Building Blocks

rss

The Marling Blog


Window Options and Deciphering the Label
Different types and styles of Windows

 

There are all sorts of styles and options around when you are buying windows, and then there’s the label with more numbers than an elementary school math test. The numbers are measurements of heat, sunlight blockage, light transmission and air leakage. They allow you to pick the most efficient window from the styles you can chose from. The sales staff at Marling locations can help you navigate your way through styles and efficiency.

Window General Information

Four basic materials are used to frame the glass in windows and each has its pros and cons.

Vinyl is a poor thermal conductor so it’s a good insulator, but it’s not the most attractive option. There are limited color choices in vinyl and trying to paint it another color is usually disastrous.

Fiberglass accounts for only about 3% of the window market. It’s durable, practically maintenance free - but double the cost of vinyl.

The biggest advantage to aluminum is that it is strong so the framing and sashes are thinner than other window options. There is also a large variety of factory finishes for aluminum windows. But, it’s a poor insulator against both heat and cold. Expansion and contraction from temperature changes causes a lot of stress on the seal between the glass and the frame.

Wood has natural beauty and warmth going for it, but it is susceptible to rot and insect damage. It’s a great insulator and takes stain and paint well. In climates with temperature variations, wood windows require almost constant maintenance.

Standard Window Styles and Other Options

There’s standard, double-hung and casement windows that you see most often. There are also awning windows. These are hinged on the top and they swing out on the bottom. Jalousie or louvered windows have glass slats that open and close. There are chronic seal issues with this style and they are not recommended for severe climates.

Glass block windows are individual glass or acrylic blocks sealed into a unit and then placed in vinyl or aluminum frames. Originally just used as privacy windows in bathrooms, they now come in a variety of styles and are gaining in popularity.

Showing up as prototypes or available for just commercial applications are windows that are sunlight and temperature sensitive.

What Does that Label Mean?

Your window likely has two labels. One is the Energy Star label and the other is the National Fenestration Rating Council label. The Energy Star label shows that the window meets energy efficiency guidelines established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. If you go to EnergyStar.gov, there is a map that shows what you should be looking for in the area where you live.

The NFRC label shows what performance standards the window meets. This label rates the window’s U-factor, solar heat gain coefficient, visible transmittance and air leakage. It looks complicated, but it’s not really that hard.

The U-factor is the window’s insulation value and the solar heat gain coefficient shows how well the window blocks heat transfer into the house from sunlight outside. Look for a U-factor between .20 and 1.20 and a solar heat gain coefficient from 0 to 1. The lower that number is means less dollars going to cool your home. As an aside, to claim federal tax credits on your windows, the U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient must both be less than or equal to 0.30.

Visible transmittance should be between 0 and 1. This measures how much light is allowed into the home through the window.

Air leakage is pretty self-explanatory - the air infiltration that the window permits. It should be between 1 and 3.

Both the Janesville and Madison Marling locations have examples of different styles and types of windows. The sales staff can help you find what you need and guide you through the options. Contact us here to learn more.

These are the window brands Marling carries:




Comments are closed.


Contact Us

Recent Posts

  • Why a New Quartz Countertop is a Great Investment Posted last month
    Why a New Quartz Countertop is a Great Investment If you’re like most homeowners, at some point the idea of renovation will cross your mind. Needs change, styles and trends evolve, and age takes its toll on even the most solidly built structures. Kitchen remodels are the most popular home improvement project — not only in  Wisconsin, but across the ...
  • Replacing Your Exterior Door Posted 4 years ago
    There are several things to think about when you are replacing your exterior door. First, obviously, it's what people see first. It’s the image your home projects. Do you want your image to be cracked paint, dents, outdated and not exactly secure looking? Of course not. Let's take a look at some reasons why you should replace your exterior door: It ...
  • Trending Cabinet Colors | Kona Color Cabinets Posted 5 years ago
    The most popular home cabinet colors, painted and stained, vary from region to region in the United States.   In the Midwest, honey or medium oak has been and still is – the most requested color. From baby-boomers to gen-Xers, that warm brown town signifies home and evokes happy kitchen memories.   The most popular colors for cabinets in the Midwest are: ...
  • Start Designing Your Deck Now Posted 5 years ago
    A deck extends your living space from inside to the outside. Whether it’s for having a party or some quiet relaxing family time, the varieties of decking – from wood to composite - can make your outdoor space as elaborate or simple as you please. Yes, the decking season starts in Spring, but now is the time to think ...
  • Guide for Choosing Countertops Posted 5 years ago
    When making a decision regarding new countertops, you need to be very aware of the current countertop options. Style trends are constantly changing, so you'll want to make sure you don't make a decision on a whim. Look through our suggestions regarding countertop options and see if it's time for new countertops.  There are countertop options in all colors, styles ...
Read More »