Choosing Windows for the Cape Cod Climate

Cape Cod's climate is not the warmest in the country � in fact, it is downright chilly a lot of the time. With delayed spring seasons and slightly lower average temperatures during summer, as well as the rare blizzard during winter, you need to make sure your windows will be able to keep you from being bothered by the cold. Fortunately, it's not as difficult as you'd think, as long as you know how to choose the right windows for the job.

Keeping yourself warm
In such a generally cold place, you'd want to look for window sthat offer good insulation and energy efficiency. It�s necessary for you to keep these two factors in mind if you�d like your heating unit to have an easier time of regulating indoor temperatures while using less energy at the same time. However, that doesn't mean you should completely sacrifice your window's other functions, such as ventilation and natural lighting. Here are a few options you may want to consider when looking for windows for your Cape Cod home.

Windows with an Insulated Window Frame
When looking for a window that can help keep you warm, one of the first things you should look into is its frame. Windows with insulated frames usually have a hollow external surface which is filled with a layer of foam. Air pockets in the foam act as a thermal barrier to keep warm indoor air from getting out and cold air from getting in. Insulated frames are also lighter than solid PVC or metal frames, making them easier to operate, which is a plus.

Windows with Multi-pane glass
Even the glass part of a window can have a thermal barrier. In some cases, it's the air (or gas fill) trapped between two layers of glass (it's one massive air pocket). Double-paned windows are more common, but you can also find windows with three or more panes if that�s what you want and you look hard enough.

Gas-filled Windows
Air trapped between glass panes is good thermal insulation, but replace that air with something that has improved heat-retaining properties and you get even better insulation. Argon is the most popular type of gas fill, although there are other alternatives, such as xenon. These gasses are stored inside the panes using airtight seals to keep the gas from leaking out.

Low-E Coating
Low-E or low-emissivity coatings are popular for being able to reduce heat by partially reflecting sunlight, but they are also great for reflecting back indoor heat that would have otherwise escaped through the windows. In some cases, low-e coatings are applied on both sides of the glass for better all-around temperature control.

Windows With Extra Weatherstripping
Even when fully closed, small gaps between the window sash and the frame can cause warm indoor air to leak out. To avoid this problem, consider getting a window with good weatherstripping. Weatherstripping is usually made of PVC or rubber, acting as an airtight seal.

Sliding or Double-hung Windows
While other types of windows provide decent insulation, sliding and double-hung windows have a slight edge when it comes to preventing air from leaking through. This is because these two types of windows have sashes that are always in contact with most of the frame (at least 2 sides at the same time).
Alex Esler is a marketing manager with Renewal by Andersen. Having worked extensively for one of the biggest window and door providers in the US, he has considerable experience in choosing the right windows for various kinds of homes. During his spare time, he shares some of the knowledge he has learned through online articles and blog posts. 

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