Shopping For New Windows? 2 Functional Upgrades You Should Ask About

When it comes to buying new windows, price and aesthetics might seem like the two most important features. However, if you don't look for functional windows, you might regret your decision as soon as those new panes are installed. Here are two upgrades you should ask about, and how they can make your life a lot easier:

1: Windows That Are Easier To Clean

If you are like most people, you might feel like you have to choose between your own personal safety and sparkling clean exterior windows. After all, who wants to scale their second story to scrape away dead bugs and polish that glass? Fortunately, you might not have to whip out that rickety ladder every time your windows get dirty. Some window manufacturers offer these upgrades to make cleaning safer and easier:

  • Self-Cleaning Coatings: Wouldn't it be nice if water slid right off of those windows instead of drying up and leaving spots? Believe it or not, some windows are treated with hydrophilic or hydrophobic coatings, which help water to bead off of your glass panes. Invisible hydrophobic coatings change the surface angle of your glass panes slightly, so that water rolls away. Some hydrophilic coatings even contain titanium dioxide, which chemically breaks down dirt when it is exposed to sunlight. 
  • Tilt-And-Swing Technology: To make window surfaces accessible from the inside of your house, some varieties contain tilt-and-swing panels. These panels are fixed on hinges, so that you can simply turn your windows around whenever you need to.

Keep in mind you don't have to upgrade all of your windows to make them easier to clean. Some people choose to install tilt-and-swing windows on the upper stories of their home—opting for traditional windows on the ground level to save money. However, before you make your final selection, carefully consider how easy your windows are to access. If you have dense shrubbery or window wells surrounding your house, it might be easier to upgrade all of your home windows instead of just the upper level.    

2: Sound Absorption Properties

Wouldn't it be nice if your windows could block out some of the noise from outside? Although it might seem like an impossible feat, some windows actually contain sound absorption properties. By installing windows with dissimilar glass panes and sound absorbing spacers, you might be able to enjoy a quieter home. In fact, while traditional double-paned windows typically carry a Sound Transmission Coefficient of around 28 to 32, some manufacturers offer sound absorbing windows with an STC rating of up to 34. Here are a few instances when sound absorbing windows might be especially helpful:

  • Busy Area: Do you live near a busy intersection or the freeway? If you are tired of listening to cars race by or drivers honk at each other, sound absorbing windows might make a big difference.
  • Indoor Pets: Are you the one making all of the noise? If your neighbors complain about your barking indoor pets, loud children, or music practice, sound absorbing windows might help you to keep the noise inside where it belongs.  
  • Children: It can be hard to get your kids on a sleep schedule, which is why outdoor noise can be so frustrating. To help your kids to sleep through that garbage truck noise or local school bell, upgrade your windows.   

If you aren't sure how well your current windows block noise, ask a professional to perform an inspection. By identifying the make and model of your windows, a professional can look up the specs to help you to upgrade effectively.

By investing in a few extra window upgrades from a company like New Jersey Siding & Windows Inc, you might be able to keep your home clean, comfortable, and quiet.