There are a lot of people online that don’t want you to have the facts about high efficiency vinyl replacement windows. A simple search for “replacement window myths” will return a long list of articles, websites and blogs – most of which are aimed at talking you out of replacing your old inefficient windows. While each has its own motivations for doing so, all of these websites share one thing in common: they are spreading a lot of misinformation and causing a lot of confusion for consumers. To help the average American cut through all the propaganda, here are the facts dispelling the top5 myths about high efficiency vinyl replacement windows.
- High efficiency vinyl replacement windows aren’t a good value
By far, one of the most popular fabrications being passed around as fact online is that high efficiency vinyl replacement windows aren’t a good value. Often these claims are made by other window manufacturers, historic building preservationists, or self-proclaimed energy efficiency experts High efficiency vinyl replacement windows on average are less expensive, provide roughly the same energy efficiency and have roughly the same life span as fiberglass or wood windows. If value is defined as the benefit provided by an item in comparison to cost, then vinyl replacement windows are by far the best value.
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- Replacement windows aren’t the most cost effective way to save energy
Many websites claim that there are far more cost effective ways to save on your energy bill then by replacing your windows. Often these sites will provide data showing that more heat is lost through walls, floors and ceilings then through your windows. What most fail mention is that typically the walls, floors and ceilings included in such data are often un-insulated or very poorly insulated. Additionally, none of the data provided ever takes into consideration the significant difference in surface area between the walls, floors and ceilings in a home compared to the windows. If a study were conducted to compare a properly insulated wall and an average single pane window, both of equal size, the results would be dramatically different. The truth is, most homeowners usually only consider replacement windows after completing other, less expensive methods of making their home energy efficient.
- Replacement windows are built to withstand all climates
Another big misconception about replacement windows is that they are all built to withstand pretty much any climate, so it doesn’t really matter where you buy them. In fact, where your window is built is of great importance. Replacement windows often contain a pressurized insulative gas between the panes of glass that is sealed to prevent leaks. If you live at an elevation that is more than 1000 feet higher or lower than where the window was manufactured, then there is a very good possibility that the window seals could leak, letting out the gas that gives the windows a good portion of their insulative properties.For those who live at elevations higher than 5,000ft, ultraviolet (UV) radiation is another consideration. UV rays are 25% more intense at 5,000ft above sea level then at sea level. These intense rays can break down materials – including vinyl window frames – on a molecular level, causing them to fade and break down over time. Only windows treated with titanium oxide are designed to withstand the powerful UV rays at higher elevation.Lastly, it is important to understand that many replacement windows are designed to withstand only minor fluctuation in temperatures in a 24 hour period. If you live in a climate that regularly experiences temperature changes of more than 30 degrees in a 24 hour period there is a good chance your replacement windows will fail unless you purchase windows specifically designed to handle these temperature fluctuation.
- Anyone can install replacement windows
In principle, installing replacement windows seems simple enough, however, in reality, it is an acquired skill that takes practice to master. If your goal is to save as much money as possible on your energy bill with your new replacement windows, then the best thing you can do is let a trained professional install your windows. Not only will they install your new windows to ensure they are as energy efficient as possible, but typically in a fraction of the time you could. Most importantly, in the off chance that a window is installed improperly, if your windows were installed by a professional they will typically fix the issue free of charge. If you make a mistake while installing your new windows however, it’s up to you to fix it.
- The warranty that came with my replacement windows will cover everything
It is crucial that you understand what is covered by the warranty and what is not prior to purchasing your replacement windows. This is by far the most important and yet most ignored advice given to those looking to buy replacement windows. That’s due to the fact that most people simply assume that the warranties included with replacement windows cover everything. In truth, many warranties don’t cover issues that most consumers believe are included. For example, an overwhelming majority of replacement window warranties do not cover UV damage to the window frame. Most vinyl replacement windows are built to withstand the average UV rays found at sea level. Unless exposed to the intense UV rays found at higher elevations, they won’t suffer UV damage which is why most window manufacturers don’t include UV damage in their warranties. Since replacement windows are a big investment, be sure you know exactly what your window warranty covers before buying.
By: Jay Lillien
This article is a guest post provided by Jay Lillien owner of 303Windows. For the past 18 years, 303Windows has been dedicated to providing their customers the best service possible. As part of their commitment to their customers, 303Windows installs only Amerimax Windows. These windows are built to withstand the extreme Colorado climate that causes most other windows to fail.
Watch this video about vinyl replacement windows from Amerimax Windows: