How Do Vinyl Replacement Windows Work?

How to Install a Replacement Window: Everything You Need to KnowAre you looking for replacement windows for your home? You’ll definitely want to check out the latest advancements for vinyl replacement windows and learn more about how they work. The information below can help answer many of the questions you might have about vinyl replacement windows so you can choose the right ones for your home.  

What are the Benefits of Vinyl Replacement Windows?

Vinyl replacement windows are a fantastic option for anyone who needs to replace their current windows. They are exceptionally energy efficient, which means they’ll help you save on your energy bills. They’re extremely durable and non-corroding, which means you won’t have to worry about replacing them again. Plus, they’re virtually maintenance-free, which means you don’t have to do much at all to keep them looking fantastic.  

How are Vinyl Replacement Windows Constructed? 

Vinyl window frames are made from PVC material. The exact recipe used for the PVC can vary by manufacturer. Milgard offers a special type of vinyl for their windows to produce long-lasting colors in a variety of neutral shades. The framing makes up the basis for the window, with the glass being held inside the frame. Vinyl windows have two or three panes of glass, with a spacer in between each, and can have other coatings to improve energy efficiency.  

How Thick is the Glass for Vinyl Replacement Windows? 

The thickness of the glass can vary depending on the type of window. Generally, the glass thickness ranges from 3/32nd of an inch to 3/16th of an inch.  

Are Vinyl Windows Energy Efficient?

Vinyl windows are designed to be as efficient as possible. There are also ways to increase the energy efficiency, such as by adding the 4th surface to double pane windows, using EdgeGardMAX spacers, or choosing a gas-filled airspace. Low-E coatings can also be added to help improve the energy efficiency of your windows.  

Can Double or Triple Pane Windows Help with Energy Efficiency?

In the past, windows were generally just built using one pane of glass. While this worked to keep the elements out, one pane is simply not as energy efficient as two to three panes of glass. Vinyl replacement windows use double or triple plane glass to insulate better. This can help reduce the potential energy use through the winter months and stop the heat from building up inside the home through the summer months.  

What are the Benefits of Choosing Triple Pane Windows?

In colder regions, double pane windows might not be sufficient to help insulate the home. Instead, homeowners in these areas might want to look into triple pane windows. The extra glass helps to insulate the home better, keeping the home warmer during the winter. Other additions such as a low-E coating can help as well.  

What Does 4th Surface Mean? 

Double pane windows can act like triple pane windows with a 4th surface included. This is a durable coating that helps enhance the U-factor of the window. This coating helps to reflect the heat back into the home, helping prevent the loss of heat during the winter months. Benefits of a 4th surface include reduced reflections and more light transmittance compared to triple pane windows.  

What is the U-Factor?

Every window loses heat during the winter months. The U-factor is a measure of this and can help indicate how well the window can withstand the heat transfer. A lower U-factor indicates a higher insulating performance. When choosing a vinyl replacement window, choose one with the lowest U-factor possible if you’re worried about heat loss during the winter.  

What is a Low-E Coating?

A low-E coating is a coating that provides solar control. The intention is to improve the thermal performance of the window. When this is used, the windows are more energy-efficient because they can reflect heat outside in the summertime and help keep the heat inside during the winter. Low-E coatings enable homes to have a more consistent temperature and to reduce the energy needed to keep the home at a comfortable temperature throughout the year.  

What are SunCoat and SunCoatMAX?

Low-E coatings come in different ratings to show how much of a difference they can make. Milgard SunCoat is a Low-E2, while SunCoatMAX is a Low-E3 coating. These coatings provide better protection against heat transfer and can help significantly increase the energy efficiency of your windows. Choose windows with SunCoatMAX for the highest level of protection.  

What are Window Spacers?

When two or more panes are used in a window, a space between them can help insulate the windows. If the space in between the panes is too big or too small, it’s not going to help as much as if the panes are spaced properly. Window spacers fit between the panes of the glass and help keep the glass the right distance apart to ensure the best insulation.  

What is EdgeGard or EdgeGardMAX?

While traditional spacers do help with the window’s insulation properties, Milgard EdgeGard and EdgeGardMAX helps to provide superior insulation for the windows. EdgeGard window spacers help insulate the windows properly and help reduce the condensation. EdgeGardMAX was created with advanced technology to prevent heat flow through the window and reduce the condensation. It also helps to boost the energy efficiency and can help the glass last longer. Choose windows with EdgeGard or EdgeGardMAX to improve the insulation beyond what traditional spacers can do and to decrease your energy costs.  

How Does Gas-Filled Space Work?

Window manufacturers today offer gas-filled spaces between the windows to boost the thermal performance of the windows. Today, Argon gas and Krypton gas are the two top options. Both gases help to increase the thermal performance. The view from the window will be just as clear as it would be if the gas was not present.   

What is the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient?

Heat transmission can be measured via the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). This measures the solar radiation that can pass through the window. When you’re looking for vinyl replacement windows, choose a window with a lower SHGC. With a lower number, the solar heat transmitted through the windows is minimized.  

Can Replacement Windows Help with Noise Reduction?

Those who have single pane windows today might be amazed to see the difference double or triple pane windows can make with regards to noise reduction. Wood frames also allow more sound to pass through the windows. Double or triple pane vinyl replacement windows can help reduce the amount of noise that enters the home significantly. Choosing a window with the highest sound transmission class possible might allow you to sleep in when the neighbor starts doing yard work early Saturday morning.  

What does Sound Transmission Class Mean? 

The Sound Transmission Class is a measurement of how well a window can reduce sound. Higher ratings mean the sound is controlled better and the homeowner will hear less inside the home. Standard double pane windows may have a sound transmission class of up to 32, almost double the lowest typical rating for a single pane window. However, windows designed with sound transmission in mind can have a sound transmission class of up to 48. Milgard Quiet Line windows offer exceptional sound control to help keep the outside noises outside.