Shopping for residential replacement windows isn’t as simple as choosing a look you like. Durability, operation, and energy efficiency are other key factors to consider. You also should consider that windows perform and age differently depending on where you live. Here’s how to choose the best windows for Midwestern homes.
How Midwest Weather Patterns Affect Your Windows
Homes in this region face torrential downpours, high winds, and possible tornadoes. The summers are hot and humid, while winter temperatures often plunge below freezing for weeks at a time. Remember that the windows you choose must withstand these conditions while keeping your home as efficient as possible during extreme temperature fluctuations.
Best Window Features for Midwestern Homes
Here are the most important features to look for when shopping for windows in the Midwest:
Low solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) and U-value: A window’s SHGC measures how much solar radiation passes through the glass. The range is typically 0.25 to 1.25. The lower this rating, the less solar heat is transmitted. The U-value rates heat loss and gain through the window. The lower the U-factor, the more the window resists heat transfer. In places like Kansas and Missouri, it’s best to choose windows with an SHGC and U-value of 0.3 or lower.
Thermally insulating frames: Fiberglass and vinyl windows are considered the best for Midwestern homes. They have naturally high insulating power, won’t warp from temperature extremes, and withstand high humidity and rain.
Double- or triple-pane windows: Windows with two panes of glass are the most cost-effective option in the Midwest. Of course, you may choose to invest in triple-pane windows for the ultimate in energy efficiency.
Gas infill: Some double-pane windows contain normal air in the pocket between the panes, but a more efficient choice is to fill the gap with insulating argon or krypton. These inert gases are denser than air, so they slow heat transfer more effectively.
Low-emissivity coating: In regions with hot and cold temperature extremes, low-E coatings are a must. This thermal protection reflects infrared and ultraviolet light. This means it repels the sun’s heat in the summer and keeps warmth inside in the winter.
Impact glass: While building codes don’t require Midwestern homes to have impact-resistant windows, this superior option protects your home from flying debris during tornadoes. Impact glass can even make your home more burglar-resistant because it withstands heavy blows.
Popular Window Styles for Homes in Missouri and Kansas
When choosing a window style, it’s essential to keep your home’s exterior architecture and interior features in mind. It’s equally important to consider Midwestern weather patterns. With these factors in mind, here are some of the most popular window styles for homes in Missouri and Kansas:
Double-hung windows: As today’s most popular window style, double-hung windows are considered top performers in the Midwest. They are efficient, easy to open and close, and offer versatile ventilation thanks to two independently operating sashes.
Casement windows: This window style features hinges on the side and a crank to pivot the sash open and closed. Casements seal tightly, making them resistant to rain, blustery weather, and extreme temperatures.
Awning windows: An awning window is like a casement turned on its side, with the hinges located on the top. As a result, this window style offers the same efficiency and resilience against high winds. Its orientation also allows you to open the window during drizzly weather without water getting inside.
Bay windows: These unique three-window installations extend beyond the home’s foundation to provide panoramic views. The central window is inoperable, while the two narrower windows flanking it may be double-hung or casements.
Install the Best Windows in the Midwest
Investing in high-quality replacement windows can improve your home’s energy efficiency, comfort level, and protection from the elements. Zen Windows Kansas City can meet your needs by installing premium vinyl and fiberglass windows of all shapes, sizes, and styles.
Call 913-538-4144 or contact us online to request a free, no-hassle quote for replacement windows in Kansas City.