Monthly Archives: November 2012

Replacement Windows 101… What you need to know !

We know there are many questions when you make any type of purchase ~ especially windows!  You can find everything you ever wanted to know about replacement windows right here!  What type of glass, glazing, options, etc…

What is a vinyl replacement window?   A replacement window is a window designed to fit into an existing window opening.  Vinyl replacement windows are made from 100% PVC. Most vinyl replacement windows are highly energy-efficient .

What is insulated glass?   Two pieces of glass spaced apart (with intercept spacer) and hermetically sealed to form a single glazed unit with an air space between.

What are glazing options?   (Note: Not all glazing options are available with every window).  Here are the glazing options offered by Harvey Building Products:

  • Acrylic Glazing – thermoplastic with good scratch resistance, shatter resistance, and color stability.
  • Low- E Glazing – Low-emittance (Low-E) refers to the window’s ability to diminish heat loss
  • Low-E/ Argon Glazing –  This combines PPG Intercept Warm Edge Spacer System, Low-E Glass, and Argon Gas for superior thermal efficiency.
  • Double Low-E/ Argon Glazing – This glazing system utilizes Low-E coating on both pieces of glass within the sash. Argon gas is then injected between the double-paned glass making it even more difficult for heat or cold to pass through.
  • DSB Glazing – DSB is Double Strength Glass of 1/8″ thickness.
  • Lexan Glazing – A polycarbonate glazing with a high range of impact resistance.
  • Obscure Glazing – A “frosted” glass used for privacy, light diffusion, or decorative effects.
  • PPG Intercept® Warm Edge Glazing – Intercept® is a unique, seamless steel coated U channel system,  offered only by Harvey BP, which is located at the point of contact where the glass is sealed to the window frame. 
  • Tempered Glazing – A treated glass that has been strengthened so that when shattered, it breaks into small pieces. It is required as safety glazing in patio doors, entrance doors, side lights, and other hazardous locations.
  • Triple Glazing – Triple glazing incorporates three panes of glass sealed with the Warm-Edge Intercept glass spacer system for added performance and durability.

What is Low-E Glass with Argon Gas? How does it work?  Added inside an insulating glass unit with Low-E Glass and Argon gas between the glass for superior thermal efficiency. Argon gas is much heavier than air, making it more difficult for warm or cold air to pass through. This glazing choice will meet or exceed most local building code requirements and provides ENERGY STAR® qualified performance.

Insulation Diagram                                (Picture Courtesy of Harvey Building Products)

What is Krypton Gas?   An inert colorless, nontoxic gas used in insulating windows to reduce heat transfer. Similar to Argon gas, Krypton gas is much heavier than air, making it more difficult for warm or cold air to pass through.

What is ENERGYSTAR?   ENERGYSTAR®  is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices. 

What is an R-Value?   R-Value measures the resistance of a glazing material or fenestration assembly to heat flow. A high R-Value window has a greater resistance to heat flow and a higher insulating value than one with a low R-Value.

What is a U-Value?   U-factor measures how well a product prevents heat from escaping a home or building. U-factor ratings generally fall between 0.20 and 1.20. The lower the U-factor, the better a product is at keeping heat in.

What is Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) ?   Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) measures how well a product blocks heat from the sun. SHGC is expressed as a number between 0 and 1. The lower the SHGC, the better a product is at blocking unwanted heat gain.

What makes a vinyl window better than a wood window?   Vinyl windows are virtually maintenance free, never needing staining or painting, they won’t rot or split and are not susceptible to termites or other wood destroying insects.  Also, some carry Lifetime warranties for even greater peace of mind.

How long will vinyl replacement windows last?   Choose a company with a solid reputation and a history of standing behind its products.  A warranty is only as good as the company behind it.  Many offer at least 10 year warranty on parts going up to a Lifetime Warranty with certain companies.

What are my options?  Most vinyl windows come in white, almond and sometimes bronze.  Some manufatureres can have the vinyl factory painted in a array of color choices.  Also, you can add grids which is nice touch to the window.  My favorite are the Harvey GBG (Grids-Between-Glass).  These not only look nice, but because they are in between the glass, the window is super easy to clean.

(Harvey BP – 6 over 6 – Colonial Grids)