You work hard for your money. You may be saving for a vacation home, your kids’ college education, and who knows, maybe even that vintage Porsche! We all agree that expenses can add up.
We also know that your home is your single largest investment. You want to protect and grow your investment while not breaking the bank. Many homeowners replace their windows to improve their homes. However, window replacements cost between $15,000 and $20,000 so it’s important to be careful with your decision. Today, we’ll walk through key considerations in replacing your windows, and how you can get comparable performance while saving up to 70% less with Layr’s 3M Window Film.
Glass Doors & Windows 101
Glass doors and windows, at their core, start with waste glass, soda ash, and limestone. These ingredients are mixed and then heated in a furnace and poured into molds, which are then shipped to glaziers who put the glass into frames. These frames are shipped to window installation companies, who put the product into your home.
Depending on the age of your home, your glass is either annealed (aka float) or tempered (aka safety). For simplicity’s sake, you’ll find tempered glass within 18” of a floor or in sliding glass doors. Both types of glass can be double or triple-paned, and newer glass can be upgraded with Low-E coatings to improve energy efficiency. Some newer double or triple-paned glass is constructed with an inner layer of PVC, which is commonly known as laminated glass.
Glass doors and windows are important because often times, you paid for the views! Views from your home drive up the price of your home. It’s important to think about what is on your windows as you enjoy the views from your home.
Replacements & Upgrades
So why do people replace glass doors and windows before they are broken? Well, glass is simply inefficient and vulnerable:
- Glass represents ~10% of a home’s square footage but can drive up to ~30% of the energy usage
- Glass is porous, and the sun’s UV rays can be dangerous, causing hot spots, fade and glare, even skin cancer
- Untreated, drafty windows are uncomfortable during the winter and can spike your energy bills
- Glass is the weakest link in a building and a common entry point for burglars. Industry experts estimate around 25% of all burglars enter through first-floor windows
These are all reasonable cases for upgrading windows, so you’ll find no shortage of exciting, qualified providers. You’ll recognize some of the big names; Andersen, Pella, Marvin – these are great companies. Based on our research, the average price of a replacement window costs ~$750. Using an average of ~21 windows per home, that comes out to $16,000 per home before tax!
Here is where Layr can help – and to be clear, we can’t help everyone, as windows, frames and sashes need to be in decent shape; but we can upgrade your windows for less. Layr applies the same engineered Low-E coatings to existing windows as a retrofit. You’ll improve energy efficiency, reduce glare and fade and reinforce glass for less. Everything you need, nothing you don’t.
Ok, how exactly can a layer of plastic work so well? Here’s how:
- Layr ‘s window film is a highly engineered, patented 3M product, made possible through decades of market-leading research & development. The film has multiple interwoven layers which form a mechanical bond with glass, while blocking various bands of the solar spectrum, and then finally forming a scratch-resistant coating. This “piece of plastic” works the same way that Low-E windows do: managing climate by rejecting and absorbing energy through spectrally selective coatings.
- The Department of Energy (DOE), in a 2011 study, ranked window film as a “top-tier technology”. The DOE also ranked window film as having the “highest probability of success” with the fastest payback period.
- CONSOL Energy and Environmental Solutions, a leading energy consultancy, in a 2011 study, found that commercially-applied window film have payback periods ranging from 1.4 to 2.1 years
- The US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program awards up to 11 LEED credits related to window film.
- The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends the use of window film due to its properties that screen out UV rays. All Layr window films block 99.9% of these dangerous and harmful rays.
- Best of all, you can see it with your own eyes! Our team has film samples, demonstration kits, thermometers and BTU meters to prove these metrics out during a home consultation. Our clients often see a 7 to 15-degree difference in temperature to help your home be warmer in the winter and cooler during the summer.
Here is an illustrative comparison of Low-E windows and Layr’s 3M Thinsulate film:
- Visible Light Transmission – measures the amount of visible light transmitted through a window. Older, transparent glass has a value of 1.0. Newer glass comes with some factory tint and may rank closer to 0.8 or 0.85. A VLT ratio of ~75% is basically invisible.
- Ultra Violet Rays – UV rays are invisible and nasty; they are the leading cause of skin cancer and fade. In a perfect world, you want to block as many UV rays as possible, while maintaining a high Visible Light Transmission ratio.
- Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) – The SHGC measures the amount of solar energy transmitted through a window’s interior. Un-treated single-paned glass has a SHGC of 0.8. An SHGC of ~0.5 implies that around 50% of the total solar energy is being rejected. You’re going to save some money ?.
- U-Value – Measures the insulative properties of the material. Un-treated glass has a U-Value of 1.0. A lower U-Value means more manageable drafty windows and energy bills during the winter.
- Average Installation Time – Layr’s after-market solutions eliminate days of technicians in your home.
- Pounds of Waste – Layr’s after-market solution eliminates the need to dispose of hundreds of pounds of old windows.
- Average Residential Treatment Price – As per third-party studies, the average residential replacement window project runs $16,000 to $20,000. Layr delivers everything you need and nothing you don’t.
The big differences are that Layr is cheaper, installs easier and has a better warranty from a bigger company.
We are licensed, insured, Better Business Bureau-accredited and have the knowledge and experience to serve you. Drop us a line – [email protected] or click the below banner to learn more. As always, thanks for reading!