Window & Door
News regarding Energy Star, the acquisitions of Simonton Windows and Hurd Windows and Doors, and new executive appointments topped the list of most-clicked stories on WindowandDoor.com in 2014. Among the Talk topics garnering the most discussion this year were the buying mentality among consumers, product performance and labor issues.
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Therma-Tru’s Classic-Craft line
In order to get to my point, I have to tell you one story, so I can tell you another. The punchline, however, is this:Therma-Tru fiberglass doors won a Consumers DigestBest Buy award in 2011 and that is a big deal. It’s a title that holds for more than just 2011. And it’s not just some clip art Therma-Tru can use in their marketing. Here’s the whole story (hint: the first part is about me!):
I used to edit a magazine called Tools of the Trade. It was an all-pro, tools-only Consumer’s Digest style book. Our mainstay was to gather all the tools in a category—18 volt impact drivers, 4 1/2 inch angle grinders, 12 inch sliders, etc—put them in the hands of awesome reviewers and, with the guidance of criteria we wrote based on our lives on the jobsite, find out what the reviewers thought about how the tools worked in the real world.
It’s a careful process that requires a lot of people do a lot of work, then put it out there for the world to see. With the world looking—especially pros who know the tools and depend on them for their living and livelihood—if you make a mistake, you get called on it; nevermind companies that have invested millions in their products.
And there are other awards that might be more subjective. For example, Editors’ Choice Awards are sometimes like this because they’ll give more weight to a certain criteria like a ground-breaking technology or risky new design, etc than overall product performance. The step-by-step reviews are not, which is why—after reading Consumers Digest’s Best Buy Process—I can report that Therma-Tru’s Classic-Craft line of energy efficient fiberglass doors earned a Consumers Digest Best Buy.
The award, if I can take it a step further, proves out something else: the feeling of happiness I have when I close the very same door in my own house. Heavy, solid, beautiful, and a sweet swing (the latter being carpenter-talk for a door that travels easily, closes plushly.)
What’s more, all five collections in the Classic-Craft line won: American Style, Mahogany, Rustic, Oak, and Canvas beating out the other products in the category by achieving the perfect balance of quality, price, style and more. The July/August 2011 issue of Consumers Digest says: “No other door that’s in this price range replicates the look of a wood door better than the Classic-Craft series does.”
There are awards that are cool and there are awards that are designations. The Consumers Digest tap is the latter and a worthwhile, hands-on, though-driven reason Therma-Tru delivers an entrance you’ll be proud (we are) and that will drive up curb appear while driving down energy costs for years to come.
Q. What is “Low E” glass?
A: Low E glass products give you year round energy savings and comfort by helping manage the sun’s energy and the heating system energy in your home. Low E glass products are coated with microscopically thin, optically transparent layers of silver sandwiched between layers of antireflective metal oxide coatings. In the summer, Low E glass products let in visible sunlight while blocking infrared and ultraviolet solar energy that drives up cooling costs and damages curtains, window treatments, carpeting and furnishings. And in the winter, Low E glass products offer greater confort and reduced heating costs by reflecting room side heat back into the room. Emissivity is a measure of how much heat is emitted from an object by radiation. Heat is transferred to and from objects through three processes: conduction, convection and radiation. For instance, on a hot night, heat will be conducted through a window from the outside, causing the inside pane to become warm.
Convection, or natural circulation, of the air in the room pst the window will transfer some of the heat into the room. But the window will also radiate heat as infared waves, which will harm objects throughout the room. The radiative heating is why you can feel the red-hot piece of metal (for instance, a heating element on an electric stove) from several feet away. Low-emissivity, or low-e, coatings are put on windows to reduce the amount of heat they give off through radiation. In hot climates, where the outside of the window will typically be hotter than the inside, low-e coatings work best on the interior of the outside window pane. In cold climates, where the inside of the window is typically hotter than the outside, the low-e coatings work best on the inside window pane, on the side that faces toward the outside
Q: What is U-Value?
A: The U-Value, also called the U –factor, is a measure of how well heat flows through an object (thermal conductivity) it is also referred to as the heat transfer coefficient of heat transmission. The U-Value is measured by how much heat (Btu) flows through a certain area (a square foot) each hour for a certain temperature difference(° F) , so it is measured in bru/ft2-hr-°F. The U-value is the reciprocal of the R-value: the lower the U-value, the better the insulation value of the material. Many build-ing and insulation products have their U-value indicated on their label. A U-value of 0.35 or less is recommended in cold cli-mates. In warm climates a low U-value is helpful during hot days or whenever heating is needed, but it is less important than SHGC (Solar Heat Gain Coefficient).
