Friday, November 3, 2017

How Drafty are Your New Windows?

If you're considering replacement windows, there are a multitude of different things to consider.  Among those energy efficiency ratings available to the consumer is something called Air Infiltration, which measure air draft through the window.

Air Infiltration through a Window
Air Infiltration (Air Draft) Through a Window
The minimum Air Infiltration rating to qualify for Energy Star is 0.30 CFM (cubic feet of air per minute) at 25 mph wind.  But that rating is equal to 24 soda cans of air passing through your locked window every minute!

Most quality windows have a better rating than 0.30 CFM.  The industry average for wood windows range from 0.12 - 0.30 CFM.  New vinyl windows rate better, with an industry average between 0.11 - 0.21 CFM.  But even a 0.15 CFM rating is equal to 12 soda cans of air passing through your locked window every minute!

The most energy efficient windows rate better than this.  A quality window will have an Air Infiltration rating of 0.07 CFM (about 6 cans of air per minute).  

However, the best Air Infiltration rating available is 0.01 CFM (equal to less than one can of air a minute = 0.8 cans of air)!  And there is only one window available in the Cincinnati market that has this rating:  the Soft-Lite Elements window.

By comparing the numbers, it would take 15 Elements windows to leak the same amount of air as a traditional vinyl window with a 0.15 CFM rating.  Now that's impressive!

Windows Plus of Cincinnati and Windows Plus of Dayton are the exclusive seller of the Soft-Lite Elements windows in the areas.  If you're tired of having your old drafty windows in your home, make sure you're not replacing them with more drafty windows!

Give Windows Plus a call or visit our Dayton or Cincinnati websites for more information.

Keep warm this winter!
The Window & Door Guy

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Why Do My New Windows Have Condensation?

Condensation is the process of removing water from the air.  It occurs anytime moist air comes in contact with a cold surface.  In your home, condensation may appear around the edges of your windows, caused by the moist air contacting the cold surface.

The cause of problem condensation in your home is excess humidity.  Increased use of moisture trapping materials in the last few years has created the modern "tight" home.  Moisture created by kitchens, bathrooms, laundries and occupants no longer flows easily to the outside as it used to in older homes.  Replacing new, energy-efficient windows is an example of creating a "tight" home.  Your older windows used to allow the transfer of humidity, since they were not "tight".

If you find excess condensation on your new, energy-efficient windows, it means that the humidity in your home is too high.  Reducing the humidity will reduce or eliminate the condensation.

The University of Minnesota Engineering laboratories have created a table showing the maximum safe humidity levels for your home.  Below are those guidelines:

Window Condensation Humidity Levels

These relative humidity levels are for a 70℉ home.  For higher temperatures, lower humidity levels are required.

If you have any questions, feel free to post a comment on the blog.  Or you can reach out to me via Windows Plus in Cincinnati and in Dayton, Ohio.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

It's the Time of the Season....

Well it's fall time now.  And that means that winter is right around the corner.  Is your home ready for the freezing temperatures?  Below are some signs that it may be time to replace your windows and entry doors.  Do you experience any of these scenarios last winter?

  • Hanging plastic film over windows
  • Placing towels at the threshold of entry doors
  • Leaking, drafty windows
  • Icing on the interior of windows
  • Cold air passing under an entry door
  • Being uncomfortably cold sitting near your windows
  • Paying higher energy bills compared to your neighbors
  • Uncomfortably cold rooms in your home
If you've experienced one or more of these scenarios last winter, then it may be time to contact your local window company.  Replacing your windows and/or doors will make not only make your home more comfortable during the winter, but may also save you money on your energy bills.  And don't forget that you may be eligible for Energy Star tax credits with qualifying replacement windows and entry doors.

Don't wait too long!  Call your local window company now to get your products installed before winter hits your neck of the woods!

Friday, August 26, 2016

What to Look For in a Storm Door

Whether you're wanting to add a storm door to your home, or replace your old, worn out storm door, there are plenty of options now available.  Sifting through the options and picking what's best for your home depends on a lot of things, including personal preference.  So let's take a look at modern options for storm doors!

