Energy efficiency is top of mind for consumers due to high fuel prices and overall financial concerns, as well as the tax benefits available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. And today’s knowledgeable (and in some cases, aging) consumers expect customized products that match their shrinking remodeling budgets, specific lifestyles and personal preferences.
In spite of economic uncertainty, homeowners are still willing to invest in their homes as long as that investment enhances their lives. Thanks in large part to a potentially strong return on investment, replacement windows are considered an ideal home expenditure.
“Consumers are more budget conscious, often opting for ‘staycations’ as they spend more time entertaining at home and less time going out,” says Pella corporate public relations manager Kathy Krafka Harkema. “Many plan to stay in their home for the long haul.
“When it comes to replacement windows, today’s consumers expect greater energy efficiency to help reduce their utility bills and make their home feel warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer,” says Harkema.
“Homeowners still aspire to remodel and upgrade their living spaces to make them more appealing and comfortable, especially as they spend more time in the home. Installing energy-efficient windows remains a top remodeling project choice, since windows are seen and enjoyed both inside and outside the home and can substantially enhance its enjoyment and potential value.”
The Pella Impervia line of windows now includes casement and awning window options.
Pella Impervia windows are designed for energy efficiency and are created to withstand harsh weather without cracking, shrinking or warping. The product is made from the company’s Duracast materials offering insulating qualities which have earned it the Energy Star. Factory prefinishing colors include brown, white or tan color options.
According to Chris Schield, brand manager for R&R products for Weather Shield, Peachtree and Visions, one key component in the demand for energy efficiency is “the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which provides a tax credit — equal to 30 percent of cost, up to $1,500 — for qualifying energy-efficient home improvements such as windows and doors.”
Weather Shield’s Custom Shield replacement windows now meet the strict criteria of the federal tax credits, with the benefits of energy efficiency and easy installation. Custom Shield replacement windows feature a 3 1/4-in. jamb and are available in custom sizes to fit existing frames. The company ships the product with the shims, screws and backer rod needed for installation. Optional exterior trim accessories, including blind stop covers and retro-z trim, are convenient methods to further reduce installation labor time and expenses. Custom Shield includes double-hung tilt, casement and awning, single and three-panel sliding, and direct-set windows.
“The No. 1 trend right now, which will continue through 2010, is the demand for windows and doors that meet the .30 U-factor/.30 solar heat gain coefficient criteria of the federal energy tax credits,” says Schield. “Homeowners want to take advantage of the $1,500 tax credits, so energy efficiency is the first determining factor when they select new windows. Not every window meets this criteria, so those that do have a significant advantage.”
Peachtree Doors and Windows 700 Series replacement windows are extruded aluminum-clad replacement windows designed for energy performance, with fewer disturbances to the home’s siding, walls or existing interior and exterior trim during installation. The 700 Series replacement, or pocket, windows are available in easy-tilt double hung, casement, awning, single slider and picture styles. The windows can be customized to almost any shape or size. Sill options include flat, intermediate (8-degree slope) and maximum (14-degree slope).