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  1. New windows may provide immense new opportunities and beauties your home. Installing new windows can provide convenient ventilation, superior natural light, easier to use, and cleaning conveniences. With that said, why not make your next set of window replacements vinyl? Vinyl windows are inexpensive, easy to maintain, durable, and very energy efficient. Also, due to the better material modern vinyl is derived from, vinyl windows have drastically improved in efficiency within the recent years. Vinyl windows are manufactured primarily from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Although vinyl windows have amazing benefits, they also have a few cons. Vinyl windows are often times “chunkier” than wood or metal windows, due to the fact that vinyl isn’t as malleable as the other two materials. Also, the textures are indubitably plastic. However, because they come in such an immense collection of colors, and that the colors seep through the material, small dings and scratches are virtually invisible.


On a final note, these windows also come in various design elements, some of which are listed below: 

  1. IG Units
    1. Today, quality windows are built around what's called an insulated glass (IG) unit. An insulated glass unit starts out as two or three individual panes of glass that are chemically bonded by a sealant to spacer bars. When comparing vinyl replacement windows, always ask about the IG unit. Because not all windows or glass are alike, you should require the highest quality and performance standards.
  2. Visible Light Transmission
    1. The visible transmittance (VT) is an optical property that indicates the amount of visible light transmitted. The VT is a whole window rating and includes the impact of the frame which does not transmit any visible light. While VT theoretically varies between 0 and 1, most values are between 0.3 and 0.8. The higher the VT, the lighter is transmitted. A high VT is desirable to maximize daylight.
  3. SHGC Factor
    1. Solar Heat Gain indicates the total amount of solar energy that passes through glass relative to a 1/8" (3mm) thick clear glass under the same design conditions. It includes both solar energy transmitted directly plus any absorbed solar energy subsequently re-radiated into the room. Lower values indicate better performance in reducing summer heat gain and, in turn, air conditioning loads. Your average single paned wood framed window has a SHGC of 0.98 whereas a quality replacement window will have ratings from 0.91 - 0.39 depending upon glazing options.
  4. U –Factor
    1. The rate of heat loss is indicated in terms of the U-factor (U-value) of a window assembly. The lower the U-value, the greater a window's resistance to heat flow and the better its insulating value. Winter nighttime U-values are calculated using an outdoor air temperature of 0 degrees F and outdoor air velocity of 15 mph, indoor air temperature of 70 degrees F, and air velocity of 0 mph. This is similar to the R-value that you think of when choosing insulation except a low U-factor is better, unlike R- value which the larger the number the better.

      It is calculated as 1 divided by the R-value = U-factor. If you used this calculation R-13 insulation would have a U-factor of 0.077.

      To convert U-factor to R-value you take 1 divide by the U-factor. If you used this calculation for the average aluminum framed window with a U-factor of 1.125, your R-value would be 0.89.

      Good replacement windows depending upon the glazing options and low conductive gas fills range between 0.5 and .1 for the U-factor.
  5. Low – E
    1. Low-emittance (Low-E) coatings are thin, metal or metallic oxide layers deposited on a window surface primarily to reduce the U-factor by suppressing the heat flow through the glazed window unit. Coating the inner glass surface with a low-emittance material between the glass layers, blocks a significant amount of this radiant heat transfer, which lowers the heat flow through the window. Low-E coatings are transparent to visible light. Different types of Low-E coatings have been designed to allow for high solar gain, moderate solar gain, or low solar gain. We usually only recommend Low-E for the south side of homes if any in our region where the sun shines throughout the day. One thing to remember is the windows have a slightly tinted appearance.

 

  1. Low Conductive Gas Filled Units
    1. An improvement that has been made to the insulating performance by the use of argon or krypton gas between the panes of glass. Normally, the space is filled with air or dry nitrogen prior to sealing the window panes together. In a sealed glass insulated window unit, air currents between the two panes of glazing carry heat to the top of the unit and settle into cold pools at the bottom. Filling the space with a less conductive gas minimizes this and the overall transfer of heat between the inside and outside is reduced.

      Argon is inexpensive, nontoxic, non-reactive, clear, and odorless. The optimal spacing for an argon- filled unit is the same as for air, about 1/2 -1 inch.

Krypton has better thermal performance, but is more expensive to produce. Krypton is particularly useful when the space between glazings must be thinner than normally desired, for example, 1/4-inch. A mixture of krypton and argon gases is also used as a compromise between thermal performance and cost.
The use of conductive gas filled units has significant insulating benefits but comes at higher initial cost.

    1. Vinyl windows have many benefits including:
      1. Vinyl windows are extremely energy efficient
      2. Vinyl is indubitably durable
      3. They come in a plethora variety of colors
      4. Resists corrosion
      5. Virtually maintenance free
      6. Available in a number of original designs
      7. Available in a mass array of styles and shapes
      8. Offered in a wide range of prices
      9. Easy installation
      10. Never require painting
    2. Some common window styles include:
      1. Awning Windows – awning windows are usually placed above doors or another window for ventilation purposes.
      2. Casement Windows – These windows are by far, the most popular types of replacement windows. These windows allow more light to seep through and a better view of the outside.
      3. Double Hung Windows – These are very traditional classic style windows, the double hung windows allow the window to open and close all in one step. The sashes slide and lock into place with the user friendly Multi Pointe Lock system.
    Double Slide Windows - The hardware allows for unprecedented versatility, allowing the sashes to slide and tilt. To lock, simply turn the lock once and the sashes securely lock into place with the Multi Pointe Lock system.
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