  • Retractable Screens.  Upgrading to a retractable screen in your storm door is a great option.  The screen is self-storing, meaning you do not need to remove the glass pane and install a separate screen frame.  Secondly, it leaves an unobstructed view through the glass, because there is no screen in the way.  Third, to ventilate, the retractable screen rolls down as you lower the glass sash.  Talk about convenience!
  • Decorative Glass.  There are many different options of decorative glass that you can use instead of simple clear glass.  For instance, ProVia makes storm doors with beveled glass, as well as decorative colored options in their Inspirations line.  
  • Self-storing Screens.  The standard self-storing screen option will cost less than the retractable screen, but still offers the convenience of being able to ventilate without having to take out the glass frame.  
  • Heavy Duty Screens.  Upgrading to a heavy duty stainless steel screen is great for homeowners with pets and small children.  These screens are much stronger and resilient than a normal screen.  
  • Upgraded Hardware.  Better hardware options are available in most storm doors, such as Mortise hardware.  These feature a multi-point locking system for added strength and security.  
  • Pet Door.  Did you know you can add a pet door to a storm door?  This is a great option if you don't want to add a pet door to your main entry door, but would like your pet to enjoy the freedom of going in and out while you're home.
ProVia Storm Door

There are plenty more options and upgrade available in a modern storm door.  But it's important to buy a storm door from a reputable company, such as Windows Plus in Dayton and Cincinnati.  They offer ProVia storm doors that have a vast array of features at an affordable price.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Energy Star Partner of the Year

If you're looking to replace your old, drafty windows with something a little more energy-efficient, make sure to check out Energy Star when doing your research.  Because not all vinyl windows are the same!

Soft-Lite Windows

Windows Plus offers Soft-Lite replacement windows in the Cincinnati and Dayton areas.  Soft-Lite has earned the distinction of being the only vinyl window manufacturer in the nation to earn the prestigious Energy Star Partner of the Year Award for Sustained Excellence!

Soft-Lite has earned this distinction due to their dedication to energy-efficient technology.  Since 1934, Soft-Lite has focused on offering superior windows at an affordable price.

So whether you're shopping for the best windows in Dayton or Cincinnati, check out Windows Plus.  We're focused on offering you the most energy efficient products in your area!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Energy Star Tax Credits 2016

If you're considering buying new windows or entry doors, you should be aware that the IRS has continued the Energy Star tax credit for 2016.  Replacement windows and entry doors are eligible for a tax credit, assuming they meet the Energy Star specifications for your specific area.

Energy Star Tax Credit 2016

Your local window company should be able to tell you which of their products meet these criteria.  You can also use the Energy Star climate zone finder to figure out which climate zone you live in.

There are certain eligibility requirements that you must meet to receive your tax credit:

  • The product(s) purchased must meet Energy Star program requirements
  • The product(s) must be installed at the taxpayer's primary residence
  • The product(s) must be installed between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2016
You are eligible for a tax credit of 10% of the product cost, not including the cost of installation/labor.  There is a maximum of $500 total for all Energy Star tax credits.  If you've claimed a tax credit in a previous year, make sure to consult with your tax professional to make sure you are still eligible.

There are maximum tax credits for both windows and doors:
  • $200 maximum credit for eligible windows
  • $500 maximum credit for eligible doors
For more information, check out the Energy Star website.  And if you're shopping for windows or doors in the Southwest Ohio or Northern Kentucky areas, make sure to check out Windows Plus of Cincinnati and Dayton to find Energy Star rated replacement windows and entry doors.

And most of all, make sure you're not leaving money on the table!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Entry Door Finish Warranties

Entry Doors

Most entry doors that you find come with some type of "limited lifetime warranty".  Many people make the assumption that this covers more than the warranty actually does.  It's a common mistake, but a mistake that can prove costly.  Especially when it comes to the door's finish warranty.

The finish of a modern entry door, whether it be a steel or fiberglass door, is usually made of either paint or a stain.  It is often applied at the factory, and therefore comes with its own distinct finish warranty.  But just because the door has a "limited lifetime warranty" doesn't mean the finish warranty is for a lifetime!

Entry doors from the big box stores often come with a substandard finish warranty.  This can become a headache for the homeowner, when they notice the the factory finish on their recently installed entry door is beginning to fade, crack, or peel.  Especially when they realize it's no longer covered by the door's warranty!

Big box store entry doors are notorious for providing short term finish warranties.  A deeper look into the warranty of one of the popular Home Depot entry door lines shows that the finish warranty only lasts for 45 days!

Quality matters when it comes to entry doors.  If you're shopping for entry doors in Dayton or entry doors in Cincinnati, check out the line of ProVia doors offered by Windows Plus.  These entry doors are not only built to last, but the finish warranties are good for seven to ten years!  Much longer than those doors offered at the big box stores.

The Window & Door Guy
Windows Plus of Cincinnati
Windows Plus of Dayton