It’s just as important that your home’s exterior is kept as beautiful and well-cared for as the interior. After all, exterior appearances play a role in both curb appeal and a home’s energy efficiency. Windows and doors, in particular, add a lot of beauty and efficiency when they are kept in top condition. One way to help ensure they stay that way is to add capping!
What is capping?
Capping wooden windows and doors add a protective layer to the frames and trim, instead of doing a full replacement. Capping uses either vinyl or aluminum sheeting, which is added over the top of the frames. As a result, this helps protect the frames from any warping or peeling. It also helps lower maintenance, as the wood won’t need repainting every few years. Most importantly, it helps extend the lifespan of your trim. Wood, when exposed to water, will eventually become damaged and need possibly costly replacements. Adding capping helps eliminate that risk, as both vinyl and aluminum are resilient to water and highly durable.
Benefits of capping
In addition to the protective benefits, capping also offers other perks for your home. If you want to give your exterior an easy facelift, capping adds more exterior visual appeal. Color-wise, capping can be painted in any number of choices. You can either choose a color to match your home’s exterior or something new to add a little pop. Practically, capping will improve your home’s energy efficiency. Heat loss and gain through windows and doors are usually the main culprits for lowered energy efficiency. Adding capping, though, will help seal any air leaks and keep those interior temperatures even. Check out some other tips for finding and sealing any air leaks in your home.
Aluminum vs vinyl capping
Capping is usually available as either aluminum or vinyl, with each offering different benefits. Both types are a low-maintenance and moisture-resistant choice, but aluminum gives a cleaner look. It is also available in different finishes, such as flat, semi-gloss or high-gloss. Vinyl, on the other hand, offers the look of natural wood. Instead of replacing wood trim, vinyl capping will protect it and still provide that natural wood appearance. In the end, choosing between the two is really a matter of personal appearance and design. Both types of capping will protect your trim and improve overall home value and aesthetics.
Like a cold glass of lemonade on a summer’s day, condensation occurs when the temperature on one side of the glass is drastically different from the temperature on the other side of the glass. While condensation on your windows can be frustrating, creating an unpleasant aesthetic and blurring the sights outside, it’s typically not concerning. And the good news is you can minimize or prevent condensation on windows with a few easy fixes.
Common Causes of Window Condensation
Although it might look like an issue, moisture on your windows doesn’t necessarily indicate a problem. In fact, window condensation can be a sign that your windows are forming an airtight seal, reducing air leakage and keeping the moisture inside your home.
Most of the time, moisture on your windows is a matter of temperature and humidity. When the air is hotter and more humid on one side of the glass, moisture collects on the window panes.
In winter, condensation can form on the interior of your windows because it’s cold and dry outside but warm and humid inside. In the summer, it’s the opposite. You may see condensation on the outside of your windows in the morning from dew — just as it forms on your lawn. If there’s moisture inside your home, it’s likely because it’s become too humid indoors. Now, if you can’t easily remove window condensation by wiping the glass, the moisture is between the panes. And that’s a sign of a bigger issue.
How to Prevent Condensation on Windows
Inside, outside and in between, each type of window condensation has a different set of solutions. So your first step is to figure out where the condensation is coming from. Once you identify where it’s at, try out these tips to stop condensation on your windows.
Interior Window Condensation
When you have condensation on the inside of a window, or roomside condensation, it’s a sign that the humidity inside your home is higher than it is outside. The humidity inside your house can be impacted by a number of things, including cooking, showering, houseplants and even laundry.
A comfortable humidity level inside a home varies depending on your climate and the time of year. Too low, and you may see warping of your woodwork or static electricity build-up causing you to get a small “zap” when you run your feet across the carpet before touching metal. Too high and you may risk dust mite infestation, air quality issues and condensation on walls, windows and other surfaces.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the relative humidity in your home should always be below 60 percent. Ideally, you want it somewhere between 30 and 50 percent. It’s normal to be on the lower end of the range (or slightly below) during winter months.
Preventing Window Condensation on the Inside
Stopping condensation on the inside of your windows starts with measuring the relative humidity. The EPA recommends picking up a hygrometer — a small, inexpensive humidity meter you can find at your local home improvement store or big-box retailers. Some home thermostats, like new smart thermostats, have a humidity meter built-in. Once you know how humid it is inside your house, you can take measures to bring the levels down:
Open window treatments. Condensation is more likely to occur when drapes are closed or shades are pulled down. Try drawing your treatments so the heat isn’t trapped on your window pane.
