How To Choose A Vinyl Window

In the vinyl window market there are tons of different options to choose from, and as a result choosing the right product for your home can feel overwhelming.

So, as a consumer with so many options to choose from, how do you decide which product is right for you?

Below are our top three tips for determining what to look for in a vinyl window.

1. Frame of the Window

One of the biggest indicators of a good vinyl window is the type of frame that it has.

The outside corner pieces of a window are called the mitre joints, but a lot of cheaper windows will use a mechanically fastened mitre joint, whereas more reliable window brands will use a welded mitre joint.

The differences between using a mechanically fastened mitre joint and welded mitre joint are tremendous; if the home shifts at all, like a lot of homes naturally will over time, a mechanically fastened joint can buckle under stress causing many of functions of the window to prematurely fail.

2. Insulating Glass Units

The second consideration to make when choosing new vinyl windows for your home are what type of insulating glass units does your window have?

Insulating glass units (or IG units for short) refer to the unit in your window that houses the actual panes of glass that you look through, and between these panes of glass is typically an argon gas fill responsible for preventing heat transference.

Keep in mind that the greater the argon gas fill in an IG unit, the less drafty, and more energy efficient your home will be.

The biggest difference between a good or bad IG unit is how the window manufacture argon gas filled their IG unit.

In order to get the most efficiency out of argon gas it needs to fill up the air space it is being blown into.

Cheap quality vinyl windows typically use a manual fill method for adding argon gas to their IG units, what this means is that someone manually attaches an air hose to their IG unit and then plugs it as quickly as possible before argon gas can escape.

The problem with the manual fill method is that it only gives an average fill rate of 78-80% – this is why you can go into a house with relatively new windows and still see heavy condensation appearing between the window panes.

A high quality vinyl window manufacture will assemble their IG units in an argon gas chamber, this method ensures that the windows have a maximum fill of argon gas with some window manufactures having 98-99% fill rates on their IG units.

3. Hardware

Lastly, our final consideration for choosing a quality vinyl window is the type of hardware it has, and what sort of warranties accompany this hardware.

Far too commonly do people have windows that aesthetically look great, but functionally they are lacking.

Take a typical casement window for example, a lot of homes may have had functional casement windows at one point in time, but after overuse of the crank mechanism, the windows can either jam or stop working entirely.

This failure is typical of a cheaper vinyl window. When considering a new vinyl window, while many offer lifetime guarantees on their windows, some of the cheaper manufacturers do not offer warranties on their hardware.

There is nothing more frustrating than a having new windows that do not function correctly; that’s why a good quality manufacturer knows the quality of their hardware and should have no problem in offering warranties on not only the window, but the hardware that makes the window function as well.

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