Frequently Asked Questions About Windows from Auburn Area Homeowners
At Rescom Exteriors we find that most local homeowners have the same kinds of questions when considering window replacement in Auburn and the surrounding areas. In order to help those homeowners make more informed decisions when purchasing new windows, we’ve put together this handy selection of Frequently Asked Questions.
Do you have a question you don’t see here? Call us at (508) 832-5202 and we’ll find the answer!
What is a replacement window?
A replacement window is a window that’s custom built to fit within the opening of an existing window. It is a custom measured item designed to fit exactly and can be normally installed without removing or disturbing the interior and exterior stops/trim work around the window.
What’s the difference between the windows in my home now and replacement windows?
When your home was built, the window openings were made to accommodate a stock size window, whereas replacement windows are typically manufactured to custom fit existing openings. The biggest differences are reduced maintenance, ease of operation, and thermal performance features driven by new technologies.
How is replacing my windows different than putting windows in when the house was built new?
Your house now has finished siding, walls, and trim which you probably want left intact after the windows are replaced to minimize disruption and cost. A replacement window is made to fit into your old window’s sash opening (the area of glass including its frame and any hardware) and doesn’t require the removal of interior or exterior casings. The installation of a new construction window (most likely what is being replaced) would require removal of the entire window including its jamb, head, sill, and casings to expose the stud opening. Although certainly an option, this method is more labor intensive and invasive and would involve walls and siding beyond the casings.
Why is a custom measured replacement window system preferable to an “off the shelf” window?
Standard or lumberyard windows are always cheaper — unless you take into consideration the increased costs of labor and the problems with how to trim or finish out the inside of the window opening. Custom windows will provide the best energy performance, the best fit and most attractive look for your home.
Will replacement windows really improve the value of my home?
Yes, for a variety of reasons. First, you will realize savings on your heating and cooling bills. Second, quality replacement windows are virtually maintenance-free, which eliminates painting costs. Finally, the transferability of a window’s warranty may easily add to the resale value of your home. Many of the considerations that future homebuyers look for in a new home are kitchens, bathrooms and windows. Curb appeal is very important to your home and investing in new energy efficient windows will definitely be a great advantage if you ever want to put your home up on the market.
Can I install just 2 or 3 windows at a time?
Of course – many of our jobs sold are partial orders. Many people can only afford to install a few windows at a time. Rescom will always work with you to meet your current needs and budget.
Is there any difference in how windows are made?
There are two basic types of construction: Mechanically fastened windows are screwed together at the corners. Welded windows are stronger, using a heat process for joining. The Bristol windows installed by Rescom Exteriors utilize state-of-the-art heat welding equipment. Beware of windows with mitered corners screwed together or chemically welded corners, as they probably won’t perform as well for you.
Can I replace my old windows with different styles or types?
Of course! You want the type of window that best complements your home’s natural design. No matter what style or combination of styles you choose, however, Rescom can custom-manufacture it for you.
What is the process of getting new windows installed?
Three easy steps and you can have your windows installed from Rescom: 1. Have your appointment date assigned with a Rescom window consultant to get your detailed project spec sheet. 2. After you have authorized your contract agreement, Rescom will have a measurement expert measure each opening, so you know you get a perfect fit designed just for your home. 3. We will contact you to set up your installation date and you can relax and enjoy your new purchase!
Can I have new windows installed in any weather?
Yes. In fact, most homeowners will experience the best results from new replacement windows when they are installed in the winter or summer.
What about noise reduction?
Our Bristol windows provide a noticeable reduction in the amount of noise that enters your home.
Do replacement windows require a lot of maintenance?
Because our frames and sashes are made of vinyl, you can say goodbye to painting and caulking. Our windows won’t stick, and you don’t have to remove storm windows in order to clean them. In fact, you can do it all from inside your home. An occasional wipe with a damp cloth will keep your windows looking like new for years to come.
