Homeowner’s Guide to Buying New Windows or Doors

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It can be intimidating to look for new windows or doors with all of the energy-efficiency ratings, certifications and types available. To follow, are a few frequently asked questions to get you started. If you are not finding what you are looking for, contact us to receive advice from a Quanex expert.

Q: What is insulating glass?
A: Insulating glass is defined by the number of panes in the system. Two or more would be considered insulating. Other components, such as the framing material, low-e coating, argon gas filling and warm edge spacer systems, contribute to the overall efficiency of the system.

Q: What do all the stickers mean on windows?
A: First, it’s important to look for windows that have an ENERGY STAR® sticker. It means heating and cooling costs can be drastically cut and the home will be more comfortable. To get ENERGY STAR status, windows must also be National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) approved and labeled for U-Factor (the rate of heat loss through the window) and Solar Heat Gain (how well the window blocks heat from the sun).

Q: How much can insulating glass windows really save me in my energy bills?
A: According to the ENERGY STAR website, www.energystar.gov, replacing single-paned windows with windows made with insulating glass in a 2,000-square-foot home can save the homeowner as much as hundreds of dollars annually on energy bills.

Q: How can I be sure that my window prevents condensation?
A: Condensation, which can lead to mold, is always a possibility if humidity levels are too high. Windows with high-performance glass and framing offer the greatest reduction in condensation.

Q: What is a warm edge spacer system?
A: A spacer system refers to the part that separates the panes in an insulated window. The spacer creates a seal that locks in argon gas (an insulator), preventing heat or cold from passing through the window and so reducing condensation. A warm edge spacer provides a warmer edge of glass temperature. Super Spacer® and Duralite® provide all of the optimal benefits of warm edge technology.

Q: How will installing window systems made with Quanex vinyl extrusion impact my energy bills?
A: One would expect to see lower energy bills when installing highly energy-efficient windows. How much of a savings varies on application and region, but Quanex frames improve full window U-factors by up to 15 percent over hollow vinyl window frames.