Homeowners with windows over 25 years old should consider replacing them, both to gain the best energy efficiencies and to protect the envelope of the house. A home is an ideal candidate for a window replacement if its windows are sealed or painted shut or has drafts that come through the windows.
Condensation or sweating, is a natural occurrence on all windows and is caused by excess humidity or invisible water vapor present in the air. When this water vapor comes in contact with a surface which is at a cooler temperature, the vapor turns to visible droplets of moisture.
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These are windows and doors that combine heavy-duty frames with impact-resistant laminated glass and a special silicone glazing process to keep the glass from breaking away from its frame. Impact-resistant glass is comprised of two panes of glass bonded together with a special interlayer of either clear polyvinylbutyral or Sentry Guard Plus. Although wind-borne debris or an attempted break in may crack the glass on impact, the interlayer keeps the overall window and door intact, preventing destructive winds or intruders from entering your home.

Windows can provide up to 32% reduction in perceived loudness for a standardized mixture of aircraft, railroad and vehicular traffic noise versus a dual pane window. Noise reduction percentages can be misleading in some instances. The basic problem is the human ear. As the environment gets quieter, the ear becomes more sensitive to noise. This means that some of the reduction provided is lost. A window manufacturer can say they reduce the current noise levels by 80% or by 50% and both statements will be true. One is the instrument measurement and the other is the perceived reduction. Additionally, depending on actual noise levels, the reduction may be perceived as 100%. Dual pane window sales people can say they stop the noise (in some noise level environments they do). They can also say they cut the noise over 50% (true by instrument reading compared to a poorly sealing window).

Logic would dictate that the higher a window’s STC rating, the better it should be at reducing traffic noise. But this is often not the case. The STC (sound transmission class) was developed to control noise for speech, not planes, trains and automobiles. Speech is quite different from the low frequency roar of traffic or the high pitched whine of a jet engine. The good news is that OITC (outdoor-indoor transmission class) was specifically developed to address transportation noise. It is used to specify the sound transmission loss properties of exterior building elements such as walls and windows. The OITC uses outside noise sources such as traffic, aircraft and trains to calculate a single number rating. As a general rule, an increase in OITC means a corresponding decrease in interior noise level.

Egress requirements indicate a minimum opening size that certain windows must meet. These equirements tend to vary from region to region, so please contact your local building code official for egress requirements in your area. We can assist you if necessary.
Low-E stands for low emissivity and is basically a microscopic, metallic coating applied to a surface of glass that reflects and re-radiates heat energy whether into or out of a home depending on climate conditions. Using Low-E is an excellent way to increase the energy efficiency of a window.
The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (or SHGC) refers to a window’s ability to transmit solar radiation. The SHGC ranges from 0-1. A value of 0 indicates that window functions like a wall, essentially preventing any solar energy from entering the building. A value of 1 indicates that the window functions like an opening, allowing all solar energy in. In cold climates, a high SHGC can lower heating costs by using passive solar heating. In warm climates, a low SHGC is desired to keep unwanted heat out and reduce cooling costs.
The R-value is the resistance a material has to the flow of heat. The higher the R-value, the greater the resistance. The U-value is the amount of heat that is transferred through a material. The lower the U-value, the better the insulating quality.

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