What is more important in saving energy, the frame or the glass?
Since 80% of a window is glass, real heating and cooling savings come from what is known as “improved glass performance,” not a high R-value on the frame. Rescom uses the latest technology to improve the performance and the longevity of the insulated glass unit, and is standard on all windows we install.
What energy-saving options should I know about?
You should give careful consideration to an Insulated Glass Package, featuring Low-E Glass, which is an excellent barrier against ultraviolet rays which fade carpet, furniture, draperies, and even woodwork. Argon gas is colorless, odorless, nonflammable, nontoxic, and above all, a safe, inert gas that is heavier than air. Not only does argon gas help to increase the energy efficiency of a window, but helps to make your home quieter as well.
What is the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) and why is it so important?
The NFRC is an independent, non profit organization made up of representatives from manufacturers, suppliers, builders, specifiers, architects, state code and energy offices, utilities, consumer groups and the federal government. NFRC offers a single, uniform system for standardizing the energy performance of the glass, as well as the entire window. NFRC provides independent, credible and accurate energy performance information that you need to make an informed choice about your windows.
What is the Energy Star® Program?
The Energy Star® program was created by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy to help consumers in the recognition of energy-efficient products. This program also promotes the environmental and economic benefits of these products through the Energy Star® label and other program activities.
Aren’t all window warranties practically the same?
Not at all! There are as many warranties as there are window manufacturers. Some brand name factory warranties cover just the sash and frame. The rest is left up to the local fabricator who may or may not cover it. Your warranty is only as good as the company behind it. With Rescom’s Bristol windows, your unit is warranted from the extrusion and parts to the glass and construction by a Lifetime Limited Warranty*, with transferability provisions. It’s one of the most comprehensive available, just what you’d expect from an industry leader.
I know energy efficiency is important, but can the glass really make that big of a difference?
Absolutely! A quality built vinyl replacement window can increase your R-value from 1 up to 9 depending on the glass system you select. These ratings are determined by the National Fenestration Ratings Council (NFRC), a third party testing organization, to accurately rate windows so you compare and make a wise, energy saving decision.
What is the difference between the cheap vinyl windows I see advertised on TV versus better quality vinyl windows?
There is a huge difference in the quality and performance of different windows. The glazing technology, glass system, vinyl composite, profile and construction of the rails, are just a few things you need to consider.
When should I consider replacing windows in their home?
You should consider replacing your windows if:
The windows aren’t energy efficient. The wood frames are rotting. They allow excessive amounts of condensation, fading of furniture and draperies. You are tired of painting and staining. You can feel drafts while sitting near your current windows.
What is low-e glass and why should I consider it?
Low-e glass is short for low-emissivity glass. It has a very thin coat of material on the glass to make it more efficient, especially in very sunny, hot areas such as the west coast. It helps reflect standing heat away from the surface of the glass, keeping unwanted heat out in the summer and desired heat inside in the winter. Low-e glass is the most cost effective way to increase the energy efficiency of the windows.
Low-e coatings can also help reduce furniture and carpet fading by reducing the amount of ultraviolet (UV) radiation that enters the home. Harmful ultraviolet radiation can alter the chemical structure of dyes and other colorants in carpets and furniture causing fading.
How long can I expect to wait for my new Rescom windows once I order them?
Custom orders typically take five to seven working days to manufacture.
What is the best way to evaluate a window’s energy performance?
The easiest way to compare energy performance of different windows and doors is to read the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) label. It provides valuable energy efficiency information about the product including the u-value, solar heat gain and visible transmittance values. Also, check to see if the product is Energy Star® qualified.
What is a rough opening?
It’s the opening in the wall frame that a replacement window must fit into. As a rule of thumb, the rough opening should be a half-inch taller and wider than the frame of the window being installed.
Why are my windows drafty and will new windows stop the draft?
