FAQ

Frequently Ask Questions about Window and Door Installs

F.A.Q

What are some of the benefits of installing energy-efficient windows?

  • Improve the look of your home
  • Cooling and Heating savings
  • Improved comfort
  • Reduced condensation
  • Reduced fading to furniture and other interior finishes
  • Lower mechanical equipment costs

What is Low-E coating?

Low-Emissivity (Low-E) coatings on glass control heat transfer through windows with insulated glass. Low-E coatings are a microscopically thin, virtually invisible coating applied to glass that consists of metal or metallic oxides. The latest version of Low-E technology (Lo-E3) applies three layers of the coating to the glass, providing the ideal balance of solar control and high visibility.

What are the benefits of using Low-E coatings?

Low-E coatings give you year-round savings by keeping your home cooler in the summer since it rejects the sun’s heat and damaging rays. It also keeps your home warmer in the winter by reflecting heat back into the room.

What is the first step when choosing energy-efficient windows?

Your first guide when shopping for energy-efficient windows should be the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) label. The NFRC is a non-profit, public/private organization that provides homeowners and contractors with a standardized, unbiased method of comparing different brands and types of windows. Click here to see an example of an NFRC Label

What information is contained on the NFRC label?

The U-Factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, and Visible Light Transmittance, Air Leakage, and Condensation Resistance.

What is a U-Factor?

It is a measurement of the rate of non-solar heat loss or gain through a material or assembly. The lower the U-Factor, the greater a window’s resistance to heat flow and the better its insulating value.

What is the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)?

The fraction of solar radiation admitted through a window or skylight, both directly transmitted, and absorbed and subsequently released inward. The lower a window’s solar heat gain coefficient, the lower solar heat it transmits, and the greater its shading ability.

What is the Visible Light Transmittance (VT)?

The percentage of light that is transmitted through glass in the visible light spectrum (380 to 720 nanometers). The higher the number, the higher the percentage of visible light transmitted through the window.

What is Air Leakage (AL)?

Infiltration through the cracks of a window assembly produce heat loss and gain. The Air Leakage rating shows the equivalent cubic feet of air that passes through a square foot of window area. The lower the Air Leakage, the better the rating.

What is Condensation Resistance (CR)?

The amount of resistance a window has to condensation forming on the inside surface of the window. The higher the number, the better the resistance.

Which one of these is most important?

While all three are important, the U-Factor and SHGC are the most important because they rate the efficiency of the entire window (frame & glass).

What kind of warranties do the manufacturers you carry offer?

All of the vinyl window manufacturers we carry offer a lifetime warranty on any product defects. That doesn’t mean they are all the same though. Some lifetime warranties are not transferable to the new homeowner if you sell your home and they don’t all cover labor repair costs for the life of the window. However, higher quality windows like Simonton not only cover parts and labor, but they are fully-transferable to the new homeowner if you sell your home and they cover accidental glass breakage. There are many other differences like this among different manufacturers. So when you hear lifetime warranty make sure you know the conditions for the warranty. If you have any questions about any of this, we will be happy to help.

What kind of warranty do you offer?

American Window Systems, Inc. offers a fully-transferable five-year warranty on all workmanship. If you have any problems relating to our installation we will do everything within our power to make sure you are fully satisfied, no questions asked.

How long will it take to install new windows and doors in my home?

A typical home with 8 windows and 1 door that has existing single-pane aluminum windows can usually be done in 1 day.

Who installs the windows?

American Window Systems employs all of our installers. We do not use subcontractors, so if you have any problems with anything having to do with your installation, you deal directly with American Window Systems.

Are the old windows completely removed when installing new replacement windows?

No. With replacement/retrofit windows, the outer perimeter frame of the old window is left in place. The new replacement windows then fit over the top of the old frame and it is sealed to the old frame. By doing this, the exterior of the home is not damaged and there is no patchwork to do on the stucco or wood siding. This results in a significant savings on the installation costs.

How come some companies remove the frame completely?

For a while, many companies were removing the frames completely and installing replacement windows. The problem with this is that instead of sealing to the old window frame, the window is sealed to the outside exterior of the home. Since stucco and other sidings are not completely waterproof, this creates many problems as far as sealing the window and preventing leaks. Because of this, we do not recommend removing the old frames if installing a replacement window. If the dealer or contractor you are dealing with even suggests using this method, look to somebody else.

Are there any other installations options?

Yes. We can install what is called a nail-on window. This is the type of window that is installed in most new construction. To remove the old windows and install a nail-on window, the exterior stucco or siding of the home must be cut back, the old window removed, the new window installed using nails, flashing and caulk, and the stucco or siding patched up. Since this installation process is much more labor intensive, the cost is significantly more expensive.