Circulate the air. The same way a gentle breeze can take the edge off the humidity outside, some air circulation can do wonders indoors. You can use ceiling fans in a clockwise direction — even during the winter — to move warm air from the top of your room down.
Turn down the humidifier. If you’re using a humidifier — in a nursery, to treat a cold or as part of your furnace — turn it down or off for a while until the relative humidity comes down.
Ensure proper ventilation in your home. Some areas are more prone to moisture, like your kitchen, bathroom and laundry area. Make sure to run exhaust fans when cooking and showering. Make sure exhaust fans and the clothes dryer vent outside your home are in good working order. If your home doesn’t have exhaust fans, try opening your window just a bit for a few minutes to dry the air out.
Keep firewood outside. Plants bring moisture into the air — even if that plant is now kindle for a fire. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, store firewood outside to help control the humidity.
Exterior Window Condensation
Condensation on the outside of your windows occurs when the exterior surface temperature of the glass falls below the dew point of the air. This type of condensation is more likely to occur when outside humidity levels are higher, like in the spring, summer and fall when cool nights follow warm days.
Exterior window condensation happens more in the summer months when the days are hotter and sunnier. It’s caused by three main conditions: high outdoor humidity, little or no wind and a clear night sky.
Getting Rid of Window Condensation on the Outside
Because it’s seasonal and climate-related, condensation on the outside of windows is quite common. It isn’t indicative of problems with your windows or the humidity inside your home. You can simply wait for the sun to come out and dry up all the moisture.
If the condensation on the glass is bothersome, try applying a water repellent to the exterior of your windows — you may have some in your garage already. Water repellent is commonly used on car windshields to help improve visibility in rainy weather. It can work in the same way to prevent condensation on house windows.
Condensation Between Window Panes
Moisture between window panes is not something you can control. If you see condensation in between pieces of insulated glass on dual-pane or triple-pane windows, it’s actually an indication of glass seal failure.
The performance of your windows has been compromised, so something will need to be replaced. Contact your local window dealer today about window condensation repairs. They will inspect the window and tell you whether they can simply replace the window panes or if you need a whole window replacement.
When to Worry About Moisture on Windows
If your windows are sweating, it’s no big deal. But if you don’t tackle the issues of indoor humidity, you may have problems later on. At a minimum, moisture can lead to musty odors.
In more serious cases, water on your windows can trickle down to the frames and cause blistering, cracking or peeling paint, warping and water damage. And if you have moisture on your windows, you may have it elsewhere in the home. Over time, that can cause damage to insulation, leave stains on the walls and ceiling or lead to structural damage in your home.
The important thing to remember is that your windows are trying to tell you something: Reduce the indoor humidity before it causes hidden, costly problems elsewhere.
Double pane windows are notorious for their ability to protect against hot, cold, drafts, noise, condensation, and more. By that logic, triple pane windows should do an even better job, right?
The answer is a bit tricky. Thicker windows don’t always equal a better option. Windows aren’t a “one-size-fits-all” situation. What’s best for you depends on a number of factors that are all unique to your home and situation.
If you’re in the market for new windows and wondering whether you should invest in double pane or triple pane windows, this guide is for you.
Windows are responsible for 40% of energy and heat loss in most homes in America. Lowering that statistic and keeping more money in your pocket starts by updating your windows.
Both double and triple pane windows do a great job insulating your home from the elements and saving you money on energy costs.
Here’s how it breaks down.
Double pane window
The average double pane window will reflect 90% of energy and only let 10% through.
As an example, on a warm day, 90% of the heat from the sun will stay outside, with only 10% sneaking inside. Conversely, on a chilly day, 90% of the heat inside your home will stay inside, with 10% leaking out.
Triple pane windows
The typical triple pane window reflects 97% of energy, allowing only 3% to come through.
On a cold day, 97% of the heat in your home will stay in your home, while 3% will sneak out. In the summer, hot days won’t affect the temperature inside, with only 3% of your AC leaking through your windows.
If insulation and energy savings are your top priority, and you live in an extreme or fluctuating climate, triple pane windows will be the superior choice. However, keep in mind that for the average homeowner, double pane windows are sufficient and do a great job of insulating your home.
If you live in a highly trafficked area — in a city or near a busy road — soundproofing your home might be a top concern. Even if you live outside of the city, you might live next to a lively family or a loud dog …or maybe you’re the loud one!
Whatever your reasoning, new windows can help with your soundproofing needs.
Double pane window
Double pane windows do stop more noise than a single pane window. With an average sound transmission class (STC) rating of 26-32, this type of window keeps your home sufficiently quiet.
