How to Spot Quality in Replacement Windows

From the outside all windows seem to appear the same but that could not be further from the truth. Let’s get into the internal workings of a replacement window so that you can make an informed decision about which replacement window is right for you and your home.

To get the most out of your replacement window make sure to ask the right questions.

Q: How many chambers are in the window frame?

A: When you look at a cutaway view of a PVC vinyl replacement window frame, you will see that the frame has several chambers in it.  Each of those chambers adds strength to the frame; improves the window’s energy efficiency, and reduces the amount of noise the window will transmit. An average window will have at least four chambers, while the best ones have eleven or more chambers.

Q: How many sets of weather stripping does the window have?

A: Weather stripping keeps cold air and moisture out in winter and warm air and moisture out in summer.  Most replacement windows have one set of weather stripping that is usually permanently attached to the frame. This leads to two problems: 1) If the seal should ever fail, the entire window is compromised; 2) Such seals can never provide fully sealed mitered corner joints. By having replaceable seals it ensures that the window will still perform like new for years to come, and the better quality windows will have two or three for optimal air-tightness.  

Q: Is the window steel reinforced?

A: When left to its own composition, vinyl has the same screw retention as cardboard. By having a reinforcement placed in the window it will not only out-perform any other operating window it will give your windows longevity, security, overall performance and sustained value.

Q: What makes good vinyl?

A: Vinyl windows are made using polyvinyl chloride (PVC). This is the same plastic that is used in plumbing pipes, electrical pipes and many other household items. Combining several chemicals, fillers, plasticizers and pigments makes PVC. As you might imagine, each of these ingredients is available in different levels of quality.

Those manufacturers who choose to make a quality product almost always purchase the highest quality ingredients. These, of course, are more costly. This, in turn, makes the cost of the materials higher than those being used by a competitor who wants to offer you a low price.

Q: How easy are the windows to clean?

A: This is important as we all know what a pain cleaning windows can be. Finding a window that is accessible to clean from the inside will make cleaning your windows a whole lot easier.

Q: What warranties are included?

A: Most window companies offer a range of warranties but having a lifetime warranty takes all your worries away. Another thing to look for is a transferrable lifetime warranty, this way you’ll know that your investment will never go to waste.

Thanks to Leshaines123 for the picture of two windows.