or crack. It is an important number as the greatest heat loss is caused by air infiltration leaks!