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Window FAQ

What Is U-Value and Why It’s Important:

A fundamental property of heat is that it will flow from a warmer area to a colder area. The rate at which heat is transferred through a material is its U-value. Materials are assigned U-values based on how slowly they transfer heat, which, in practical terms, is a measure of how well they insulate.

Of course, the rate of heat transfer can be affected by a number of factors, including the type of material used or even how the window was assembled. There is also the issues of the thickness of the material, the difference in the interior and exterior temperatures, and by dampness.

Simply stated, wet or damp material will not insulate as well as a dry material; this is why we went to such great lengths to explain window sealing, installation, and flashing.

Bottom Line: The lower the U-value, the better the material insulates.

What Is R-Value and Why It’s Important:

While U-value is typically used to rate windows and their ability to insulate, the R-Value is largely the inverse. It is a measure of how well a material resists the flow of heat through it.

Bottom Line: The Higher the R-Value, The Better Insulated The Window.

What Is Solar Heat Gain Coefficient and Why It’s Important:

Solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) is nothing more than a measurement of the amount of solar heat radiation that a window will allow to pass through into your home. Many salespeople like to hammer away about how good their U-values are; but, a U-value or R-Value will do nothing for you if heat is entering your home through the glass in the form of radiation.

In fact, in a recent report published by the Environmental Protection Agency, it was recommended that in certain areas that only SHGC should be reported and not U-values due in large part to the amount of heat that can enter the home through radiation.

For example, a SHGC of 0.30 means that only 30% of the sun’s heat penetrates the window. A single-pane window’s SHGC is about 0.90, meaning that 90% of the sun’s heat penetrates.

Bottom Line: The Lower The SHGC, The Better It Blocks Radiant Heat.

Why should I consider replacing my old windows?

New windows give your home added beauty, security, and energy efficiency. You will see a significant savings in your energy bill in the very first month after replacing your existing windows with new, energy efficient replacement windows.

Are there differences in how vinyl windows are made?

There are two types of construction. Some vinyl windows are mechanically fastened, or screwed and glued together at the corners. Others are welded. Welded windows use a chemical or heat process to join the corners. The result of this process produces a much stronger, longer lasting bond. Every window we install uses state of the art equipment to weld our corners.

Is all glass used in replacement windows the same?

No. Special consideration should be given to glass options such as tempered glass, Low-E glass, Argon gas, Krypton gas, and heat mirror. Each option offers various levels of energy efficiency and safety.

What should I look for in a replacement window warranty?

We believe that a manufacturer‘s faith in its own product should be reflected in their product warranty. Simply put, if the manufacturer believes in its own product, that product should have a great warranty. Remember, the warranty is only as valid as the stability of the manufacturer that’s providing it. Be sure to select a window from a manufacturer who has been in business for many years and who you know will be around to honor the warranty.

Are all frames and sashes the same?

No. However, it is hard to tell, just by looking, which frames and sashes are made of high quality materials and which are not. Window frames and sashes made from low quality materials have a slight blue or gray hue.

Energy Wizard windows are the top-selling insulated replacement windows in the nation. Built for strength, efficiency and durability, our windows are good for you, good for your home, and good for the environment.

Our patented windows not only save energy dollars, they save you time and they can save your hearing.

Because the strong fiberglass reinforced frame is clad in durable vinyl, there is virtually no maintenance so you’ll never have to scrape and repaint your window frame ever again. And the convenient tilt-in feature on the double-hung model makes Energy Wizard windows easy to clean.

Also, our windows are the only ones that come with SilentGuard® our special noise-reducing technology. Sounds are measured in decibels (dBs). An STC rating is assigned to a window or door to designate its capacity to block sound. The higher the decibel the higher the STC rating needed. Typical windows have STC ratings in the 25-28 range. By comparison, the Silent Guard Window family has an STC rating of 34, reducing exterior sound by 43% when compared to the average single pane aluminum window.

Which is more important in saving energy, the frame or the glass?

Seventy percent of an average window is glass; therefore, your biggest opportunity to save on energy comes from the glass. Remember, however, that the frame still makes up 30% of the window. Quite often, a replacement window will feel drafty around the edges. A frame that lacks insulating value generally causes this problem.

