What to look for in a Quality Vinyl Framed Window
Vinyl is basically plastic and plastic materials take an exact specification to be strong, rigid, durable, color-fast, and able to withstand the elements and Texas heat.
Even the right formula is strongest at its first use and if the cuttings off the manufacturers production floor are remelted to form a frame, their strength is diminished.
Vinyl has limitations as to how tall and wide a window may be and to avoid sagging over time some manufactures reinforce with cellular structure, foam filling, Aluminum reinforcements and exact limits to the dimensions.
The glass is manufactured to fit in the frame and keep the two panes of glass separated. The space in between is filled with Argon or inert gas to increase its insulating ability. If the spacers are cheaply made with just Aluminum, a high heat conductive material, the glass will transfer heat and cause condensation problems.
If the seals fail, the Argon is lost, and moisture will penetrate and cause fogging and calcium buildup between the two panes. There is no true solution except replacing the entire unit and frame.
If the window opens for ventilation, it must have construction to withstand repetitive motions, springs to counterbalance the weight if it opens vertically, quality rollers if it is horizontal in operation. And, the latches and handles must be stable and strong to provide smooth operation and security.
Older single pane and double pane windows have thin glass that bends and breaks easily and therefore provide little security and durability.
In addition, newer LowE options act as a Thermal Mirror, stopping radiant heat from penetrating the window. Hot sun is kept out, and in the the Winter, the radiant heat is reflected back in.
An overwhelming consideration is how tightly the window seals with weatherstripping.
Air flow through a closed window is significant with a cheaper window and cost thousands a year in utility bills.
Windows are rated for resistance to air flow with wind pressure. A quality window may have 1/10 the air flow of your present windows.
Even the best product isn't a winner if it isn't properly installed. Good tradesmen are hard to find and Americraft cherishes each of our installers who keep our reputation at the top of the heap.