Tag: energy-efficient windows

  • Interior Storm Windows Boost Home Efficiency

    Courtesy of BobVila.com

    Courtesy of BobVila.com

    One of the primary ways to improve your home's energy efficiency is to repair or replace your windows, however, it can be costly and it may not even aesthetically be what you want.

    Well, there is now a new option for homeowners to consider.  An alternative to double-hung replacement windows is now interior storm windows.  According to BobVila.com, Indow Windows, a Portland, OR -based company began manufacturing them in 2010.  The windows "are constructed from sheets of light, strong acrylic glazing, which is edged with the company’s patent-pending compression tubing. The products press into place on the inside of a window frame and provide a tight seal against cold window drafts without the use of nails, screws, or adhesives."

    According to an independent test study by Portland State University, these windows "almost double the R-value of a single-pane window."

    In addition, they'll also save you on installation.

    Typical double-hung replacements cost between $500 a $900; a comparable insert from Indow Windows costs about $250.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your Pennsylvania window installation, window repair, window inspection and window replacement needs.  Call us today at 215-453-9180 for your FREE estimate!

     

     

  • Energy-Efficient Window Replacement Options

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    Choosing the right window replacement is a very important decision, as it will greatly impact your energy costs for years to come.  Relatively new window technologies such as low-e glass, smart windows and electrochromic glazing, can provide you with options that didn't exist 5-10 years ago.  They target the two largest energy uses in commercial buildings — lighting and space conditioning.

    Here is some information about Low-E glass and Electrochromic Glazing, courtesy of FacilitiesNet:

    Oldest of the "new" technologies, low-e glass uses an ultra-thin metal oxide coating to maximize performance. Although the coating itself is not visible, it limits solar heat gain while transmitting light. Depending on a facility's location, facility managers can choose low-e glass that admits more solar heat gain (in heating-dominated climates or for passive-solar use) or limits solar gain (for cooling-dominated climates). According to DOE, low-e windows generally cost 10 to 15 percent more than regular windows but can reduce energy loss by as much as 30 to 50 percent.

    "Low-e technology provides a good and reliable means for improving insulating glass performance," says Michael Louis, a senior principal at the engineering firm Simpson Gumpertz & Heger.

    A newer option is known as dynamic glazing. What it does is simple but dramatic: It changes color to control the amount of sunlight that enters a space.

    In the most common type of dynamic glazing — electrochromic glazing — the presence or absence of electric current in the coating renders the window opacified or clear.

    Electrochromic coatings are a nanometer-thick, multi-layer film, says Stephen Selkowitz, department head, building technologies, environmental energies technology division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories. "Transparent conductors form the outer layers of the stack, an active electrochromic and passive counter-electrode layer form the middle layers, and an ion-conducting electrolyte layer forms the center portion of the stack," he says. The glazings can be manually or automatically controlled. The technology does have a small delay in most uses, from several seconds to several minutes.

    Electrochromic technology relies on a network of wiring and controls that runs into and out of the glazing pockets of window (or curtain wall) assemblies. The installed system has to accommodate that network while maintaining weather-tightness for exterior applications. The network also has to be maintained once the building is in operation.

    "[Electrochromic glazings] are new to the market and finding niche applications," says Ray McGowan, senior manager at the National Fenestration Rating Council. "This technology may realize market gains in the near future." Currently, many applications are for interior spaces.

    One reason McGowan says he believes in the promise of dynamic glazing is because of its potential for solar heat control. "Dynamic glazing enables precise solar heat gain coefficient control to limit heat gain during high cooling periods and increase heat gain during heating periods," he says.

    Another dynamic glazing option — thermochromic — relies not on electricity to determine opacity or translucence, but on solar radiation. This technology uses a tinted thermochromic layer that warms up and darkens in direct sunlight.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your window replacement,  window installation and window repair needs. Call us today for your FREE estimate at (215) 453-9180.

