Shopping for Replacement Windows - Tips and Advice

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Shopping for Windows? Here's What to Look for and What to Watch

(ARA) - Windows play an integral role in home construction and remodeling projects. They can improve a home's energy efficiency, enhance a home's architectural design and provide essential daylighting.

Window-shopping, however, can be a trying time for some consumers, especially considering the maze of choices, widely varying price ranges and conflicting sales pitches. Experts at Andersen Windows, Inc., America's leading brand of windows and patio doors, offer consumers these window-shopping tips to simplify the process:

Work with trained window experts.

Trained window experts will help you understand a window's performance, answer questions about energy efficiency, and provide sound advice about remodeling projects.

Choose high-quality windows with a reliable warranty.

What a customer sales representative promises and what a warranty's fine print promises may be two different things. Windows are only as good as the warranty that comes with them. Andersen Windows provides a 20-year warranty on glass and a 10-year warranty on parts that is non-prorated and fully transferable should you sell your home giving homeowners an additional bargaining tool.

Buy only energy-efficient windows carrying the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) label.

The NFRC label rates a window's energy performance and allows consumers to make apples-to-apples comparisons regarding U-Factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC). The lower the U-Factor, the better the window prevents interior heat from escaping; the lower the SHGC, the better the window prevents unwanted solar heat from entering.

Many states are now requiring all window products to carry the NFRC label. Check your local building codes for proper compliance.

Choose windows with low-emissivity (Low-E) glass for maximum energy efficiency.

Low-E glass features transparent metallic coatings that significantly reduce heating and cooling costs year-round. Low-E glass is a standard component of most Andersen wood-clad products. In fact, Andersen High-Performance glass is, on average, 41 percent more energy efficient in summer and 35 percent more energy efficient in winter than standard dual-pane glass.

Select energy-efficient windows that require minimal maintenance.

A clad wood window in either an aluminum or vinyl-coated exterior provides maximum energy efficiency, low maintenance and the beauty of a natural-wood interior finish, if desired. If homeowners prefer a painted interior, wood windows are easily painted to change the look of a home's interior.

Maximize the light in your home with window combinations, skylights, high ceilings and light interiors.

Click here to seeStudies show that exposure to natural light has a positive effect on our emotional and physical health. But most people spend a majority of their time in artificially lit environments, receiving less than an hour of natural light a day. Not surprising, homeowners crave light-filled rooms, and adding windows is one of the most popular remodeling projects in the nation today.

Windows and skylights brighten and enhance living spaces, especially in homes with high ceilings and light-colored interiors. Using windows in interesting shapes such as arches, triangles and ovals is popular, or you may opt for a dramatic combination of standard-sized windows to bring in light.

"It is cost effective to take several standard windows and design a creative combination," said Stacy Einck, manager of brand public relations at Andersen Windows. "Combining stock windows in this way creates a custom look but eliminates costly special orders."

Increase your home's curb appeal by designing special window combinations.

A cluster of windows not only floods a room with natural light, but adds a unique design element that can pay off should you decide to sell. Windows also have become critical design elements to beautify a home's living environment.

Consider window accessories to improve a home's style.

One of the most popular window accessories is grilles or mullions that give the look of dividing the window into many separate panes. A number of styles and designs are available, including exterior, interior and grilles-between-the-glass where the accessory is actually between the panes of insulated glass. Andersen offers a unique option in the Andersen Art Glass Collection, which features 11 original stained glass designs. This option is popular because you can use a window as a decorating tool without covering the window or blocking natural light. Andersen Art Glass panels fit most new or existing Andersen windows.

For a copy of the Andersen 20/10 limited warranty and more information about Andersen products, contact your local Andersen dealer listed under "windows" in the Yellow Pages, or call 1-800-426-4261, ext. 1232, for the dealer near you.

Courtesy of ARA Content,, e-mail:

Note to Editors: For more information, contact Stacy Einck, Brand Manager, Public Relations, Andersen Windows, Inc., 651-430-5928.

"Andersen", the AW logo and "Andersen Art Glass" are registered trademarks of Andersen Corporation. All other marks where denoted are marks of Andersen Corporation. 1999 Andersen Corporation. All rights reserved.

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