QUESTION: I like the look of a lot of the windows on the market, but how do I make sure I choose the best window frames for Arizona?
ANSWER: Aluminum framed windows provide good economic value but are the poorest energy performing window as the aluminum conducts heat into the house. Fiberglass frames are a cost-effective, low-maintenance option for replacement windows, and they resist warping. We like Pella’s Impervia line of fiberglass windows.
If your budget allows, the best window for our climate is a wood-framed, aluminum-clad window. They have the beauty of wood on the inside coupled with the weatherproofing and strength of metal cladding on the outside.
Generally speaking, we still remain leery of vinyl frame windows. Vinyl just does not hold up under intense UV exposure.
Q: How can I get more natural light in my home?
A: A good alternative for adding natural light is a skylight or a less intrusive solar tube. Both are great options in Arizona where the sun shines most days. Your guests will try to turn off the lights when they walk out of a room! On the flip side, some window models even come with a blackout screen for naps and sleeping in on weekends.
Q: We live on a busy street. Is there a type of window that will help reduce the noise in my home?
A: Triple pane windows are a good option for noise reduction. If you have noise that is disrupting your lifestyle, they are a great way to cut down on noise. Triple pane windows do have a higher price point than other windows.
Magnetite windows, a temporary solution, magnetically clip on the interior of your existing window and help reduce noise. They must be removed to open the window.
Other solutions include creating exterior barriers like block walls or hedge type plants. Creating white noise with a fountain, music or white noise machine can often help alleviate the aggravation of traffic or construction noise.
Q: Is there a good way to secure my sliding glass door?
A: Putting a broomstick in the track is not a good solution to locking your sliding glass door as the active, sliding door can still be lifted out of the track. Try using a pin-style lock or a quality foot-activated lock in the track; these anchor the sliding door to the door frame so that it can’t be lifted or slid open.
Q: What is the best type of door for my front entry?
A: The door you choose should be solid wood with a deadbolt that has a 1-inch throw. Reinforce the doorpost to make kicking the door in as hard as possible. In addition to the door itself consider the hardware you use; double cylinder deadbolts and bump proof locks add another level of security.
If you have a door with sidelights make sure the deadbolt is a double cylinder that requires a key on both sides. Never leave the key in the lock. Instead, put it on a hook out of reach of the door.
When inserting the strike plate replace the screws that come with the plate with 3-inch screws to make the door more secure. Add a wide-angle peep-hole, smart doorbell, and a security camera to complete the job.
Add a sturdy security screen door. It is important to choose a door that is made of thick-gauge steel. To ensure that the door is secure, you want the mounting to penetrate at least 4 inches into the wall. Installers should use 6-inch screws that are 5/16-inches thick. Some companies only use hinges that go 2 to 3 inches into the wall and use shorter fasteners. Be sure to mount guards or metal plates that can keep burglars from using tools to pry open the door. You also want high-end, milled bullet or barrel hinges that are rated to support more than 800 pounds per hinge.
Q: Our neighborhood has been experiencing a rise in burglaries. What are some security features I can expect to find in purchasing new doors and windows?
A: Home burglaries have been on the rise as we spend more and more time away from home with work and travel. There are now built-in features that help keep your home secure, such as windows with built-in sensors like the Pella Insynctive Technology sensors. With an internet connection you can monitor windows through an app no matter where you are. They even tell you if the door is open or closed, locked or unlocked.
For French doors, they have the Unison lock system, which is one latch that locks the door top and bottom. The foot bolt lock for arcadia doors, though not new, is a great feature allowing you to lock the door securely and even leave a 3-inch gap allowing fresh air into the room.
Built-in blinds are another popular feature. They can be programmed to raise or lower automatically, giving the appearance of someone at home. Securing your home is easier than ever with these innovative products.
Each year, thousands of Arizona residents email or call our radio broadcast with questions. Our goal is to be every Arizona homeowner’s best friend and provide answers that suit the specific needs of Arizona residents wherever they may live. Ask Rosie on the House your homeowner questions by emailing email@example.com or call 888-767-4348.