All modern vinyl replacement windows look alike. It is easy to assume that they all perform alike-A HUGE MISTAKE. The performance and energy savings vary widely. Let’s discuss some key factors.
1. Frame thickness from interior to exterior. The more space, the more insulating value.
2. Frame chamber configuration. A cut away of the frame exposes the internal chambers of the frame. The more chambers, the more strength and insulating value.
3. Interior insulation. A premium window main-frame and sash-frame are often filled with foam, further increasing the insulating value.
4. Glass thickness. Double thick double strength glass has twice the strength and less heat transfer than thinner single strength glass thus increasing energy efficiency and security.
5. Glass spacing. The greater the gap between glass panes in a window or door sash, the more insulating value. A premium window will have a least ¾” spacing.
6. Spacer material. The spacer is a device to which both panes of glass are attached. A premium window will have a U-Shaped spacer made of rust resistant steel. This spacer conducts heat at a much slower rate than windows with aluminum spacers and helps eliminate seal failure issues.
7. Filling the void. The space between the glasses can be filled with air or argon gas. Argon gas is an inert element that is 40% more dense than air. This dense gas helps improve the insulation quality of the space between the glass panes and is also an excellent sound deadening material.
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