Should I use a professional remodeler to install my windows?

The quality of any product is only as good as its installation. An improper installation could reduce the energy efficiency of the window, do structural damage to your home, and even void the manufacturers’ warranty. Our installation experts are trained to do the job right the first time. This ensures maximum performance from your windows and eliminates future problems. From start to finish, we guarantee you will be satisfied with your installation experience.

How Should I Use the “Contractor Standards Guide”?

The best thing to do is glance through it and then make sure you use the enclosed checklist. Do your best to make sure that the remodeler that you choose is up to snuff with everything that is in the guide. Always keep in mind that a bad contractor can cost you time, money, and a lot of headaches. The Contractor Standards Guide is a way to prevent the worst from happening to you.

How Come Your Windows Aren’t As Cheap As Those Other Guys?

Window’s and window installations cost money, that isn’t a secret. There are window installation companies out there that advertise windows for less than $200 a window. That is an incredible price! Why don’t we offer something like that?

The answer is that those windows aren’t very good and just will not hold up to Maryland weather. Those advertised windows are just “hooks” to get you to dial a number. They will then explain that the windows you really want cost a lot more. The windows they are advertising for that incredible price aren’t energy efficient, and usually have other design flaws that cause it to not be a very energy efficient window.

We sell windows at what they actually cost, and the windows we carry are energy efficient and custom built to fit your window frames. That means the cost more, but they will save you money on energy bills and will make your home look fantastic. Our prices are what they are, but you will know it before you sign up for our services.

How Long Will the Consultation Take?

Usually, a consultation appointment for a windows installation will take about an hour, sometimes shorter. The longest part of the process is taking the measurements of your current windows. Of course the time we spend will largely depend on how many questions you need answered.

Why Is Installation So Important and How Does Your Process Differ From the Other Guys?

The installation process is the most important part of the window installation process. If the window isn’t installed correctly, you will not be able to use it in some cases, and for sure it will not be as energy efficient as you wanted it to be. We train our remodelers meticulously to focus on the process and to make sure that every window is installed correctly, the first time.

Other contractors focus on trying to get you the lowest price possible to get you hooked into their services. This means they will try to cheap out on the installation and quality of your windows. This type of thing is called “Rip and Stick”. These “professionally” installed windows are just pasted in, usually in poor frames, with less than adequate installation procedures. They could fall out, and will definitely cost you when it comes to energy efficiency.

New windows installations only do your home and wallet good if they are installed correctly. Chances are your old windows have some energy inefficiencies. If the new windows are just as inefficient, then what did you really gain? You should have just saved your money.

In the end, it is all about the frame and the installation process that the contractor uses. The frame needs to be sturdy and sound, and the window needs to fit in it like it was meant to be used in that frame. If there is one point of weakness, your energy savings won’t be realized.

How is Your Pricing Different Than the Competition?

Other companies try and get you hooked with a low price. They then either cheap out on materials to reach the estimate, go over budget, or add on a ton of extra fees to make up for their losses. As we’ve talked about over and over again, we’re not the cheapest remodelers out there; instead we focus on quality and accurate quotes for quality labor and products.

You should never do your project with less than perfect materials. That’s why value is so important. Never let your contractor cheap out on materials, as it could cost you later.

Why Do You Focus So Much Attention on the Installation of the Window?

You pick out the windows. That might seem like the most important part, but that is really only part of the process. Poorly installed windows can have long lasting and dangerous consequences. Windows allow in heat and cold. If the window isn’t installed properly, it could affect your heating and cooling bill. It could also be dangerous because poorly installed windows tend to fall out, which could happen when someone leans against it.

Other companies might give you a “rip-and-stick” job, where they just patch glue the window into place and leave it. This might save on labor, but it will eventually cost more as the window lets more and more of the outside temperature inside the house. When we install a window, we do it right, so that you don’t have to worry about how much your windows are actually costing you.

We also focus on your doors. The same problem that happens to your poorly installed windows could happen to a poorly installed door. So if your Window job also includes entry doors, we will make sure those are installed properly too. One single area of weakness, and your heating and cooling costs could sky rocket.