     

     

  • Picking the Right Replacement Windows

    Courtesy of Joel Sartore/National Geographic/Getty Images via AARP Home

    There are many things to consider when replacing your windows: materials, budget, energy efficiency, finding the right contractor...The list goes on.  It can prove to be quite a headache.   Here are some tips, courtesy of AARP Home, to consider when replacing your windows:
    • Define and prioritize your goals for replacement windows regarding energy efficiency, maintenance reduction, noise control, security and appearance.
    • Gain at least a basic understanding of the properties, costs and tradeoffs associated with various replacement systems (PDF),materials (PDF) and glazing options.
    • Don't assume that national name-brand windows are better than lesser-known brands. Buy only replacement windows rated by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). Also look for products certified by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association(AAMA). Use NFRC performance data to compare specific window models.
    • Resist unsolicited sales presentations. Seek estimates only from local dealers/installers with solid track records who can provide credible references.
    • Shop around. Don't be pressured into making a quick decision by today-only price offers.
    • Check dealer claims about your eligibility for window replacement tax credits.
    • Before installation begins, compare the brand and model numbers of the windows brought to your home with those listed on the contract. If your installer obtained the windows from a dealer, ask to see the installer's order sheet.
    • Don't make a big down payment. Make sure the payment schedule stipulated in the contract allows you to maintain leverage throughout the installation process. As always, don't make a final payment until the project is completed to your satisfaction.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your window replacement, window repair, and window installation needs.  Call us today at (215) 773-9181 for your FREE Estimate.

  • Choosing the RIght Windows for Your Home

    Courtesy of Pella Windows and Doors

    Are you in the market to replace your windows? Here is an article that is extremely informative on all of the window choices out there and how to choose the ones that are best for you, whether that be vinyl, fiberglass, aluminum, wood or other options.  Choose what's best for your style and your wallet with these helpful tips.

    http://www.diynetwork.com/windows-walls-and-doors/windows-buying-guide/index.html

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to help with all of your window replacement, window repair, and window installation needs. Call us today at (215) 773-9181 for your FREE estimate!

     

  • How to Decide When You Should Replace Your Windows

    Replacing your windows can be a costly and time-consuming ordeal, so before you decide to go through with it, here is a checklist to help you to decide when is the right time, courtesy of FacilitiesNet.

    1. Is the existing window system structurally adequate and does it accommodate building movements and structural loadings? If not, it's probably time for a replacement. This is critical from a safety as well as a performance standpoint.
    2. Is the system effective at controlling water leakage, moisture migration, or unwanted air infiltration?
    3. What is the condition of the system components? Check the frame, sash, glazing, hardware, weather stripping, sealants, and exterior paint or other surface coatings.
    4. Is it possible that the adjacent wall system is contributing to the problems experienced? If that’s the case, it may be time to do some wall renovation instead of replacing the windows.
    5. Is the building historically significant? If so, there may be a few more hoops to jump through in selecting particular window products.

    It is important to assess whether the benefits of replacement outweigh the benefits of repair/maintenance. By judging the above five aspects of the window, hopefully you can decide which would be beneficial.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is always here to help you with your window replacement, window repair, window installation and window maintenance needs. Call us today at (215) 773-9181 for a FREE estimate!

  • What to Know About Window Security Film

    Not all window films do the same thing and not all films are effective for your windows' needs. The main reason for window security film, according to FacilitiesNet.com, is to prevent shards of glass from injuring people if a window breaks.

    Security film "encapsulates the glass" so that broken glass doesn't go flying into multiple directions in small pieces.

    Security film is also thicker than solar film, and, instead of being applied to just the visible portion of the window, like solar film, security film is installed into the window.

    Check out the different types of window security film installations here.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here for all of your window installation, window maintenance and window repair needs. Call us at (215) 773-9181 for a FREE estimate!

  • Window Construction Terms

    Do you feel like you're reading Latin when you are researching window construction and window repair?  Here are some basic terms and definitions courtesy of eHow.

    Rough Opening

    The term rough opening refers to the hole in the wall into which the window will be put. Rough openings are usually constructed to be 1 inch wider and 1 inch taller than the window itself. This allows a half-inch of play all around the window so that when the window is installed it can be made level and plum with shimming.