Triple pane windows
The extra layer of glass offers some noise reduction… but not as much as you might think. Because triple pane windows have very little space between each pane of glass, they actually have the same STC rating as double pane windows.
Remember: Whether you’re installing double or triple pane windows, their ability to keep your home quiet is largely dependent on proper and professional installation.
In any neighborhood, your windows need to provide an extra layer of security to your home — whether it’s withstanding a rogue falling tree branch in a windstorm or protecting you against a burglar.
Here’s how these two types of windows stack up.
Double pane window
Double pane windows are quite secure. In order to break through your window, the object or person in question would need to break through two sheets of glass — no easy feat!
Triple pane windows
Triple pane glass provides even more security. More glass equals more work for any kind of intruder. This type of window is also much heavier than others, and so is much more resistant to damage.
The most important security factor will come down to the type of glass used in your windows. Always work with a professional, top-tier window installer to ensure you’re getting the best brands and the best installation possible.
We’ve mentioned this a few times now, but it’s worth reiterating: proper window installation is extremely important. This is true whether you choose a double pane or triple pane window.
Even so, understand that the installation process is not the same for both double and triple pane windows. In fact, there are some major differences. Key among them is the size and weight of the windows.
Double pane window
The average window is already built to accommodate a double pane window. That said, proper installation is of the highest importance to ensure the correct fit, seal, and function of your window.
Triple pane windows
Triple pane windows are larger. Your windows need the ability to structurally accommodate the additional pane and may require some adjustments. All together, this type of window is much more difficult to install.
Remember: No matter what type of window you choose, always have your windows professionally installed by a qualified and experienced window contractor.
There’s nothing quite as lovely as a naturally-lit home. And of course, the more windows, the more natural lighting! How do your windows affect the flow of light in your home?
Double pane window
Though there’s an extra layer of glass for light to flow through, you’ll still get great natural lighting. Double pane windows will let the light in while expertly protecting your home against lost energy.
Triple pane windows
Three panes of glass means more layers the sun must penetrate. So yes, there is a very subtle difference between triple and double pane windows when it comes to natural light.
In general, the number of glass panes in your window won’t make much of a difference when it comes to natural lighting; more important for the flow of lighting is the window frame you choose. You’ll need to talk to your window contractor to find the best choice for your home and your natural lighting needs.
There are many benefits to double paned windows. Most notably, homeowners enjoy increased energy efficiency and a more comfortable home with lower heating and cooling bills. Additionally, dual pane windows offer noise reduction and eliminate the hassle of dealing with storm windows when the seasons change. The advantages of double pane windows are explained in greater detail below.
What’s a Double Pane Window?
Double pane, or dual pane windows are windows with two panes of glass glazed to the movable part of the window, the sash, and then placed in the window’s frame. This insulated glazing of the double pane window is designed to help the overall insulation of the window and in turn, your home.
Many double pane windows have only the air between the two panes of glass. The more energy efficient windows have an argon gas fill between the panes for additional insulating properties. Argon is a clear, odorless, slow-moving gas. When pumped inside the glass unit, it greatly improves thermal efficiency. The argon minimizes the convection currents within the space, and the overall transfer of heat between the inside and outside is greatly reduced.
Double Pane vs Single Pane Windows
The main difference between double pane and single pane windows is the overall structure. Single pane windows have one single layer of glass vs a double pane window with two layers of glass. A single pane window does initially cost less than a double pane window, but as it offers much less in the way of energy efficiency, you would end up spending much more on your heating and cooling bills. Some estimates are that dual pane windows could save you 20%-30% on your annual energy bills.
Windows often account for the most significant amount of energy loss in one’s home. If you have single pane, old, drafty or poorly installed windows in your home, much of the cost of heating and cooling your home is virtually going out the window.
Dual pane windows increase the overall energy efficiency of your home with the extra pane of glass acting as an additional barrier to the outside elements. If the aforementioned argon gas fill is placed between the panes, it provides even greater energy efficiency and insulating properties. As you will experience lower energy bills with double pane windows, keep those savings in mind when you consider the cost of double paned windows. The windows in essence could pay for themselves over time!
It only makes sense that if you have an extra pane of glass in your house windows, you will reduce the level of outside noise heard within your home. Many urban areas and even some neighborhoods have a variety of contributing factors to noise pollution. These range from street traffic to airplane traffic above and even loud and pesky early morning birds. By choosing windows with two panes of glass, you will ensure that the outside noise pollution doesn’t infiltrate your home as much as with a single pane window. A quieter house is a happier house!
