Vinyl replacement windows have led a revolution in energy efficient components for the home bringing to a close the long era where substantial heat loss through the windows was an accepted part of life. However, anything that is both revolutionary and popular is bound to attract those trying to cash in by offering cheap knock-offs and vinyl windows are no exception. In order to ensure you get the highest quality windows for your home you need to know what separates a good vinyl window from a bad one. In this post we’ll give you some tips to do just that.
Things to Look for When Shopping for Vinyl Windows
All vinyl replacement windows are not the same. One Toronto homeowner may install vinyl replacement windows that help reduce their energy bills by a quarter, while the homeowner across the street installs vinyl replacement windows that do little more than look good for a couple of years before they begin to warp and discolor. So what’s the difference?
- Vinyl quality and thickness – Vinyl quality is all about the mix, yet it can be nearly impossible to tell the exact mix used to create the PVC a set of vinyl windows are made from. You can still do a rudiment vinyl quality test however, by comparing the thickness of the vinyl in different windows. Thicker is better in almost all cases and though it will cost a bit more than thinner vinyl it will also last significantly longer.
- Quality of the joins – Vinyl replacement windows are held together one of two ways: either they’re screwed or they’re welded. Just as a weld will produce a better, more permanent seal in metal it will do the same with vinyl. So when you’re out there comparing the vinyl thickness in different windows make sure you check how the seams and joints are held together. If they’re screwed together you may have problems down the road.
- Number of chambers – The inside of the vinyl window frame is divided into separate chambers. These chambers provide structural integrity to the window unit, preventing it from warping due to the combination of heat and time. Some manufacturers will cut costs by limiting the number of these chambers. You should try and find a cross section of the window you want and see how many chambers it has in the frame. The more the better.
- Energy Star certification – Energy Star certification generally guarantees the designated product will save you an additional 20-30% over and above what is required by national standards. It’s pretty simple: if you’re looking to save money on your energy bills by installing vinyl replacement windows (and who isn’t?) and the windows you are thinking of buying don’t carry the Energy Star label, you should move on to another brand.
- FYI – Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is the primary ingredient manufacturers use to create the pure white of vinyl windows. But it’s expensive. Quality windows will have plenty of TiO2 in the PVC to prevent yellowing over time. Discount windows will not and will yellow. Some manufacturers try to delay the yellowing by tinting their windows a light blue. If you’ve taken a shine to a particular window but notice it seems to have a light blue tint to it, beware!
Toronto Doors and Windows sell and install only the highest quality Vinylguard premium vinyl windows. All Vinylguard windows meet Energy Star requirements and are made of 100% lead-free PVC. If you’re interested in replacing your current windows with the best vinyl replacement windows in the industry call us on 647-932-3667 and speak to one of our vinyl replacement window experts.