Common Issues | Windows
It may seem simple at first, but trying to find any issues with your windows can be a little tricky. Other than easily visible cracks, a hidden common problem with windows is found in your energy bills. Below are some common issues and tips associated with windows in your home or building.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, windows typically account for 30 percent of a typical home's heating losses regardless of age - this can mean a big difference in your energy bills. Here are some good tips to consider to boost energy efficiency in your home.
Any cracks and separations in windows can allow moisture into the walls which can promote mold growth. Also, depending on the type of window frame, if a frame it too thin, the structural integrity of the whole window is more vulnerable to sagging. When windows sag, a seal that is used to close off the space between the glass panes will break. Once the seal is broken "argon gas" can seep through the window panes which results in condensation between the panes. Therefore, though there may be options in buying thin window frames, consult with a professional to see if the thickness won't cause any sagging.
Energy Efficiency Tips
Wood windows offer the best insulative value. Note: They do require more maintenance
Double- paned windows that have a low-E rating, and that have a vacuum-sealed argon fill are a great way to reduce air leaks
Triple paned windows are more energy efficient, however, they transmit lower light visibility
Typically nearly all windows mass manufactured today have the Energy Star Program sticker on them which measures the U-value and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) - the lower these two metrics are the better the window should perform
Double hung windows are very common and some choices are efficient enough. However in extreme climates, they may not be the best option due to ability for air to come in between the sliders
Casement windows (crank windows) are good in windy climates but do require more upkeep on hinges and seals
Flashing and caulking properly though very simple in window installation, are very important to prevent air leaks