Double Pane Windows Eliminate the Need for Storm Windows
What makes a double paned window hassle free? Many homes with single pane windows often come with storm windows. It can be quite a hassle taking down the storm windows each spring and putting them back in place each winter. With a double pane window, you eliminate that task altogether. There is no need for a storm window to provide extra protection of the elements and extreme winter and summer air temperatures. Double pane windows provide all the protection you need, and with the time saved each spring and fall from dealing with storm windows, you can tackle other items on your home improvement to-do list –or better yet, simply enjoy some rest and relaxation.
You Don’t Have to Sacrifice Beauty for Energy Efficiency with Dual Pane Windows
Not only has replacement window technology come a long way, but the design and style options available with new windows has grown as well. Dual pane windows are available in many popular styles such as double hung windows, casement windows and sliding windows. In fact, many patio doors offer double pane technology to ensure maximum energy efficiency from such a large opening. Whether you are looking to upgrade the windows in your kitchen, in your child’s bedroom or the entire home, double pane windows will ensure that any and all rooms in your home are not only more beautiful, but more comfortable as well!
Double pane windows may be the right fit for your home if you are looking for lower noise pollution, increased energy savings and the elimination of storm windows. All of these benefits result in a more comfortable home and lifestyle.
When it comes to the view outside your house you don’t want anything to get in the way, especially dirty windows. There are many reasons why windows end up dirty over time; fingerprints, airborne dust, and even pollen can sully windows. Here’s how to achieve a streak-free clean.
DON’T CLEAN IN THE SUN
If you’ve ever heard the adage about never cleaning your windows when the sun is shining, it’s not just an old wives’ tale. The reason actually makes sense. When you try to clean in the sun, the window cleaner can dry on the glass faster than you have time to rub it on the windows. This results in those telltale steaks that mar the window. Instead, do all your window cleaning before the sun shines on the window or after it’s gone down in the sky.
SKIP THE PAPER TOWELS
Paper towels aren’t the best material to use on your windows. They absorb too much of the window cleaner, and they can leave behind tiny bits of paper. Paper towels also make for a streaky window. Instead, invest in a set of lint-free cloths that you only use on your windows. These will make it fairly easy to achieve a streak-free window every time you clean. When you launder lint-free cloths, don’t use fabric softener. Fabric softener inhibits the effectiveness of the cloth. Finally, store your lint-free cloths separate from other clothes so they don’t pick up lint from another source.
USE A SQUEEGEE
One big secret that hotel maids use is a squeegee. Squeegees leave a streak-free window and mirror. Simply spray the window cleaner on the window. Using smooth strokes, move the squeegee down the surface of the glass all the way to the edge. Repeat all the way across the glass. Use your lint-free cloth to buff away any leftover droplets.
FINISH WITH A POLISH
Another maid secret is to polish windows with furniture polish. Any brand will work. This removes any streaks that may be “hiding.” Use a clean lint-free cloth and buff in a circular motion. Now your windows are spot-free and streak-free!
There are a number of different window styles to choose from for your new home. Below are the most popular window styles and the best rooms for each style.
Single Hung & Double Hung Windows
Hung windows slide up and down to open and close. Double hung windows have two operable sash (the part that moves and holds the glass in place). This means, unlike single hung windows, double hung windows can be opened from the top and the bottom. This design makes opening and cleaning these windows a breeze.
Casement windows, unlike the more traditional double hung or single hung windows, are hinged at the side. This means instead of lifting or pulling your window open, you can simply use the crank at the bottom to easily ‘crank’ open the window. Casement windows are a great option for hard to reach areas in your home, like above your kitchen sink.
Awning windows are hinged at the top and open outward. The crank handle on awning windows makes them super easy to operate and perfect for hard to reach places where you still want ventilation. The hinge at the top makes the awning window the only window style that can be opened when it’s raining. This makes awning windows ideal for those frequent and quick Florida rains because you can leave your windows open all day long without worry of rain getting into your home.
A bay or bow window creates dimension. These windows project outward, creating a stunning visual display and add curb appeal to your home. A bay window can also add seating or storage inside your home.
Picture & Geometric Windows
Picture windows and geometric windows are fixed in the window frame, which means they don’t move. Because they don’t move or let any air flow into your home, they are the most energy efficient window styles. These windows come in any just about any size, shape, or combination you can imagine and are ideal for rooms where you don’t need airflow, but want an expansive view.
Garden windows look like mini bay windows that jut out from your home. They are typically found in kitchens above the sink because they offer lots of natural light and add more space.