Q: What is R-Value?
A: R-value measures insulating power. The higher the R-value, the better the insulating power. To find the R-value you need to, check with your local power company. The R-value is the inverse of the U-value. Remember: If you install more insulation than necessary, you’ll waste money. When having insulation installed by a contractor, be sure to discuss what R-value is best for your home. Ask retailers and home installers for a fact sheet on insulation before buying. The fact sheet, required by the Feder-al Trade Commission (FTC), tells you the type of insulation, its R-value, and the area it will cover. When the contractor installs your insulation, they must give you a contract or receipt showing the insulation R-values, coverage area, and thickness. If loose-fill insulation is installed, the number of bags used must be included.
Q: What is Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)?
A: The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient is the fraction of the incident solar radiation admitted through a window, both directly transmitted and absorbed and subsequently released inward. SHGC is expressed as a number between 0 and 1. The lower a windows solar heat gain coefficient, the less solar heat it transmits. A SHGC of 0.40 or less is recommended in warm climates. In heating-dominant climates, a high SHGC increases passive solar gain for the heating, but reduces cooling season performance, but reduces passive solar gain for heating.
Q: What is Visible Transmittance (VT)?
A: The visible transmittance (VT) is an optical property that indicates the amount of visible light transmitted through the glass. VT is expressed as a number between 0 and 1. The higher the VT, the more daylight is transmitted. A high VT is desirable to maximize daylight.
Q: What is an NFRC rating?
A: The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) is a non-profit collaborative of manufactures, builders, designers, govern-ment officials, utilities and consumers which provides unbiased energy performance ratings for window, door, skylight (or “fenestration”). NFRC’s labels provide product-specific performance ratings for technical qualities such as U-factor (the rate of heat loss from your home through the window), and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (how much heat your house gains from the sun as a result of the window’s performance). Look for lower U-factor and appropriate SHGC numbers for highest efficiency performance in your area of the country.
Q: What is Energy Star?
A: Energy Star windows is a program designed to help consumers identify efficient windows, doors and skylights. By choosing Energy Star window products you can cut down your heating and cooling costs, and make your home more comfortable at the same time. Energy Star labeled windows are twice as efficient as the average window produced just ten years ago.
Q: Can I Trust My Measurements?
A: Yes, however we will not. Your windows will be re-measured by your installer at your pre-installation conference before your custom window order is placed with the manufacturer.
Q: Will I Lose Some of My Window Sill Space?
A: Sometimes. Some windows in home today have narrower frames whan replacement windows. Builders often use new con-struction (low grade) windows on new homes. Replacement windows are usually (1) to one and a half (1.5) inches thicker than the new construction windows.
Q: Can I Have New Construction Windows Installed In My Older Home?
A: Yes, however, they are not recommended, and they cost only a few dollars less than a true replacement window.
Q: Do I Need Triple Pane Glass?
A: Not usually. These windows are designed for areas with prolonged extreme cold. With a third pane of glass the air space between the inside and outside pane is typically the same as two panes. The third pane adds 30% more weight to the sashes, placing an additional strain on moving parts. Three panes require two spacers which doubles the surface area that can fail. With new technologies in Low-E coatings, you can achieve better results against heat gain with two panes of 1/8 inch glass than you can with three panes. Glass is a conductor of heat. It does not insulate.
