What Do You Need to Know About Sliding Windows?

Should you buy sliding windows? If you’re not sure whether sliders are the right selection for your home, take a look at the top questions about these replacement windows answered.

What Are Sliding Windows?

Before you buy replacement windows, you need to understand the differences between the styles or models. Common operating types of replacement windows include awning, hopper, fixed, single/double hung, and casement.

Along with these popular picks, sliders (or sliding windows) are common choices for homeowners. Like the name implies, these windows slide to open and close. The sashes of these windows slide horizontally back and forth, making this type of model easy to operate.

What Types of Frames Do Sliding Windows Have?

Like other types of replacements, slider frames are often made from vinyl or fiberglass. These materials provide durability and a long lifespan. Beyond these benefits, vinyl and fiberglass window frames are easy to clean and come in a variety of fashion-forward designer colors. This makes it possible to match your new sliders with almost any exterior décor.

Where Can You Install Sliders?

You can install sliders in almost any window opening. These versatile windows come in an array of sizes to fit most home spaces. The slider is a popular style for rooms that look out over scenic spaces. The sliding mechanism allows for increased (and unobstructed) view.

The ease of opening also makes sliders a serious selection to consider for tough to reach areas. Higher windows or crowded spaces may make it difficult to open or close a window. Instead of complicated latches and multiple mechanisms to manipulate, you’ll only have to unlatch and slide the window open.

Sliders are also a top choice for large spaces. Instead of several smaller windows, one slider can accommodate an over-sized space. This may save you money in materials, installation, and renovation costs (depending on the size of the space and the complexity of the job).

Are Sliders Energy Efficient?

Energy efficiency is a major factor in window replacement choice. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 to 30 percent of home heating and cooling energy use is the result of heat gain or loss through windows. While sliders make leak more air than hinged windows, these replacements can have energy efficient properties.

Older windows are often poorly insulated. This allows outside air to get into your home and the cooled or heated indoor air to seep out. Whether you had casements, double-hung, or another type of window, a newer model (slider or not) is likely to increase the overall energy efficiency. Add in insulated glass, special window coatings, and professional installation, and you have a tight seal.

If you have concerns about the energy efficiency and air leakage of sliders, talk to the window contractor. A window professional can help you to explore the different materials and models of sliders. Higher quality windows are often more energy efficient.

While you might want to save money with an inexpensive model, ask the contractor about how much you may save over time in energy bills. A higher quality slider may cost more upfront. But a well-insulated option may lower your summer cooling or winter heating costs.

Who Should Install Sliding Windows?

Even though sliding windows are easy to use, these replacements require professional installation. A do-it-yourself approach to slider installation may result in gaps or a poor fit. This can dramatically decrease energy efficiency, allow rain to enter your home, or provide a direct access route for pests. Only a qualified window contractor should install sliders.

Are you ready to replace your home’s windows? Contact 1st Choice Windows & Siding for more information.  

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