Replacement windows and patio doors have many benefits for homeowners – the reduction of energy use associated with heating and cooling the home is only one of these benefits. Vinylmax Windows are certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council, which takes the guesswork out of comparing windows by providing industry standards for the most common measures of window performance.
Window Performance on the NFRC Label
U-Factor measures the products effectiveness preventing heat from escaping. The rate of heat loss is indicated in terms of the U-Factor (or U-Value) of a window unit. The lower the U-Value, the greater the windows resistance to heat flow, and the better its insulating value.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)
Solar radiation, whether directly transmitted or absored and re-radiated, can make a room hot. The lower a windows SGHC, the less solar heat it transmits.
Visible Light Transmittance (VLT)
Windows allow light to come inside, but not every window allows the same amount of light through. VLT equates to the amount of light allowed in through a window – the higher the percentage, the more light.
Air Leakage (AL)
Air leakage is indicated by a rating expressed as the equivalent cubic feet of air passing through a square foot of window area (cfm/sq ft). Heat loss and gain can occur by infiltration through cracks in the window assembly. The lower the AL, the less air will pass through cracks.
CR measures the products ability to resist the formation of condensation on the interior surface. While this rating cannot predict condensation, it can provide a credible method of comparing the potential of various products for condensation formation. CR is expressed as a number between 0 and 100, with a high rating indicating high performance.
Invisible, yet harmful, ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can cause paint, furniture stains, carpet, and window treatments to fade. The higher the percent, the more harmful UV rays are blocked.
When it comes to managing your home’s energy performance, there isn’t a single solution for every climate or even for every room. That’s why Vinylmax offers many different IntelliGlass packages. ENERGY STAR helps guide selections by identifying ideal performance characteristics for all the climate zones in the USA. There are IntelliGlass packages that are perfect for each zone.
If you’re shopping around for new windows for your home in Hartford, Connecticut, or a surrounding area, you probably have lots of questions. Nowadays, there are so many options when it comes to replacement windows that it can be hard to tell which ones are right for you and your home. However, one thing is for sure—when selecting new windows for your home, you should choose windows that perform all around. Some windows look great, others have an attractive price tag, but the primary reason why homeowners decide to replace their windows is to improve their home’s energy efficiency.
If this is your main objective, then you’ll probably want to go with windows that offer good insulation and have low heat conductivity, such as vinyl windows. While wood- and metal-framed windows offer their own aesthetic benefits, nothing compares to the performance of vinyl windows, especially those made by Vinylmax and Ecoshield which boast the latest and greatest in energy-efficient technology such as low-emissivity glass packages, inert gas fills, and insulated frames, all of which can greatly reduce heat transfer into and out of your home.
Then there’s the question of window style. While double-hung windows are the most common kind of window on homes in America and complement a wide range of architectural and decorative styles, they’re not for everybody. Vinylmax and Ecoshield offers a wide range of window styles so you can choose the ones that work best for you. Choose from:
Bay and bow
When you partner with a Vinylmax and Ecoshield Windows dealer to have replacement windows installed at your home in the Hartford area, they’ll work closely with you to help you select the window style that most closely suits your lifestyle and will also help you customize your new windows down to the last detail. Ready to get started? Click here to locate a Vinylmax and Ecoshield window dealer!
If you’ve decided that it’s time to replace the windows on your home, you’ve probably got a lot of questions. You may be wondering about all the different types of replacement windows out there—which material is the most durable, which style will offer the most benefits, and perhaps most importantly, who will be installing your new windows. Thankfully, planning your window replacement project is easy when you have an experienced window contractor on your side.
When you partner with an Ecoshield window dealer, you can rest easy knowing you’re in good hands. Not only will you have access to some of the highest-performing replacement windows on the market, but you can be confident that your new windows will be installed flawlessly and in accordance with Ecoshields lofty workmanship standards. During your free consultation, your Ecoshield dealer will sit down with you and go over all of the options that are available to you, such as:
Window style – choose from double-hung, casement, sliding, bay, bow, and more so that your windows look and function just how you want them to.
Decorative options – select different finishes for the interior and exterior of your windows so that they beautifully complement your home’s aesthetic.
Low-E glass packages – Ecoshield windows come with high-performance glazing systems that can be tailored to your region’s climate to ensure that your new windows provide you with the best energy efficiency.
Perhaps best of all, Ecoshield Windows come backed by solid lifetime warranties that cover the entire window, down to the smallest part. So, when you partner with a Ecoshield dealer for your upcoming window project, you can have total peace of mind that your investment is covered. Ready to get started?