There can be a lot of hype in the window industry, and that has led to some common consumer misconceptions. We want to clear some of those up for you so that you can make the most informed decision possible and get the window that’s right for you and your unique needs. If you’re not sure how to compare windows at different vendors or what’s really important in a window, check out the tips below.
1. Pay attention to the NFRC label.
The NFRC label is one of the few things you can count on when you’re window shopping, and the most important thing you should look at if you’re comparison shopping. Major window manufacturers submit their windows to the National Fenestration Rating Council, a non-biased window rating organization that rates each window based on four factors. Those factors (U-Factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, Visible Transmittance, and Air Leakage) are printed on an NFRC label that you can use to consistently and fairly compare different windows at different vendors.
2. Don’t confuse a more expensive window with a better window.
There are great windows out there that sell much cheaper than their competition, and they may be almost identical! Most windows are manufactured with the same materials, processes, and standards… even in the same factories! A lot of the price is determined by the seller, and a lot of sellers will try to convince you that their windows are more special or worth more when they really aren’t. We’ve seen windows at some of our competitors go for hundreds of dollars more than our windows, which were exactly the same. The difference is that we believe that if we price our windows fairly, we’ll get more customers and happier customers, which is better business for us. Click here to get a free estimate from the Window Source.
3. Triple-pane windows are not the best fit for everyone.
It might surprise you to hear this, but “better” isn’t always better. Triple-pane windows typically have better insulation properties and sound control than double-pane windows, but they might not be the best windows for you. Why? Because you might not need that extra boost in insulation or reduction of outside noise, and the extra cost might outweigh the benefits to you. Triple-pane windows are ideal for the Northern Climate Zone depending on your budget and objectives for replacing your windows. Energy Star published a chart with the recommended U-Factors for different regions. Triple Pane windows usually have a U-Factor of .25 or lower (The lower the U-Factor the more energy efficient). Take a look at the chart to help you determine which energy saving glass option is right for you.
4. Beware of high-pressure sales tactics.
Whether you’re buying a car or improving your home it’s important to be aware of high pressure sales tactics. These sales tactics are not quite as common as they were in the 80’s and 90’s but it’s still something you want to be on alert for. High pressure sales tactics typically involve a story explaining why they need you to sign the contract that day. For example, “We just sold a large condo association 350 windows, if I order your windows when I order these windows I can get a volume discount from the manufacturer and I can pass those savings on to you, but I’d have to know today.” There are a variety of stories or rationals but the important thing is that you purchase when you feel comfortable and confident with a company.
5. Make sure you get a quality installation.
It might seem like picking the window is the important part and once you pick a good window with great insulation properties, you can sit back and never worry about wasted utilities again. Something many people don’t realize is that installation is just as important as the window itself. If a window isn’t properly installed and gaps aren’t sealed well, you could lose more heat and cooling than ever just around the frame. Make sure your installers are experienced and that they are using a low expansion spray foam to seal any gaps between the frame and the wall. If you think your windows might been have been poorly installed and you’re worried that you’re losing energy, our technicians can check it out for you and test it for leaks.