As we finally say goodbye to winter, ask yourself: how much did you feel the cold in your home? Did you find yourself avoiding the areas around your windows? Was the area around them noticeably chillier than the rest of the house? And how was your power bill?
Lots of Alaskans think that a window letting in cold air and a creating chilly zone is just a natural part of living in the state. It’s definitely something a lot of people have grown up with and gotten used to. But it doesn’t have to be that way — really, it shouldn’t be that way.
Too many people in Anchorage put off the idea of getting their windows replaced. It’s more convenient for them to just deal with — and complain! — about the cold than to do something about it. And there’s the obvious upfront expense of paying for replacement windows that can discourage many people.
But have you stopped to think about what the cost of not getting the right windows in Anchorage actually is? We’ll use an example of a customer we had.
Years ago a couple who lived near Westchester Lagoon asked us for a quote on some new windows. We never send a quote on a job sight-unseen, so we arranged a meeting, did an in-home diagnosis and consultation, and presented our pricing to them. The homeowners said they’d get back to us.
When we did finally hear from them it was about a year later. The couple had found someone who was willing to beat our price substantially to complete the project. They thought they’d got an amazing deal, but the reality is they got what they had paid for — and it wasn’t pretty. The work was so bad that they came to us to get it fixed. So we went in, installed new windows, and they’ve been happy ever since.
If they’d just gone with Renewal By Andersen to begin with, they would’ve saved themselves a great deal of time and money.
We normally see one or all of the following problems:
- Frames losing their weather sealing. We see this a lot when people go for vinyl frames. Vinyl is the cheapest frame material. It’s easy to clean. It’s an attractive option for a lot of people because of this. But it also has a tendency to warp under temperature changes. It can crack and splinter. When this happens, you lose the seal between your home and outside. Any insulation you’ve put in place is going to be made useless and any interior climate control you have is going to need to work harder.
- Heating bill going up. In Anchorage, we need double pane windows as a minimum. Our winters are notoriously cold, and glass itself is an absolutely terrible insulator. Renewal by Andersen of Alaska windows are made to be better insulators, using double pane glass technology, special glass coating, and a proprietary gas blend between the panes to keep your heating bills down.
- UV damage and excess heat in summer. This is usually a case of not getting a good coating on the windows. Glass coating might seem like a frivolous expense to some, but the right coating will save you a lot of money. Without it, you’re fighting a losing battle.
In the case of the couple near Westchester Lagoon, they managed to pick up a combination of the first two issues. They got cheap vinyl frames that lost their weather sealing almost immediately, and they were talked out of getting double pane glass by someone trying to give the lowest quote possible and seal the deal.
Their heating bill went up, they were uncomfortable in winter, and in the end, they needed to spend even more money to get it fixed.
And they’re not unique. We often deal with people who have gone to get their windows elsewhere and ended up regretting it. They were just lucky that they realized their error quickly; many put up with rising power bills and increasingly uncomfortable winters for years before doing anything about it.
Do your homework, and don’t skimp on the bill. Treat your windows like the investment in your property that they are. The wrong windows will cost you thousands of dollars over the years in excess heating bills. The right windows will end up paying for themselves in the savings you make.
Renewal By Andersen of Alaska is proud to be part of the Andersen family, which has been delighting homeowners with quality craftsmanship and customer service with their window products for 115 years. Not only do we have the technical knowledge to recommend the right product, we’re locals! We live here too. We know what your home is going to go through in the course of the year, and we know what you need to keep yourself as comfortable as possible.
Getting the right windows might cost a little extra in the short run, but it’s a whole lot cheaper than the wrong windows in the long run. Contact us today to find out what you need to save money and live in comfort in your own home.