Vinyl Windows: Options, Systems Bells and Whistles
In previous articles we’ve written about vinyl windows, how they work and how they can save you money by making your home more energy efficient.
In this article we will continue in detail, on the the various vinyl window options available, for all of your home improvement needs in the Houston Texas area.
VINYL WINDOW RESIDENTIAL FACTORY APPLIED TINT
There are several tints that you can apply on to the glass to increase the energy performance of the Dual Pane Unit (IGU). Some of the available residential tints are as follows:
Solar Cool Bronze
Hard Coat Low E
Low E 2
Low E 3
Make sure to ask your vinyl window professional the best possible tint choice for your specific needs and desires.
Argon and Krypton Gas are inert gases that are heavier than air and slow down the conduction process. Conduction is the transfer of heat or electricity through a surface or substance resulting from a difference in temperature between the different parts of the substance.
Insulated Glass Units (IGU) can also come with frosted glass for privacy. Some of the available residential obscured glasses are as follows:
The glass in a Dual Pane Unit can also be tempered and/or laminated to increase the Strength and Sound Transmission Class (STC) of the unit.
Balancer Systems for Vertical Sliding Windows (Single Hung & Double Hung)
There are 3-different types of window balancing systems. They are:
Block & Tackle
- Block & Tackle Balancing Systems consist of a pulley system and cord and have multiple moving parts. After extended window operation, these parts may become clogged and noisy, the cord may become frayed and eventually break.
- Spiral Balancer Systems consist of a spiral-shaped steel rod that is attached to a torsion spring. Spiral Balancers can become noisy and generate excessive friction which may result in surfaces wearing prematurely and eventually fail to correctly operate.
- Constant Force Balancing Systems are considered by window industry professionals, to be the best vinyl window balancer systems in the market. Constant Force means the effort to open and close the window is constant, unlike the other balance systems.The balance spring is the only moving part and is encapsulated to keep it free from dust and debris. These systems have typically been tested to 10,000 or more cycles and still work effortlessly. The operation of the sashes are quiet and smooth.
Rollers for Horizontal Sliding Windows (XO, OX, XX, XOX)
Some Horizontal Sliding Vinyl Windows slide on pads, but most Vinyl Windows have axels and rollers. The axels are made of stainless steel and the rollers are made of PVC, Stainless Steel or Brass.
2-Point Locking Systems & Hinges for Casement, Awning and Hopper Windows
The hinges for Casement, Awning and Hopper Vinyl Windows are made of Steel that is powder coated for durability and aesthetics. These styles of vinyl windows also come with 2-point locking systems that securely hold the sash frame tightly into the vinyl window main frame to prevent forced entry.
Tilt Latches for Single and Double Hung Windows
Tilt latches for Single Hung and Double Hung Vinyl Windows are made of PVC and are located on top of the individual sashes. They lock and unlock the tilting mechanism of each sash for easy cleaning.
Grids add beauty, elegance and charm to a vinyl window. Wood windows usually come with True Divided Lite (TDL) grids where each pane of glass is a fixed, individual, separate piece. Simulated True Divided Lite (STDL) grids are adhered to the outside of the glass and simulate the TDL appearance. Most of the grid shapes in vinyl windows are 5/8” Flat, 5/8” Sculptured and 1” Sculptured Euro Grids and are manufactured inside/between the glass in a Dual Pane Unit.
Grids come in several patterns including: Colonial, Prairie, Double Prairie, Queene Anne, Valance and Diamond. Some manufacturers offer removable Snap-On grilles for their windows and doors.
Limit locks are made of PVC , located approximately 2”-3” above the operating sash and are designed to allow the sash to open only a couple of inches. This lock allows the homeowner to feel safe and get fresh air inside their home at the same time.
Mohair and Dual Durometer Weather Stripping
Weather Stripping is attached in a slotted grove, inside the main frame and sash frame of the vinyl window to stop wind, air, dust, water and insect infiltration.
Mohair Weather Stripping consists of a solid polypropylene backing with monofilament fibers attached. It is a soft, non-woven fabric fin in a unified assembly with a self-supporting pile that provides an excellent seal with very low friction.
Dual Durometer Weather Stripping is both a solid profile and a sponge profile attached together. By fabricating dual durometer rubber into a single part, a vinyl window seal can have areas with different physical properties. The hardest part of the rubber attaches to the vinyl window main frame and sash frame while the softer part faces the glass section of the vinyl window.
Weep holes are small slots punched into the vinyl extrusion at the bottom of the main frame for water run-off. The bottom sill of a vinyl window is sloped toward the exterior of the window, when it is raining outside water will start to fill the sill, gravity will move the water to the lowest point of the window sill and then exit the window through the weep holes.
Pull rails are attached to the sash frames so the homeowner can grasp and easily operate the vinyl window sashes.
Insect screens are designed to cover the opening part of a vinyl window. The mesh is usually made of nylon and fiberglass and is stretched and anchored in a powder coated aluminum frame with rubber spline.
The screen serves to keep insects, birds, leaves, debris and other animals from entering a building while allowing fresh air in. The screen frame is made of aluminum and can be powder coated to almost any color. The fiberglass mesh usually comes in charcoal and light grey colors and is also available in solar screen material that will help reduce sunlight and solar heat gain. Vinyl window screens are easily removable and fit inside the screen track of the vinyl window main frame.