How to compare double pane replacement windows.
Just because a window is called double pane does not necessarily mean that it is more efficient or better than windows that are single pane. There are several critical systems that make a good double pane replacement window.
Frame Material – The first choice that should be made is whether to replace with aluminum, vinyl or wood windows.
Wood is more expensive and will require a lot more maintenance. It is a great insulator though. Wood may also be required if you home is in an historic area with deed restrictions on materials.
Aluminum is strong and light but, it is not an efficient insulator. Window manufacturers have taken some great measures with aluminum frames to make them more thermally efficient by using two sections of the frame and joining them together with a resin bead. This is what is referred to as a thermal break.
Vinyl is light and strong and is a very efficient insulator. In addition, vinyl is the same color throughout. Aluminum is powder coated and wood frames is either painted or stained. If vinyl gets scratched it generally requires no touch-up like aluminum or wood.
Glass – the original glass in your home is most likely single strength single pane glass. In other words, fragile and easy to break. Replacement windows now come with Double-Strength glass…thicker and stronger than your original glass. Less likely to crack or break with moderate impact.
Super Spacer – In order for double pane windows to be efficient, you need to ask what type of super spacer and how much air gap is between the glass panes. A good rule of thumb is to choose a neoprene material super spacer with an air gap of around 7/8″. There is some variance here because windows are made specifically for regions of the country. A Northern Region window is designed differently than a Southern Region window. This is due to the Northern climates require more days of heating your home while Southern climate homes require more cooling days.
Low-E Coating – Ask about the low-e coating applied to the window surfaces. Normally the inside surface of the outer facing pane will be double or even triple coated with a metal oxide coating. The coating does a number of things including preventing harmful UV rays from coming in to your home and fading your carpet and other fabrics. The coating also prevents heat transfer from entering the home by reflecting the solar heat away from the window.
Gas Filling – The most common type of gas filling in windows is Argon. Argon is used in the air gap between the two panes of glass to improve the insulating factor of the window.
When shopping for windows, make sure you are speaking with an expert. Someone that will listen to your questions and concerns and then come up with the solution that meets your needs, matches the style of your home and qualifies for the Federal Energy Credit Rebate.
All-Tex Home Improvement Services is the contractor to call in Houston areas for Vinyl Replacement Windows. Fill out our request form to request an appointment or (281) 358-2553 today!