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Buying Replacement Windows in Charleston, West Virginia
Living in Charleston, West Virginia means being prepared for the changing temperatures provided by warm summers and cold winters. Part of being prepared for the changes delivered by your climate is making sure your home is equipped with energy efficiency features. From your heating and cooling system, to the roof overhead, to the windows that let the sun in or keep the cold out, every aspect of your home should work together to reduce your family’s consumption of nonrenewable energy resources.
As a responsible and energy conscious homeowner, you know that maintaining an energy efficient home also means regular updates and preventative maintenance. One such upgrade is replacing the windows in your home once they have begun to show signs of deterioration. Windows that have become difficult to open and close or are allowing air to leak in our out of your home likely need to be replaced. Without window replacements, your utility bills will steadily increase along with your consumption of energy, a problem no homeowner wants to face.
In Charleston, replacement windows are best bought with the climate in mind. Unique weather patterns necessitate uniquely manufactured windows that match the demands the weather places on your home. In this Charleston, West Virginia window buying guide, you will find the information you need to purchase energy efficient windows for your home as well as city building code and permit application guidelines, tips for paying for your windows, and helpful advice for hiring a contractor.
Finding the Right Windows for the Climate in Charleston
The climate in Charleston, West Virginia is uniquely set apart from much of the region. While the city does experience four distinct seasons, the winters are much milder than the rest of the state and this is explained by the city’s location just west of high elevation. In July, the warmest month of the year, the average high reaches 88 degrees. In January, the coldest month of the year, the average low is a mild 24.8 degrees. In Charleston, you receive an average of 41.7 inches of rain each year and 18.9 inches of snow each year, noticeably lower than the national annual average of 25 inches.
When looking for the windows best suited for your home in Charleston, begin by searching out windows that have be certified by ENERGY STAR®. ENERGY STAR® sets climate specific guidelines for different regions of the United States, called climate zones and Charleston, West Virginia is located in the North-Central Climate Zone. According to ENERGY STAR® guidelines, when you live in this climate zone you should concern yourself with the U-Factor rating, a measurement of how much heat can leave your home through the window, and the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient rating, a measurement of how much solar radiation passes through the window and heats your home. In Charleston, your windows should have a U-Factor rating of no more than 0.32 and a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient of no more than 0.40.
The materials used for your windows matter, too. The most insulative window frame materials are wood, vinyl, and fiberglass. Choosing between the three largely comes down to personal preference, as wood offers a very desireable look but also requires more regular maintenance and care than vinyl and fiberglass. A triple pane window with insulating gas filling on each side of the middle pane offers the most insulation to your home and should be coated with low-e glazing, a thin coating that reflects infrared heat and prevents it from entering your home.
Hiring a Window Replacement Contractor in West Virginia
If you plan to hire a general contractor to install the windows in your home, we suggest carefully interviewing multiple candidates before hiring someone for the job. Any contractor you are considering should be asked to provide references from previously completed window replacement projects as well as proof that they are properly licensed and insured to make major home improvements in Charleston. Careful interviewing of contractors will play an important role in making sure you have hired someone who understands how to properly install energy efficient windows in your home.
Paying for Windows in Charleston, West Virginia
At this time, there are no tax credits available for energy efficient window replacements in Charleston, West Virginia. However, qualifying individuals may receive financial assistance from the Capital Resource Agency, Inc a federally funded agency that helps low-income individuals and families make energy efficient improvements to their home, including window repair or replacement. In many cases, individual contractors will offer financing options for homeowners who do not qualify for assistance but are seeking an alternative to paying for the new windows in cash.
Complying with Charleston Window Replacement Requirements
Before beginning your window replacement project, you will need to apply for a residential building permit through the Building Commission of Charleston, West Virginia. Along with a completed application, you will need to submit two copies of your building plans that detail out your plans for the project as well as how you plan to make sure the replacement of your windows will be compliant with your city’s building codes. If you plan to hire a contractor, they should be actively involved in this part of the project as they have the training and knowledge necessary to navigate your city’s permitting system.
A blank application can be downloaded online and submitted in person at 915 Quarrier Street, Suite 5, Charleston, West Virginia 25301. The office is open Monday thru Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.. If you have further questions about submitting your application, please contact the department directly at (304) 348-6833.