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Current Board Posts

  • Thursday October 30, 2014

    Reliabilt Windows

    trying to get more info on Reliabilt 3201 windows. Rated highly in Consumer Reports. Built by...

  • Thursday October 30, 2014

    Steel Lintels

    On a pocket install in a brick home are you capping the steel lintels or leaving exposed? I have done both but...

  • Thursday October 30, 2014

    Full Frame vs Pocket Replacement

    I have similar quotes for pocket (with Sunrise windows) and full frame replacement (with Great Lakes Lifestyles windows). The fellow quoting the pocket...

  • Thursday October 30, 2014

    Great Lakes Lifestyles window?

    Can someone please comment on the quality of the (Ply Gem) Great Lakes Lifestyles window?...

  • Monday October 27, 2014

    Window suggestion

    Hi, I was I believe previously registered here but can't remember my old username so had to re register under a new...

  • Thursday October 23, 2014

    Sunrise Essentials?

    I live in North Carolina and am planning on replacing the windows in my brick house (22 windows). Balancing costs and quality,...

  • Tuesday October 21, 2014

    Window Installation: Spray Foam

    In considering window contractors, is it considered a "red flag" if a contractor indicates they do not use spray foam on their installs...

  • Tuesday October 21, 2014

    Quaker Windows

    Has anyone heard of or used Quaker windows? A local company wants to sell these windows to me. Spec wise the...

  • Friday October 17, 2014

    Zen equivalents

    I contacted Soft-Lite, and they provided a dealer that offers Zen windows, which I'm told is the private label for Soft-Lite. While...

  • Thursday October 16, 2014

    Energy Wall by Polaris?

    I have been researching windows for awhile now and I just came across the energy wall window which I believe is made by...

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Do it Yourself- Replacement Window Video

 

Rating Window Efficiency Systems

 

When looking at different models of windows you want to be cognizant of the rating that the manufacturer applies. That rating will either be a “U Value” which gives an indication of that windows tendency to transfer heat either in or out, or by an “R Value” which describes the windows resistance to transferring heat in or out.

U-Values are a measure of heat conductance

R-Values are a measure of heat flow resistance

 

If a window's R-value is high, it will lose less heat than one with a lower R-value. Conversely, if a window's U-value is low, it will lose less heat than one with a higher U-value. In other words, U-values are the reciprocals of R-values (U-values = 1/R-value). NOTE: Most window manufacturers use R-values in rating their windows.

Usually, window R-values range from 0.9 to 3.0 (U-values range from 1.1 to 0.3), but some highly energy-efficient exceptions also exist.

When comparing different windows, you should ensure that all U- or R-values listed by manufacturers:

  • Are based on current standards set by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
  • Are calculated for the entire window, including the frame, and not just for the center of the glass
  • Represent the same size and style of window

5 factors affecting the R-value of windows

  1. The type of glazing material (e.g., glass, plastic, treated glass)
  2. The number of layers of glass
  3. The size of the air space between the layers of glass
  4. The thermal resistance of conductance of the frame and spacer materials
  5. The "tightness" of the installation (i.e., air leaks-- see previous discussion).