Tag: window installation

  • Improving Skylight Installation

    Courtesy of BobVila.com

    Courtesy of BobVila.com

    Skylights can be a beautiful way to bring natural light into your home.  However, if not installed properly, they can ended up leaking, increasing your electric bills.

    There have been advancements in skylight design that benefit both your aesthetics and your wallet.

    According to BobVila.com, "These new-and-improved skylights can benefit a home in several eco-friendly ways. For starters, they beam 100% free light into a room, and if vented, they improve air circulation. Additionally, skylights can help regulate a home’s climate. (Rising hot air escapes through them in the summer, and in the winter, they admit warming sun rays.) Not to mention, the natural light admitted by skylights ultimately promotes good health. Sunlight balances your circadian rhythms, wards off Seasonal Affective Disorder, and replenishes vitamin D levels."

    Instead of the "bubble-style skylights" of the past, new skylights are often the same high-quality standard as windows. According to the site, " Many are Energy Star-rated and feature dual-paned, argon-gas-injected low-e glass that not only insulates well, but also blocks UV rays that can bleach furniture and carpets."

    One of the more advanced skylight systems out on the market  is the solar-powered “Fresh Air” Skylight from Velux:

    An operable window-on-your-roof, it features solar cells built into the frame, so there is no need to hook up the skylight to your home’s electrical system. Using the preprogrammed remote control, you can either open and close the skylight at will or program it to lift and lower automatically throughout the day. Conveniently, a built-in rain sensor closes the window in wet weather.

    If your attic takes up a lot of the space under your roof, it may seem impossible to get a skylight.  Thankfully, there are new ways to let the sun shine through.  According to BobVila.com, tubular solar lighting system, "are simple enough to install yourself, consist of a skylight on the roof and a fixed or flexible tube that channels the light to wherever you need it. The resulting installation indoors often looks like a recessed ceiling light fixture."

    Also, according to the site, "In the past few years, one of the brightest advances in skylights has come, not from a research facility, but from the federal government. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 allows homeowners to claim a 10% tax credit—up to $500—on certain components of skylight installation, so if you do install any of these systems, be sure to check with your accountant! That way, you’ll not only save on electric, heating, and cooling costs, but on your taxes as well."

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your skylight installation and skylight repair needs.  Call us today at 215-453-9180 for your FREE estimate!

  • Interior Storm Windows Boost Home Efficiency

    Courtesy of BobVila.com

    Courtesy of BobVila.com

    One of the primary ways to improve your home's energy efficiency is to repair or replace your windows, however, it can be costly and it may not even aesthetically be what you want.

    Well, there is now a new option for homeowners to consider.  An alternative to double-hung replacement windows is now interior storm windows.  According to BobVila.com, Indow Windows, a Portland, OR -based company began manufacturing them in 2010.  The windows "are constructed from sheets of light, strong acrylic glazing, which is edged with the company’s patent-pending compression tubing. The products press into place on the inside of a window frame and provide a tight seal against cold window drafts without the use of nails, screws, or adhesives."

    According to an independent test study by Portland State University, these windows "almost double the R-value of a single-pane window."

    In addition, they'll also save you on installation.

    Typical double-hung replacements cost between $500 a $900; a comparable insert from Indow Windows costs about $250.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your Pennsylvania window installation, window repair, window inspection and window replacement needs.  Call us today at 215-453-9180 for your FREE estimate!



  • Where to Use Casement Windows


    courtesy of BobVila.com

    Casement windows are windows that are hinged on one side and crank open so that the entire window area opens.  These types of windows are great for certain areas of your home.

    According to BobVila.com, "It’s an especially good choice over a kitchen sink, where it’s easier to turn a crank at the windowsill level than to stretch to push up a double-hung."

    It's also a good choice for small windows because it can make the best out of the limited opening that is there.