Drafty windows and air infiltration could have several causes. Improper installation is often the culprit but not always. If the windows were improperly installed, the defects can normally be corrected without removing or replacing the window.
Proper caulking and flashing should prevent perimeter air leakage. However, if the installation twists or racks the window frame causing the sash weatherstrip not to be able to seal the sash to the frame, removal of the window to correct the problem may be necessary. You can determine whether the air is coming in at the joint between the frame and the house or the joint between the sash and the frame. Hold a lighted candle or lighter in front of each joint when the wind is blowing and slowly move it along the joint. If the flame flickers strongly or goes out, the joint is probably leaking.
If the leak is between the frame and the sash and the window has been installed square, plumb, level and is not twisted or racked, the problem may be construction of the window or window design. If your windows are not efficient in your climate and particularly if it does not have insulated glazing, the air may not be leakage but simply cold room air flowing down the surface of the window.
As the window surface becomes colder, it cools the room air next to it. This cooled room air is then heavier than the warmer room air further into the room. Because the cooled room air is heavier it sinks toward the floor and is replaced by warmer room air, which is then cooled. This process can result in noticeable air flow but it is not air leakage from the outside. Replacement of the window by an energy efficient window is the solution here.
Will new windows eliminate condensation?
Condensation is a direct result of interior humidity and the difference between indoor and outside air temperature. If you keep the humidity in your house low, then the likelihood of experiencing condensation is also low. However, the efficiency of your window will also impact the temperature and humidity level at which condensation occurs. Energy efficient windows will help reduce condensation.
Here’s why: high performance windows with low U-factors result in inside glass surface temperatures much closer to the room air temperature. Windows with warm edge technologies and non-metal frames are also less likely to have condensation on the frame or at the edge of the glass.
Insulated with three layers will virtually eliminate condensation on the interior surface of the glass — even under extreme cold weather conditions. Note that in certain conditions (humid mornings after a clear night sky), some triple pane windows may have dew on their outside surface. These windows are such good insulators, the dew is condensing there just like it does on an insulated wall.
What are the best reasons to install new windows in my home?
Save Money on Energy Bills: If you have single-pane windows, upgrading to our Bristol windows with energy efficient features like double-pane, Low-e tinted and low-e Plus glass will result in unbelievable year-round energy savings.
Improve Your Home’s Appearance: Our high quality vinyl and selection of styles and hardware options can improve the look of your home both inside and out. Often, simply changing the window style can dramatically change the entire appearance of a room.
Increase Ventilation: Get more fresh air circulating in your house by replacing fixed units with operable venting windows. You’ll be amazed at the difference quality windows make to the quality of life in your home.
How should I clean my new windows?
When cleaning windows and doors, use the mildest cleaners possible. NEVER use solvents or abrasive cleansers -some chemicals can harm vinyl and PVC surfaces and other window components.
We recommend Fantastik® and similar products to clean vinyl window frame surfaces. Over-the-counter glass cleaning products are recommended for cleaning windows.
How long should a window or door last?
According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), some windows can last up to 50 years. Some of the factors that go into the determination include:
- Frame material
- Quality construction practices and building style Product quality
- Climate and exposure
- Routine care and maintenance
What is double glazing and triple glazing?
Two or three panes of glass separated by a space (usually filled with an inert insulating gas) to form insulating glass.
What is a casement window?
A window that opens from the side like a door. Historically, casements were the first working windows. They were strategically placed throughout a house to capture breezes and direct them through the rooms. Screens are hung internally to prevent dirt and insects from entering the house.
What is a double-hung window?
A window with two sashes, upper and lower, that slide vertically past each other.
What is a slider window?
A window with a sash or sashes that move horizontally.
Have More Questions? Contact Rescom Exteriors Today!
We understand that you probably have many more questions about window replacement. Auburn area homeowners can count on the experts at Rescom to answer all of their questions! Call us today at (774) 321-6750 to schedule a free in-home consultation with our local replacement experts!