Beat Summer Heat with These 4 Ultra-Cool Window Tips

So, you’re already dreading your first early summer power bill.

You’ve got drapes up, but you know before long, the sun is going to burn right through them and make a laughing stock of your air conditioner.

Before you paint your windows black, we’ve got a few pointers for you:

1.     LoĒ³-340 Glass – We’re going to start with the best ideas and work our way down. In our not-so-humble opinion, LoĒ³-340 glass windows beat all other options for a variety of reasons, not the least of which are their ability to:
  • block approximately 98% of the harmful UV radiation
  • absorb and reflect 60% of the visible light
  • reflect nearly all solar infrared rays

Although LoĒ³-340’s coating can make it appear tinted from the outside, it’s not. While tinted glass works by absorbing sunlight (thereby getting hot and sometimes cracking), LoĒ³-340 works by deflecting it.

And because it’s insulated and has a U-factor of only 0.25, it provides superior thermal comfort in cold weather, as well.

2.     Sunscreens – Made from strong, polyester-coated, woven vinyl mesh, sunscreens are typically installed to exterior window frames so they can do their job of blocking up to 90% of the sun’s rays from the outside.

We recommend Suntex Solar Screen 80 and 90 because they’re:

  • amazingly tough and durable
  • are fade and mildew resistant
  • available in an array of design-friendly colors
  • able to be installed by homeowners or expertly installed by dealers

 

3.     Awnings – Although some might find this to be a rather old-fashioned solution, it’s actually a pretty smart and fashion-forward one. According to the Professional Awning Manufacturers Association, awnings can reduce cooling costs by over 50%.

And before you think there’s no way awnings would look good on your house, you should know that they come in almost every style and material imaginable, including wood, copper, polycarbonate, terra cotta tile, iron, steel, cloth and even solar panels.

You can get them in almost any size and, if there are times you’d rather not have them, retractable awnings are available, as well.

4.     Blackout Drapes – When most people think of blackout drapes, they imagine thick, dark, boring motel room curtains, but as you can see from the image above, today’s blackout drapes are stylish and attractive enough for any room.

When choosing blackout drapes, remember that there are differences in quality among brands. Also, blackout drapes are different than blackout curtains, which are made with only one layer of material rather than two and are apt to let in more light.

If you have questions or comments about ways in which windows can slash your cooling and heating costs or would like to know more about LoĒ³-340 glass windows, we invite you to reach out any time!

We’re Arizona’s largest window distributor and we’ve got the brands, knowledge, and skills to help you reach your energy savings goals this year, and for a long time to come.

 

 

Single pane vs double pane windows

Single Pane Vs. Double Pane Windows

Picking the right windows for your home is big decision. Your budget along with the appearance, style, and desired energy efficiency are all things to consider. One of the first steps to take is to choose between singe pane or double pane windows.

Single Pane Windows

Much like it sounds, single pane windows are made with one layer of glass. These windows are offered in the same styles and materials as double pane windows, but are not particularly effective at insulating the home from noise pollution or seasonal temperatures. Homeowners who live in mild climates and quiet neighborhoods may lean toward single pane windows as they are an initially cheaper option. However, the overall cost of single pane windows will increase over time due to inefficient energy savings.

Double Pane Windows

Alternatively, double paned windows are made with two individual layers of glass with space between them. Applauded as sturdy and durable, the separated layers of glass act as a buffer and capture cold temperatures and high heat before they can leak into the home. This results in a lower energy bill over time and a reduction in fossil fuel use altogether.

This buffer also captures noise pollution in the same way. While not always sound-proof, double paned windows are able to significantly reduce the noise of traffic, neighbors and late night noises that may keep you up at night. What’s more? Double paned windows typically add to the overall value of your home.

 Energy Savings

If you are installing windows in a new home or replacing old, outdated ones, double paned windows generally result in a large return on your investment. In fact, 25% of annual heating and cooling costs for an average American home is attributed to inefficient windows, according to the Department of Energy (source). By switching to higher efficiency double paned windows, your energy bill is certain to decrease. Even the most basic double paned windows can reduce energy usage by 18% in the summer and up to 24% in the winter when compared to older single paned windows (source).

In order to see energy savings, however, all windows must be replaced with a double paned model. A single replacement will not yield the same money-saving results.

