Owning a home can be challenging due to all the different tasks needed to protect your investment. While some of these tasks simply enhance the appeal of your home, others can also make your home more valuable and eco-friendly. Considering windows play a large role in your home's appeal and value, replacing your old, outdated windows with new energy-efficient models is a smart investment. Using this guide, you will understand the benefits of new replacement windows and learn the best techniques to maintain this energy efficient upgrade.
If you live in an older home with discolored glass and damaged window frames, the overall curb appeal and value of your home will suffer. In addition, conditioned air will most likely be escaping through the broken seals of these windows. By investing in new windows, you will see the following benefits:
- Energy Efficiency—New, Energy Star-certified replacement windows can lower your home's total energy bills by 12 percent. While this may not seem like a large amount, the savings add up quickly.
- Improved Comfort—Heated and cooled air can escape through broken seals of your outdated windows, so new replacement windows can protect the comfort of your home when temperatures outdoors are extreme.
- Better Light—New windows often have smaller frames and more glass, allowing more natural light into your home.
- UV Protection—The ultraviolet rays of the sun can discolor and fade furniture and other items inside your home. New replacement windows can offer protection against these harmful ultraviolet rays.
- Reduced Maintenance—Older window frames may require constant repainting, but new vinyl windows do not need to be repainted.
While your new energy-efficient, vinyl frames do not require sanding and painting, periodic cleaning is necessary to protect the appeal and value of your investment. Of course, cleaning your new windows each year should be sufficient for removing heavy buildup of dirt and debris.
To get started, create a cleaning solution for your vinyl frames using 2 gallons of hot water and 1 cup of baking soda. Mix before soaking a few soft sponges in the solution. Use these sponges to wash the vinyl window frames. To remove stubborn residue, such as bird droppings, mud, or dead insects, use a scrubbing sponge soaked in the baking soda solution. After washing, rinse your windows with a garden hose.
Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, dissolves away dirt and residue in a safe, non-toxic manner.
To clean the glass of your windows, add the following ingredients to a spray bottle:
- 3 cups of warm water
- 1 ½ cups of white vinegar
Shake the bottle to mix before spraying the solution heavily on the top of your windows. Allow the vinegar solution to sit and drip down the window for a few minutes. Run the rubber blade of a handheld squeegee tool up and down the window glass, then wipe off the excess liquid and residue on a paper towel.
Wash each of your windows using the vinegar solution and squeegee tool. However, if you notice slight streaks across the glass of your windows afterward, add the following to a bucket:
- 1 gallon of hot water
- ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol
After mixing, dip the rubber blade of your squeegee tool into the solution. Run the wet blade across streaky areas of your window glass, wiping the excess liquid off with a dry towel.
The combination of hot water and rubbing alcohol will remove any leftover residue while removing streaks left behind from your vinegar glass cleaner.
By installing and maintaining new replacement windows, you can conserve energy, improve your home's comfort, and increase its value and overall appeal.