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Buying Windows in Allentown, Pennsylvania
Eventually, all windows need replaced, but if the windows in your home are high quality and properly installed, you can expect them to last for 15 years or more. When the time does come for you to purchase new windows, you will likely begin to notice a few red flags. Your windows may become difficult to open and close, you might notice drafts or air leaks, or you may even begin to experience the problem of moisture becoming trapped between your window panes.
As soon as you notice a decline of your windows’ performance, it is time to start planning for a window replacement. The choices you make concerning your window purchases and installation are important, when you make the right choices you can expect to experience energy savings and for your windows to last for years to come with minimal maintenance.
Before getting started, you should understand how the climate where you live in Allentown, Pennsylvania influences the decisions you make concerning the windows you buy. Your city also has permit requirements and rules concerning the insurance and licenses general contractors carry. In this Allentown window buying guide, you can expect to find all of the information you need to make these important decisions.
Preparing Your Home for Warm Summers and Cold Winters
Living in Allentown, Pennsylvania means that you experience all four seasons each years. The summers where you live are mild, but warm, with the average high reaching 84 degrees in July. Winters is cold and snowy, the temperature reaches an average low of 20 degrees each January. The snow and rainfall in Allentown isn’t extreme, but it does exceed the national annual average each year, receiving 33 inches of snow and 45.35 inches of rain each year.
When you have an understanding of the climate where you live, you can begin to understand how to shop for windows that will perform well in your climate and increase the energy efficiency of your home. The process of finding the perfect windows for your home has been made even simpler by ENERGY STAR®, which places a National Fenestration Ratings Council label on each new window that includes efficiency ratings relevant to the climate in your region.
According to ENERGY STAR®, Allentown is located in the Northern Climate Zone, a region of the country requiring windows that will perform well in cold climates for several months of the year. As a homeowner living in this climate zone, you should make sure that any windows you choose have a U-Factor Rating of 0.27 or less, as a higher number indicates more heating escaping your home through the window.
The materials used to construct your windows also play a role in how efficient they are in cold weather. The most efficient material for window frames is wood, but it is also the most costly material. Vinyl and fiberglass are slightly less efficient than wood, but are still a very wise choice in cold climates and are among the most budget friendly options. The panes of your windows should be constructed from two pieces of glass with an inert gas filling and low-e coating. As long as the windows in your home are suited for a cold climate, you do not need to invest in storm windows since Allentown doesn’t receive a great deal of snow each year.
Complying with Allentown Window Replacement Requirements
As long as you will not be making changes to the size of the window being replaced or the wall surrounding the window, the city of Allentown does not require you to apply for a repair or alterations permit. If any changes are being made to the size of the window, or the wall surrounding the window, you will need to submit a permit application before you begin any work on the project. A permit application can be found online here, and can be submitted to the Department of Building Standards and Safety on the fourth floor of City Hall at 435 Hamilton Street, Allentown, Pennsylvania. If you have further questions about the permit application process, you can visit the department’s website here or call 610-437-7591.
Unless you plan to replace your windows yourself, you need to hire a contractor who is properly licensed through the state of Pennsylvania. All contractors making major repairs or alterations are required to have a general contractor’s license as well as workers’ compensation insurance.
Thoroughly research each window before you make your purchase, you won’t regret it! A window perfectly suited for the climate in Allentown can save you between $91 and $424 each year on heating and cooling costs. You will also be making a choice that will decrease your consumption of nonrenewable energy, improving your relationship with the world you live in.