    Header

    A header is a strong piece of wood that is installed horizontally at the top of the rough opening. The purpose of a header is to carry the weight of the wall that is above the window and redirect it to the studs on each side of the window so that there is no downward pressure on the window itself.

    Stud

    A stud is a vertical piece of wood or sometimes steel that is the main component of a framed wall. On each side of the window there will be a stud that extends from the top to the bottom of the wall, known as a king stud. There will also be a stud on each side that extends from the bottom of the header to the bottom of the wall, effectively supporting the header. These studs are known as jack studs or cripple studs.

    Shim

    A shim is a small piece of tapered wood, usually cedar, that is wedged in between the rough opening and the window so that they hold the window in place. Leftover cedar shingles are often used for this purpose. Once the window has been positioned properly, the shims are cut off flush with the face of the wall and eventually covered over with interior and exterior window trim.

    Sash

    A double hung window is a traditional type of window that is made of two sashes, each of which has a number of panes of glass held in it. The term sash refers to the part of the window that is pushed up or down to open or close the window. Common window sashes have two, four or six panes of glass in them. A double hung window with two sashes, each of which has six panes of glass in it, is referred to as a "six over six window."

    Frame

    The window frame is the part of the window surrounding either the glass in a fixed window or the sash in an opening window. After the window is installed, the finish trim is attached to the window frame.

    Exterior Specialties of PA is here to assist with all of your window repair, window maintenance, window replacement and window inspection needs. Call today for a free estimate!

  • Energy Efficient Windows

    Energy efficient windows have come a long way in helping home owners cut back on their electric bills. Today saving money with energy savings is easier than ever.

    When it is time to buy new windows one of the key things you want to think about is where you live. Do you live in a cooler climate where you want to cool out and heat in. Or do you live in a warmer climate where you want the heat out and cool in. Energy Star has a great map helping you figure out what climate zone you are in (See image below).

    Next you want to pick your window rating, U-Value is the measurement of how much heat escapes from your home. The lower the number the better is cooler climates. The other rating is the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC), this measures how much solar radiation enters the home. Here the lower the number is best in warmer climates.

    With energy efficient windows you not only save money on electric bills but you can get tax benefit too. If your windows have a U-Value or SHGC rating of .30 or lower you are eligiable for a tax credit. So you are always saving money with energy efficiant windows.

    As always Exterior Specialties of PA is always here to help you with any questions, call us today for a free estimate.

  • Understanding Energy-Efficient Windows

    We've talked about energy-efficient windows in the past (as well as tips for maintaining your windows and their efficiency) and how they can save you money.

    But how do you how efficient a window actually is? Thankfully, there are a handful of regulartory bodies that provide reliable statistics for researching how efficent and window is.

    We found this great video (via Weather Shield Windows) that explains the different statistics you may run into while looking at windows. Watch it below:

  • Tips for Window Maintence

    Windows need regular maintenance because of the extreme temperatures and seasonal changes they face year-round.  Without regular maintenance, replacing your windows may come sooner and unmaintained windows can also take a toll on your heating and cooling bills.

    Therefore, the best way to get your windows to last is by maintaining them routinely. According to Facilitiesnet, your windows should be inspected yearly. All inspections should be done keeping your windows in mind because every window handles the elements differently.

    The interior surfaces of the window should be examined first for stains and rot, meaning water is leaking into the interior. Next check the fit of windows to see if any gaps have occurred between different components of the window, since these can change sizes when exposed to different elements. Also, open and close windows fully to see how easy they are to use. Difficulty opening a window could be a sign of warping. Examine caulking and seals between the windows and the finish on the windows as well. If you have wood windows, make sure to check for rot and decay.

    For more detailed information check out Facilitiesnet.

    At Exterior Specialties of PA, we are here to make your decisions easier. Our extensive knowledge and experience provides you with the comfort of knowing the job was done right. Call us today for a free estimate.