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10 Most Common Mistakes When Choosing Windows

Choosing windows is one of the most important decisions you need to make when building or renovating a house. Windows not only impact the aesthetics of the building but also the comfort of its occupants, thermal and acoustic insulation, and the energy efficiency of the entire house. Unfortunately, many people make mistakes when choosing windows, which can lead to serious problems and additional costs in the future. In this article, we will discuss the 10 most common mistakes when choosing windows to help you avoid these pitfalls and make informed decisions.

Improper Material Selection

The choice of materials from which windows are made is crucial for their durability, insulation, and aesthetics. The most used materials are wood, PVC, and aluminum. Each of these materials has unique characteristics that can significantly impact the functionality and appearance of windows.

Wood

Wooden windows are known for their elegance and natural appearance. Wood is an excellent thermal insulator but requires regular maintenance to retain its properties. Wood can warp due to moisture and temperature changes, which demands additional care during use.

PVC

PVC windows are popular due to their durability, ease of maintenance, and attractive price. PVC is resistant to weather conditions and does not require as frequent maintenance as wood. PVC windows have good thermal insulation but may not suit every architectural style.

Aluminum

Aluminum windows are very durable and have a modern look. Aluminum is corrosion-resistant and weather-resistant, but its natural thermal insulation is lower compared to wood and PVC. Modern aluminum windows often come with thermal breaks to enhance their insulating properties.

When choosing a material, it's essential to consider the specifics of your home, climatic conditions, and personal aesthetic preferences. Improper material selection can lead to problems with durability, insulation, and window aesthetics.

Neglecting Thermal Insulation

Thermal insulation of windows is crucial for indoor comfort and heating and cooling costs. Choosing windows with poor thermal insulation can lead to significant heat loss in winter and excessive indoor heating in summer.

The most important parameter to consider is the U-value, which measures the rate of heat transfer. The lower the U-value, the better the thermal insulation of the windows. Modern windows are equipped with double or even triple glazing, providing excellent thermal insulation.

Window frames also play a significant role in thermal insulation. Multi-chamber profiles and special thermal inserts in aluminum windows can significantly improve their insulating properties. Neglecting the thermal insulation of windows can lead to increased heating costs and reduced indoor comfort.

Lack of Adequate Acoustic Insulation

Noise from the outside can be bothersome, especially if you live near a busy street, airport, or industrial area. Improperly selected windows may not provide adequate acoustic insulation, negatively impacting living comfort.

Acoustic insulation of windows depends on several factors, including the thickness of the glass, the number of chambers in the glass units, and the material of the frames. Soundproof windows feature special laminated glass that effectively reduces noise. Additionally, using multi-chamber frame profiles and seals can significantly improve the acoustic insulation of windows.

Style Mismatch with the House Architecture

The aesthetics of windows are crucial for the overall appearance of the building. A style mismatch between the windows and the architecture of the house can disrupt its proportions and aesthetics.

When choosing windows, consider their shape, color, and finishing details. For classical-style homes, wooden or PVC windows imitating wood are ideal, while modern buildings are better suited with aluminum windows with clean lines.

Windows should complement both the facade of the building and its interior. Consulting an architect or interior designer can help achieve a cohesive and harmonious effect. Style mismatch can lead to an aesthetic dissonance affecting the overall appearance of the house.

Poor Choice of Glass

Glass is a key component of windows, influencing thermal insulation, acoustic insulation, and safety. A poor choice of glass can lead to problems with heat loss, noise, and low safety levels.

Modern windows come with insulated glass units consisting of two or three layers of glass separated by chambers filled with noble gases such as argon. These units provide excellent thermal and acoustic insulation.

It's also essential to consider laminated safety glass and low-emissivity glass, which protect against UV radiation. Laminated safety glass consists of multiple layers of glass bonded with PVB film, enhancing its strength and impact resistance.

Ignoring Ventilation

Ventilation is essential for a healthy indoor climate and protection against moisture and mold. Lack of proper window ventilation can lead to problems with air quality and condensation.

Modern windows often feature micro-ventilation systems that allow a constant supply of fresh air without opening the windows. These systems ensure proper air circulation, which is crucial in high-humidity rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms.

Window vents are another option, providing controlled ventilation. Vents can be manual or automatic, adjusting airflow to indoor and outdoor conditions. Ignoring ventilation can lead to health problems and structural damage to the building.

Incorrect Window Dimensions

Incorrect window dimensions can cause problems with installation and thermal and acoustic insulation. Windows that are too small or too large can disrupt the proportions of the interior and affect its functionality. Before ordering windows, measure the window openings accurately and consult with professionals to avoid errors. Incorrect window dimensions can lead to additional costs related to modifying window openings or ordering new windows.

It's also important to consider window dimensions in the context of the entire house design. Windows should be proportional to the size of the rooms and the facade to ensure adequate lighting and an aesthetically pleasing building appearance.

Overlooking Safety Aspects

Safety is one of the most critical aspects to consider when choosing windows. Windows should be equipped with security features such as reinforced fittings, laminated safety glass, and multi-point locks.

Reinforced fittings are elements that make it difficult to pry open the window. Multi-point locks provide better security than traditional locks by securing the window at multiple points simultaneously. Laminated safety glass is harder to break, providing an additional barrier against burglars.

Investing in alarm systems integrated with windows is also worthwhile. Sensors for opening windows and glass breakage can effectively deter potential burglars and enhance home security.

Not Considering Building Orientation

The orientation of the building relative to the cardinal directions affects the amount of natural light and indoor temperature. Incorrect window selection without considering orientation can lead to excessive sunlight and overheating in summer and heat loss in winter.

When choosing windows, consider the light transmittance coefficient and thermal insulation tailored to the specific side of the building. On southern and western facades, which are more exposed to sunlight, it's advisable to use windows with higher thermal insulation and low-emissivity glass to reduce heat penetration. On northern facades, where sunlight is limited, windows with higher light transmittance can be used to maximize natural lighting. Considering the building's orientation helps optimize solar energy use and improve indoor thermal comfort.

Improper Window Installation

Even the best windows may not function properly if they are not installed correctly. Improper installation can lead to insulation issues, condensation, and window damage.

Window installation should be carried out by experienced professionals familiar with different window systems. Proper installation involves not only accurate placement of the window in the opening but also adequate sealing and insulation. Using professional installation materials such as expanding tapes, mounting foams, and installation systems is crucial to ensure the longevity and functionality of the windows. Improper installation can result in thermal bridges, leaks, and condensation issues.

Conclusion

Choosing windows is a long-term investment, so it's important to carefully consider every aspect and avoid the most common mistakes when choosing windows. By doing so, you can enjoy the comfort, energy efficiency, and aesthetics of your home. If you have any doubts or need assistance, we invite you to contact our customer advisors throughout the United States. DAKO offers a wide range of windows, professional advice, and installation services, ensuring you choose the best solutions for your home.

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