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Buying Windows in Cape Coral, Florida
When you live in a city like Cape Coral, you experience weather that is completely unique from the rest of the country. High humidity, hot summers, and hurricanes all characterize the climate in Cape Coral. As a homeowner, there are certain things you can do to prepare your home for this weather, protecting your home not only from severe weather but also taking the steps necessary to maintain the energy efficiency of your home.
One way this can be accomplished is by replacing your windows with updated, more efficient options. Not all windows need to be replaced. In fact, most windows are built to last for 15 years or more. Windows do not need to be replaced until it is difficult to open or close them, moisture begins to collect between windows frames, or air leaks cause drafts in your home.
If the time has come to replace your windows, you will want to be sure the windows you have chosen are suited for the climate in Cape Coral. There are also city guidelines to consider that may require you to submit a permit application before making any purchases or beginning installation of your windows. In this window guide, you can find the basic information necessary for deciding which windows are best for your home in Cape Coral.
Windows Suitable for Cape Coral’s Humid Summers and Hurricane Season
In a region as warm and humid as Cape Coral, Florida, it is important to keep your home comfortable. At the same time, if your home is not energy efficient, a comfortable home may also mean an expensive heating and cooling bill. One simple way to reduce your utility expenses is to replace old and worn out windows with more efficient options, windows that are specifically designed for the climate where you live.
In Cape Coral, the summers average high temperature reaching 91 degrees. The winters are very mild, with an average low temperature of 50 degrees. Cape Coral receives an above average annual rainfall of 54.3 inches. Florida also experiences hurricanes and frequent tropical storms, which can damage your windows if you are not properly prepared.
With the help of ENERGY STAR® guidelines, it can be fairly simple to find energy efficient windows suited for the climate in Cape Coral. The National Fenestration Ratings Council label, that includes a few different ratings relevant to location and climate, is a good place to start. On this label you will find the U-factor rating and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient Ratings.
The U-factor rating measures how much heat can leave your home through that particular window. Since the climate in Cape Coral is very warm, a higher U-factor rating is perfectly acceptable, and ENERGY STAR® recommends a rating of 0.60 or less. The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, or SHGC, rating, measures how much radiant heat can pass through a window, passively heating the home. In a warm climate like Florida’s, ENERGY STAR® recommends a rating of 0.28 or less.
In addition to these ratings, it is helpful to consider the material used to construct your windows. A wood frame provides the most insulation, but is also the most expensive option. Vinyl or fiberglass window frames are also very energy efficient and more suited to homeowners on a budget. The energy efficiency of a window is further improved by double pane glass with inert gas filling and low-e coatings.
In regions that experience hurricanes, it is best to invest in storm shutters and impact resistant glass when installing new windows. High-impact glass looks just like standard glass, but has added strength for standing up to high winds and flying debris. Additionally, your insurance company may offer you a discount for investing in impact resistant glass.
Complying with Cape Coral Window Replacement Requirements
As a homeowner living in Cape Coral, you are required to apply for a building permit anytime you will be making major home improvements, including replacing the windows in your home. Along with the application, which can be found here, you are also required to submit a copy of your home’s floor plan with notations of the placement and size of your new windows. All windows must be approved by the state of Florida. Because of this, it is best to use this search tool provided by the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation to locate your windows before making a purchase.
Permit applications can be submitted to the Building Division of the Department of Community Development at 1015 Cultural Park Boulevard, Cape Coral, Florida 33990. Any additional questions about permitting can be directed to the department by calling 239-574-0401.
If you plan to hire a contractor to complete your window installation, they can assist with the permit application process. Of course, you will want to make sure they have a general contractor’s license that is current in your state. In case an accident occurs while your home in being worked on, you will also want to make sure they carry both workers’ compensation and general liability insurance.
By following the advice provided above, you can be sure you are finding windows that are not only appropriate for the hot and humid climate in Florida, but also comply with both ENERGY STAR® and Cape Coral City guidelines.