    However, these windows aren't the best for everything.  For example:

    ...a double-hung is usually better in a bathroom, where it can be opened from the top to maintain privacy. Casements are not suitable next to patios or porches, or for any place where they’d create a hazard for someone walking by outside. But if you want maximum open space, and you have the clearance outside, a casement just might be the way to go.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your casement windows, window repair, window replacement and window installation needs.  Call us today at (215) 453-9180 for your FREE estimate.

  • Exterior Remodeling 'Value' on Upswing


    If you have been working on home improvement projects recently, you will be glad to hear the ROI is coming back up when it comes to home remodeling.

    There have been tax benefits for homeowners, most notably energy tax credits, PMI deduction and mortgage debt forgiveness that Congress and the President extended through 2013.

    According to HouseLogic,"After several bruising years, spending on remodeling projects is up and so too is your return on your remodeling dollars. The national average percentage recoup on all 35 projects in Remodeling Magazine’s 2013 Cost vs. Value Report rose since last year."

    Obviously what you will be able to get depends on what types of projects you undertake, your market and when you decide to sell.

    Which projects offered the best ROI? Exterior remodeling projects.

    According to HouseLogic, "Exterior projects like siding, window, and garage door replacements took seven of the top 10 spots in this year’s list."

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your exterior remodeling, roof repair, window installation and deck construction needs.  Call us today at (215) 453-9180 for your FREE estimate.


  • Energy-Efficient Window Replacement Options


    Choosing the right window replacement is a very important decision, as it will greatly impact your energy costs for years to come.  Relatively new window technologies such as low-e glass, smart windows and electrochromic glazing, can provide you with options that didn't exist 5-10 years ago.  They target the two largest energy uses in commercial buildings — lighting and space conditioning.

    Here is some information about Low-E glass and Electrochromic Glazing, courtesy of FacilitiesNet:

    Oldest of the "new" technologies, low-e glass uses an ultra-thin metal oxide coating to maximize performance. Although the coating itself is not visible, it limits solar heat gain while transmitting light. Depending on a facility's location, facility managers can choose low-e glass that admits more solar heat gain (in heating-dominated climates or for passive-solar use) or limits solar gain (for cooling-dominated climates). According to DOE, low-e windows generally cost 10 to 15 percent more than regular windows but can reduce energy loss by as much as 30 to 50 percent.

    "Low-e technology provides a good and reliable means for improving insulating glass performance," says Michael Louis, a senior principal at the engineering firm Simpson Gumpertz & Heger.

    A newer option is known as dynamic glazing. What it does is simple but dramatic: It changes color to control the amount of sunlight that enters a space.

    In the most common type of dynamic glazing — electrochromic glazing — the presence or absence of electric current in the coating renders the window opacified or clear.

    Electrochromic coatings are a nanometer-thick, multi-layer film, says Stephen Selkowitz, department head, building technologies, environmental energies technology division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories. "Transparent conductors form the outer layers of the stack, an active electrochromic and passive counter-electrode layer form the middle layers, and an ion-conducting electrolyte layer forms the center portion of the stack," he says. The glazings can be manually or automatically controlled. The technology does have a small delay in most uses, from several seconds to several minutes.

    Electrochromic technology relies on a network of wiring and controls that runs into and out of the glazing pockets of window (or curtain wall) assemblies. The installed system has to accommodate that network while maintaining weather-tightness for exterior applications. The network also has to be maintained once the building is in operation.

    "[Electrochromic glazings] are new to the market and finding niche applications," says Ray McGowan, senior manager at the National Fenestration Rating Council. "This technology may realize market gains in the near future." Currently, many applications are for interior spaces.

    One reason McGowan says he believes in the promise of dynamic glazing is because of its potential for solar heat control. "Dynamic glazing enables precise solar heat gain coefficient control to limit heat gain during high cooling periods and increase heat gain during heating periods," he says.

    Another dynamic glazing option — thermochromic — relies not on electricity to determine opacity or translucence, but on solar radiation. This technology uses a tinted thermochromic layer that warms up and darkens in direct sunlight.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your window replacement,  window installation and window repair needs. Call us today for your FREE estimate at (215) 453-9180.