So you’re excited about getting new vinyl replacement windows and you’ve talked to a few window companies or searched online for the best brands. Now you’re confused by the different claims each manufacturer has and are trying to compare apples to apples. It’s true different brands have different methods of manufacturing and terms for parts of their windows but if you understand a few things, you’ll be better able to compare vinyl replacement window brands.
Start with the Label
The label on all window products isn’t subjective. A manufacturer can’t make up their National Fenestration Ratings (NFRC). This non-profit’s goal is to provide consumers with accurate and informative information to compare windows, doors, and skylights. This window label is the first place to start in an attempt to compare any window in an apples to apples manner.
The label has U-Factor, Solar Heat Gain, Visible Transmittance, and Condensation Resistance on it. If you’re unfamiliar with those terms, visit our previous blog here. You’ll also see the ENERGY STAR logo and a US map. Here you can learn if the window is ENERGY STAR qualified in your region.
How it’s Made
There are a few things to consider in the manufacturing process of vinyl replacement windows. First thing to compare is if it is virgin vinyl or recycled. Neither is necessarily better than the other but should be noted as you compare them. Two more important aspects of construction are the vinyl’s thickness and the way the corners are joined. Thicker vinyl makes for higher quality windows and likely will cost more.
There are three popular methods to connect the corners of the windows. First is fusion-welding where the joints are fused together at the corners. This is nearly unbreakable. Next, is a chemical welding process and lastly is a screwed together joint. Both of these are most prone to leakage over time and generally are less expensive windows.
How a company stands behinds its products tells you a lot about them. Vinyl replacement windows are no different. When you look at the windows you are considering, look at the fine print of the warranty. Is it lifetime, lifetime limited, pro-rated? All warranties have different details and exclusions. Most manufacturers post their warranties online and it’s worth your time to find a window with a warranty you are comfortable with.
Vinyl replacement windows are a big investment in your home. They have many benefits but only if you choose the right window for your region and use an installer who knows what they are doing. Affordable Replacement Window Systems is your local window company who offers a variety of manufacturers all well suited for the area. Let us help you find the right vinyl replacement window for your needs. Call 817-264-6509 for your in home consultation.