What Are the Best Windows for Desert Climates?

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Living in the Grand Canyon State definitely has its perks. Spectacular views, fewer bugs, and a year-round outdoor playground are just a few that come to mind.

But Arizona residents also understand that owning a home here presents certain challenges that folks in other parts of the country may not have to think about—like how to pick a window that can withstand the blazing sunlight, high temperatures, and low humidity our little corner of the Southwest is famous for.

Whether you’re building a new home or thinking about replacing your existing windows, here are a few things to consider before you buy.

Aluminum or vinyl? Both have their pros and cons.

Aluminum windows are lightweight, durable, and strong—making them a great choice for those wide picture windows that make desert homes so beautiful. However, because aluminum is not always the best at preventing heat from coming and going, low-emissivity glass is often recommended to increase their energy efficiency. (Low-e glass is glass that has been specially coated to reflect solar heat while still letting in plenty of daylight.)

In contrast, vinyl windows are highly energy efficient and typically less expensive than aluminum, plus they come in a wide variety of colors and design choices to complement your home’s décor. And, because vinyl does not rust, scratch, or dent, it requires very little maintenance.

You can learn more about aluminum vs. vinyl windows here.

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Single-pane or double-pane windows?

In this case, less is not more.

Double- and even triple-pane windows are highly recommended for maximum solar heat resistance in Arizona homes. Basically, each layer of glass is separated by a vacuum that acts as a buffer to capture high heat (and cooler winter air) before they can leak into your home. This will help lower your heating and cooling costs throughout the year.

As an added bonus, double- and triple-pane windows are great at minimizing noise pollution, and installing them typically adds to the overall value of your home.

Don’t forget about the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC).

Did you know Phoenix is one of two major cities in the United States with the most year-round sun? Over 3,800 hours of sun, in fact.

Because all that solar heat can turn your home into a sauna if you don’t have the right windows, it’s important to know exactly how much heat is passing through the glass—which is what the SHGC will tell you. The lower the number, the less heat that’s allowed in, so do yourself a favor and look for windows with an SHGC number of 0.3 percent or below.

Still not sure which windows to choose? Talk to XO Windows.

For more than a decade, XO Windows has been helping Arizona residents select the perfect windows for their homes. Whatever your style, budget, or design preference, we offer the most comprehensive selection of windows and doors in the southwestern United States.

Call us today at 602.396.4825 or click here for a free estimate.