A house by the sea is a dream come true for many homeowners. Who doesn’t enjoy gorgeous views, incredible sunsets, walks on the beach and waking up to the sound of waves? It’s a wonderful experience, but it comes with its own set of challenges. Continuous exposure to sun, sand and salt can inflict significant damage on your home and windows. Selecting the right windows is vital.
Special Considerations for Coastal Homes
Coastal homes are exposed to harsh weather conditions such as intense sunlight, saltwater corrosion, extreme humidity and strong winds. If your beach house is in a hurricane prone area, you also have hurricanes to worry about when purchasing new or replacement windows.
A beach home in a hurricane zone needs windows capable of withstanding strong winds, torrential rains and high-velocity flying debris. Impact resistant windows are made with tempered, laminated glass, heavy duty frames and stronger hardware. They stay in one piece even after the glass is cracked or damaged, protecting homes and lives. Unlike storm shutters, they require no additional preparation ahead of a storm other than being closed and locked.
Air Master Windows and Doors is the only manufacturer in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean with Florida Product Approval and Miami-Dade County Notice of Acceptance (NOA) certifications against impact and air infiltration—the strictest standard in the U.S. Our impact resistant windows can withstand Category 5 hurricanes.
Heat and UV Ray Reduction
Many beach houses feature prominent glass windows to let in an abundance of natural light and provide amazing views. Unfortunately, glass also allows heat to become trapped in the home, overheating it and raising energy bills.
Energy efficient windows reduce the amount of sunlight that passes through the glass and prevent cooled air from escaping the home. Features such as multi-paned glass, low-e glass coatings, quality frame materials and gas fills provide significantly better insulation than standard windows, therefore stabilizing indoor temperatures, making the home more comfortable and lowering energy bills.
Aluminum window frames are known for their strength, which allows for thinner frames that enhance ocean views. Most aluminum window frames are not very energy efficient because they conduct heat. They’re also prone to corrosion unless treated with a special coating. When made with energy efficient glass and anti-corrosion coating, aluminum windows are a good alternative for coastal homes.
They resist salt spray corrosion, rotting, rusting, peeking and cracking. Because they’re not painted, the exterior finish holds up very well over time. Vinyl frames usually are the most affordable option.
These frames are stronger than vinyl and more rigid, which keeps them from warping as they age, and they can be textured to resemble the look and feel of natural wood. They’re also more expensive than vinyl.
Wood frames provide a pleasant, traditional look, but they’re susceptible to rot and insect damage. They also cost more and require greater maintenance than other window frame materials.
Type of Glass
While frame material is an important factor, the glass itself is also important.
Impact Resistant Glass
Impact resistant glass is crucial in coastal regions, especially in hurricane zones. An extremely strong polymer interlayer placed between two sheets of glass makes the window resistant to impact and extreme pressure changes. When hit with a tree branch, for example, the glass may crack, but it will not shatter; it won’t break into shards and allow rain, wind or debris to enter the house.
Gas-Filled or Insulated Panes
First of all, stay away from single-pane glass, and choose double-, triple- or quadruple-pane glass. To increase the insulation of your windows, you should opt for gas-filled panes. Trapping an inert gas (usually argon) between the sheets of glass provides more insulation than air alone.
Low-emissivity (low-E) glass features a microscopically thin layer of material on the surface of the glass that reflects sunlight and reduces the amount of heat that flows through the glass.
Low U-Factor and SHGCs
Choose glass with a low U-factor, which determines the rate at which a window conducts non-solar heat flow, and a low solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), which measures the solar radiation allowed through the window. Low U-factor and SHGC reduce heat gain in warm climates, making the home more comfortable and lowering energy bills.
After considering frame materials and glass, you can have fun creating a look for your beach house that is charming as well as safe.
Single- or Double-Hung Windows
Ever popular, single- and double-hung windows consist of two separate sashes that open and close by sliding up or down. A single-hung window opens from the bottom by sliding up, while a double-hung window can be opened from either the top or the bottom. Double-hung windows are ideal for increasing air flow.
Casement and Jalousie Windows
Casement windows consist of one large sash that’s hinged on the side and that opens by swinging out. Awning windows are hinged at the top and are opened by tilting the window out from the bottom, giving the appearance of an awning when open. These windows are the most energy efficient because they clamp more tightly against the weather stripping on the frame than other windows.
Slider windows slide open horizontally from side to side. They’re an excellent choice in tight spaces where there’s limited space to swing a window open. Because of their modern style and functionality, sliding windows are popular in contemporary homes, porches, patios, basements and any rooms or areas where extra ventilation is desired or needed.
Bay and Bow Windows
Bay and bow windows add beauty and style and allow more natural light into the home than other windows. They’re created by putting three or more single- or double-hung, casement or picture windows together and extending them beyond the exterior wall.
Windows for a coastal home or beach house require a little extra attention. Exposure to harsh elements and the risk of hurricanes demand enhanced structural and thermal performance.
Air Master Windows and Doors manufactures and installs windows and doors that are specifically designed to withstand coastal conditions and that meet the strictest impact-resistance standards in the U.S. Get the right windows for your beach house. Call 787-999-0717 or contact us at email@example.com