Cost

Single paned windows are a cheaper purchase. Homeowners on a tight budget, in turn, may be more likely to decide on the less efficient option. More often than not, these windows require added technology to keep the seasonal temperatures out eventually; thus, the added price over time—in addition to the higher energy bills—may not be worth the cheaper upfront cost.

Triple Pane Windows

If you’re looking for added security, energy savings and noise reduction, triple pane windows are a wonderful option. While similar to double-paned windows, triple pane models can fill the space between the middle and inner window pane with insulating gas, such as argon, doubling the amount of inert gas within the window. This acts as a highly effective insulator to save energy. The extra layer of low-E can have a drastic effect on preventing radiant thermal heat from the outside, which is beneficial for homes in hot climates such as Phoenix, Arizona.

What’s more, triple-glazed windows tend to attract little to no condensation as a result of their inherent energy efficiency. These windows are harder to break, trap heat and cold air and block noise from the outdoors effectively.

Selecting Your Windows with XO

At XO Windows, we have a large selection of double paned and triple paned windows that offer you and your home a multitude of benefits. Our experience and expertise allows us to assess your unique needs and guide you along the way to finding your perfect windows to fit your style, comfort and budget.

For a FREE estimate or for more information about our products and services, call us today at 602-396-4825—or contact us here.

Window, Cleaning, Window Washer.

How to Clean and Maintain Your Windows

Several months after picking out your perfect windows and installing them in your home, chances are some dirt or grime accumulated. Whether the kids left fingerprints or the dog pressed his nose against the glass, even the tidiest homes’ windows become clouded and dirty over time. Because of this, it is recommended to do a thorough clean twice a year to keep the glass looking crystal clear.

Believe it or not, there are recommended methods and techniques for this biannual cleaning. Rubbing your windows with a paper towel and window cleaner will only spread the dirt around and attract more dust. At XO Windows, we want to make sure you have all the tools you need to keep your windows sparkling.

When Should I Clean My Windows?

The best time of the year to clean your windows is in the early spring and the late fall, when the days are not too hot. The intense Arizona summer heat will cause your cleaning solution to quickly evaporate before the process is complete, leaving unappealing streaks (source).

There are three simple steps to effective window-cleaning:

1. Prep

Make sure to clear the area around your windows and cover your floors and couches to protect them from the cleaning solution, as this will be a somewhat messy job.

To clean your windows, you will need:

  • A sponge
  • Squeegee
  • Rags
  • Water and dish-washing soap

The most effective window cleaning solution is easy to make: simply mix one gallon of warm water with one drop of dish-washing soap. If your windows are particularly dirty, adding a drop or two of vinegar will help cut through dirt and grime.

2. Wash

Using a hand-held sponge and the cleaning solution, wash the edges of the window and rinse to remove dirt that may have snuck into the cracks and corners. Once you clean the border, apply the wet sponge to the rest of the window, using a squeegee to clean off the solution. Wipe the blade clean after each long stroke with a linen napkin or any other lint-free rag.

 3. Dry

Clear any remaining water on the edges of the windowsill with a rag and use a dry cloth, newspaper or coffee filter to dry the window pane and remove streaks.

Cleaning the Window Tracks

Window track maintenance is important to ensure your windows continue to open and close easily over time. In some cases, a vacuum may be used to remove dirt from the tracks; however, a toothbrush can get into the small crevices for a thorough clean, resulting in easy-to-open windows.

Removing Stubborn Stains

Over time, water runoff and rain can leave mineral stains on your windows that are hard to remove. In order to clean those stubborn stains, gently clean the affected area with fine 000 steel wool after each cleaning.

Alternatively, you may use a powder cleaning product, such as Zud or Barkeepers Friend, which contains oxalic acid that is strong enough to remove stains without scratching the glass (source). Simply mix the powder into a paste and apply the mixture to the stains with a wet towel. Rinse the area before squeegeeing and repeat this process two or three times.

In order to ensure the mineral stain doesn’t return, apply a clear polymer coating such as 3-Star Barrier Glass Surface Protectant at the end of your cleaning routine.

Assess Older Windows During Your Deep-Clean

During your biannual cleaning, assess any older windows you have for cracks, mold or poor insulation. If it’s time for a replacement, contact XO Windows for professional care.

Windows with severe damage can drastically increase your energy bill and be a risk to your home’s safety. We offer the best window installation and supply in Arizona, so all you have to worry about is your spring and fall cleaning.

For a FREE estimate or for more information about our products and services, call us today at 602-396-4825—or contact us here.