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There are a few determining factors that are indicators that your windows need to be replaced. Listed below are signs you should watch for to determine if your windows are defective and should be replaced:

Rating Window Efficiency Systems

When looking at different models of windows you want to be aware of the rating the manufacturer applies. That rating will either be a “U Value” which gives an indication of that window’s tendency to transfer heat either in or out, or by an “R Value” which describes the windows resistance to transferring heat in or out.


U-Values are a measure of heat conductance
R-Values are a measure of heat flow resistance


If a window's R-value is high, it will lose less heat than one with a lower R-value.

Conversely, if a window's U-value is low, it will lose less heat than one with a higher U-value.


Usually, window R-values range from 0.9 to 3.0 (U-values range from 1.1 to 0.3), but some highly energy-efficient exceptions also exist.


When comparing different windows, you should ensure that you are comparing the same U and R values.  You should also ensure that all U or R values listed by the manufacturers:

  1. are based on current standards set by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration,
    and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE),
  2. are calculated for the entire window, including the frame, and not just for the center of the glass,
    represent the same size and style of window.  


5 Factors that affect the R-Value of Windows

        1.            The type of glazing material (e.g., glass, plastic, treated glass)

        2.            The number of layers of glass

        3.            The size of the air space between the layers of glass

        4.            The thermal resistance of conductance of the frame and spacer materials

        5.            The "tightness" of the installation is vital to optimum window performance


Vinyl Replacement Window Cost Guidelines

On average, vinyl windows can be one of the lesser expensive types of windows. The average window size is 30 inches by 48 inches and can range in average cost from $150.00 to $500.00 per window, excluding installation.


As you choose features to customize your windows, the price per window increases. For example, tilting features which make cleaning easier, double pane glass which increases efficiency or tinting for heat reduction increases the cost. Using standard sizes and staying away from custom orders can reduce your investment.


However, when you choose to install energy efficient vinyl windows, this will help offset some of the cost of the windows, saving on your heating and cooling costs for years to come.

Vinyl Replacement Window Glass

Layers of Glass and Air Spaces

Single-pane. This has very little insulating value with (approximately R-1). It provides only a thin barrier to the outside and can account for considerable heat loss and gain.

Double-pane. To improve a window's energy-efficiency the number of glass panes in the unit is doubled, because multiple layers of glass increase the window's ability to resist heat flow.

Types of Glass

There are various types of glass used in constructing windows.


Clear glass has been the primary material available for window panes in homes. However, in recent years, the market for glazing, or cutting and fitting window panes into frames, has changed significantly. Now several types of special glazings are available that can help control heat loss and condensation.


Low-emissivity (low-e) glass - This has a special surface coating to reduce heat transfer back through the window. These coatings reflect from 40% to 70% of the heat that is normally transmitted through clear glass, while allowing the full amount of light to pass through.


Heat-absorbing glass -This contains special tints that allow it to absorb as much as 45% of the incoming solar energy, reducing heat gain. Some of the absorbed heat, however, passes through the window by conduction and re-radiation.


Reflective glass - This has been coated with a reflective film and is useful in controlling solar heat gain during the summer. It also reduces the passage of light all year long, and, like heat-absorbing glass, it reduces solar transmittance.


Vinyl Window Essentials

1. Head

The top part of the window frame, from one side to the other.

2. Jamb
The vertical portions of the window frame that make up its sides.

3. Frame
The entire window's outside edges, or the head, jambs and sill combined.

4. Glazing
Any glass within the entire construction of the window.

5. Pane
A single piece of glass separated by pieces of the window itself.

6. Sash
Stiles and rails, which surround each pane, combine to form a single sash.

7. Sill
This is the lower equivalent of the head and protrudes from the wall slightly.

8. Grids
A grid creates the appearance of a boundary between individual window panes.

Grid Information
The style of grids you choose can make a big difference in the appearance of your windows and doors and even your home. Grids in an assortment of styles and patterns are available so you can achieve precisely the look you want.

Grid Colors

White Tan Light
(interior only,
white exterior)

(interior only,
white exterior)


Grid Options

White Flat White Sculptured    


Grid Patterns

Colonial Cross Diamond Perimeter Prairie Victorian



Common Types of Windows





- Sashes slide vertically
- In single-hung units, the bottom sash is the only sash that moves
- Ventilation regulated by widening vertical crack with bottom sash
- Screens possible on exterior / interior







- Hinges are located on one side
- Low air leakage rates (tighter seal than sliding windows)
- Better ventilation (larger area open to outside)
- Can catch passing breezes (window protrudes outside into wind)
- Screens installed on interior






- Similar to casement windows, but hinges at top
- Also open outward and lower leakage rates


Bay Window




- Combination of three-plus windows
- Center made of one or more windows parallel with wall
- Outer windows angled back towards wall



Bow Window




- Similar to bay window, more actual windows
- Radiate out to form semi-circle



Fixed Frame



- Used mainly for adding exterior light to rooms
- Does not open or move
- Provides no ventilation






- Installed in ceiling
- Parallel to roof
- Some models can open and provide ventilation
- Brings in more sunlight than a traditional wall window





- Similar to single/double hung windows, but turned on their side
- Either one or both sashes will be able to move and slide
- Provides ventilation as opening is widened by sashes.