Conserve Energy This Winter by Choosing the Right Windows
Winter is upon us, but the window hasn't closed for homeowners to keep their heating bills from going through the roof. While exploring tactics for cutting energy costs, there might be no more critical consideration than windows. A home with inefficient windows is almost like a home with a hole in the wall -- and installing energy-efficient windows can shave up to 15 percent off heating and cooling bills, according to estimates based on data set forth in the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Star Savings Estimates (www.energystar.gov/windows). Numerous factors determine a window's energy efficiency. Windows with a lower "U-Factor," for example, are preferable in colder regions because they allow less heat to escape. "Each homeowner's needs are unique, and it's important to choose windows that make the most sense for your home and environment," said Christine Marvin of Marvin Windows and Doors, a manufacturer of premium, made-to-order windows and doors. "To find out which product and glass solution might be right for you, we always suggest you visit your local dealer." Here are some other tips to find the best windows for your home: * Consider your conservation goals. One homeowner may simply want greater energy efficiency. Another may be drawn to "passive" or "net zero" building practices -- whose requirements are designed to maintain comfortable temperatures with incredibly minimal heating and cooling systems. "At Marvin, our robust product offerings help homeowners achieve whatever type of solution they seek," said Marvin, who also pointed out that Marvin is the only major American window manufacturer to offer Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) certified options in the U.S. * Don't sacrifice beauty for efficiency. Windows should be beautiful, functional, durable and energy efficient, says Marvin, whose company offers more than 150,000 energy-efficient options, including many standard product solutions that meet new Energy Star criteria that take effect in 2015 and 2016. "Rest assured -- there's a solution that fits both your design and efficiency needs." * Add window treatments. Certain window treatments also can help maintain comfortable temperatures in a home. For example, homeowners can program Marvin's automated exterior shading system to provide the optimal amount of light, 24 hours a day. * Consult an expert. Marvin suggests homeowners speak with a professional, when selecting windows, to explore and identify solutions for their home and climate. For more information, visit marvin.com/green
Original article here
When was the last time you shopped for windows?
When was the last time you shopped for windows? Exactly. It doesn’t really happen very often. It’s not like shopping for a pair of shoes, so we feel your aggravation. It’s not cheap, it takes time, and there are a lot of window styles to choose from. The whole process can be a pain.
But not anymore. Let’s break down the most popular types of windows out there and then you’ll be able to speak the language.
Single & Double Hung Windows
What in the world is a single or double hung window? First of all, they’re uber popular. You see these guys on a lot of homes. Single hungs can be raised from the bottom, and double hung windows can be raised from the bottom as well as lowered from the top. And on a double hung, you can tilt the window in for easy cleaning.
Ever heard of this window? Casement windows are a great option for hard to reach areas in your home because you can reach up and just crank the handle to open or close the window.
These windows are hinged at the top and open outward. They provide additional air flow to a room. Another nice thing about this style of window is if it’s drizzling outside, but still warm, you can open the window and the rain will run off. You will get some water in the house if it’s pouring, but a nice light spring rain can easily be enjoyed with these kinds of windows.
Sliders glide open and provide a wide view of your outside landscape. These windows also tilt in for easy cleaning.
Simonton Slider Window
Bay & Bow Windows
Now we’re talking serious style. A bay or bow window creates dimension. On the outside, your home will have a posh, upscale look. On the inside, you will create additional seating and a perfect lounging area to read a book or just enjoy the view.
Picture & Geometric Windows
These windows are the most energy efficient out of all windows because, well, you can’t open them. They provide a beautiful view to the outside, but, because they’re installed without any operating mechanisms, you don’t have to worry about accidentally leaving the window open. They also can be completely customized can fit any space in your home.
These windows are absolutely gorgeous. You’ve probably seen them before, but just didn’t know their name (until now). These windows let in a lot of light and can come with casements on the side that to provide airflow to any plants or flowers. They really do add beauty to your home.
Simonton Garden Window
You know the lingo…now what?
Think Outside the Window
So your son or daughter really got a hold of that ball and smashed your window. Well, he or she may have done you a favor. After all, just because you need to replace a double hung window does not mean you have to get that same window. Now you have the opportunity to think outside your current window style and create a new look for your home. Maybe now you’ll want to buy a bay window. Or, if you’re replacing a kitchen window, you could get a garden window.
Because unlike most other home purchases, a window makes your house look beautiful on the outside, and on the inside. It’s a win/win. New windows also increase your energy efficiency and raise the value of your home. Any Realtor will tell you new windows on a house add instant curb appeal and are attractive to a potential buyer.
When Should I Buy?
Think it’s too cold to buy windows? Not true! You can purchase windows at any time. In the spring, summer, fall or winter. If it’s cold, your contractor will be sure to shut the door to minimize air flow through the house. They’ll also replace one window at a time, so there won’t be several open holes in your home all at once.
Where Should I Buy?
Um, a no brainer. Simonton! We have been making homes beautiful since 1946. A lot of window companies come and go, but because our product is high-quality it’s easy for us to stand behind our windows. Plus we have an incredible warranty to prove it. In addition, our windows are put through rigorous testing to ensure you’re only getting the best. And did you know we’re award winning? This year, Consumer Reports rated our Pro-Finish Contractor the #1 vinyl double hung window. Talk about an amazing compliment.
Original article here