Frequently Asked Questions.
How often should residential windows be replaced?
Homeowners with windows over 25 years old should consider replacing them, both to gain the best energy efficiencies and to protect the envelope of the house. A home is an ideal candidate for a window replacement if its windows are sealed or painted shut or has drafts that come through the windows.
What causes condensation on windows?
Condensation or sweating, is a natural occurrence on all windows and is caused by excess humidity or invisible water vapor present in the air. When this water vapor comes in contact with a surface which is at a cooler temperature, the vapor turns to visible droplets of moisture.
Where can I buy PGT windows and doors?
We are an authorized Platinum PGT distributor. If you are looking to buy PGT products contact us via email, call us, or visit us.
What do I do if I have an issue covered by my warranty?
If you have an issue that needs to be addressed and is covered by your warranty, first contact your installer. If we are your installer, contact us immediately and we will schedule with you to fix the issue as soon possible. If we are not your installer, your installer will evaluate the situation and help determine the necessary course of action. If the installer is unavailable, you must contact the distributor of your windows or doors. If you cannot contact the distributor, then you should contact PGT directly.
What are impact-resistant windows and doors?
These are windows and doors that combine heavy-duty frames with impact-resistant laminated glass and a special silicone glazing process to keep the glass from breaking away from its frame. Impact-resistant glass is comprised of two panes of glass bonded together with a special interlayer of clear polyvinylbutyral. Although wind-borne debris or an attempted break in may crack the glass on impact, the interlayer keeps the overall window and door intact, preventing destructive winds or intruders from entering your home.
Will WinGuard provide noise reduction?
WinGuard can provide up to 32% reduction in perceived loudness for a standardized mixture of aircraft, railroad and vehicular traffic noise versus a dual pane window. Noise reduction percentages can be misleading in some instances. The basic problem is the human ear. As the environment gets quieter, the ear becomes more sensitive to noise. This means that some of the reduction provided is lost. A window manufacturer can say they reduce the current noise levels by 80% or by 50% and both statements will be true. One is the instrument measurement and the other is the perceived reduction. Additionally, depending on actual noise levels, the reduction may be perceived as 100%. Dual pane window sales people can say they stop the noise (in some noise level environments they do). They can also say they cut the noise over 50% (true by instrument reading compared to a poorly sealing window).
Logic would dictate that the higher a window’s STC rating, the better it should be at reducing traffic noise. But this is often not the case. The STC (sound transmission class) was developed to control noise for speech, not planes, trains and automobiles. Speech is quite different from the low frequency roar of traffic or the high pitched whine of a jet engine. The good news is that OITC (outdoor-indoor transmission class) was specifically developed to address transportation noise. It is used to specify the sound transmission loss properties of exterior building elements such as walls and windows. The OITC uses outside noise sources such as traffic, aircraft and trains to calculate a single number rating. As a general rule, an increase in OITC means a corresponding decrease in interior noise level.
What are egress requirements?
Egress requirements indicate a minimum opening size that certain windows must meet. These requirements tend to vary from region to region, so pelase contact your local building code official for egress requirements in your area.
What is ENERGY STAR?
ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy helping us all save money and protect the environment through energy efficient products and practices.
Results are already adding up. Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved enough energy in 2007 alone to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 27 million cars — all while saving $16 billion on their utility bills.
PGT is a proud partner of the U.S. Department of Energy’s ENERGY STAR program and offers ENERGY STAR qualified window and door configurations.
What is an ENERGY STAR qualified window?
ENERGY STAR labeled windows meet a stringent energy efficiency specification set by the Department of Energy and have been tested and certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). NFRC is an independent, third-parth certification agency that assigns specific energy efficiency measures such as U-factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient to the complete window system, not simply the glass. ENERGY STAR qualified windows may have two or more panes of glass, warm-edge spacers between the window panes, improved framing materials, and Low-E coating(s) which are microscopically thin coatings that help keep heat inside during the winter and outside during the summer.
What is Low-E?
Low-E stands for low emissivity and is basically a microscopic, metallic coating applied to a surface of glass that reflects and re-radiates heat energy wither into or out of a home depending on climate conditions. Using Low-E is an excellent way to increase the energy efficiency of a window.
Does argon gas between glass panes really make a difference in energy efficiency?
For air to insulate well, it needs to be as still as possible because moving air carries energy. Argon is heavier than air, so it is less prone to convection or thermal movement. The bottom line is that heavier-than-air gases offer a higher level of insulation. Argon is found naturally in the air you breathe and is completely harmless.
What is Solar Heat Gain Coefficient?
The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (or SHGC) refers to a window’s ability to transmit solar radiation. The SHGC ranges from 0-1. A value of 0 indicates that window functions like a wall, essentially preventing any solar energy from entering the building. A value of 1 indicates that the window functions like an opening, allowing all solar energy in. In cold climates, a high SHGC can lower heating costs by using passive solar heating. In warm climates, a low SHGC is desired to keep unwanted heat out and reduce cooling costs.
What are R-values and U-values?
The R-value is the resistance a material has to the flow of heat. The higher the R-value, the greater the resistance. The U-value is the amount of heat that is transferred through a material. The lower the U-value, the better the insulating quality.
What is the NFRC?
NFRC stands for the National Fenestration Rating Council. It is a program established by the U.S. Department of Energy to help consumers compare window products and options. Window manufacturers participating in the program are required to label every window to it specific thermal performance level. Customers are then ensured that the products they select meet the requirements for their application. Participation in the NFRC program is voluntary. PGT is a participant in the NFRC program.