When it is time to purchase new vinyl windows, you need to know what to look for as you shop for your new windows. It is not enough to know that you want vinyl windows; you need to know precisely what you want from your vinyl windows.
Thing #1: Energy-Star
The first thing you will want to look for when shopping for vinyl windows is the Energy Star certification. This is issued by the National Fenestration Rating Council and shows the window has been independently tested to be airtight and effective at reducing energy loss around the windows. It is important to invest in energy-efficient products that will allow you to use less energy to heat your home, and the Energy-Star certification is one way to start.
Thing #2: Gold Seal Certification
Second, you will want to look for the Gold Seal Certification from American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA). This is a certification issued for doors and windows that must pass rigorous performance tests. They must be resistant to water penetration, wind pressure, and air leakage. Not only that, the production process for the doors and windows has to stand-up and be shown to create consistent products. This is an independent certification that is difficult to obtain and shows a high-quality door or window.
Thing #3: Double Warranty
Third, you are going to want to look for a window that offers a double lifetime warranty. A double lifetime warranty covers performance issues with the windows and is also a warranty that can be passed on to the next owner if you sell your home. A double warranty shows that the manufacturer backs up their product and believes that it will not have performance issues.
Thing #4: Low-E Coating
Fourth, the glass in the window matters. You want high-quality glass inside of your vinyl frame. One quality of the high-quality class is a low E coating. A low E coating is a very thin, non-toxic, and colorless coating applied to your window. This coating helps to block infrared light from getting into your home. It helps to keep ultraviolet rays out as well. It doesn't block out all-natural light; it helps keep out harmful light and reduces energy lost through the glass.
When you go shopping for new vinyl windows, you will want to look for windows that are both Energy-Star and Gold Seal certified; signs of being energy-efficient and well-constructed. Look for a window backed up with a double warranty and that has a Low-E coating. These are all signs of high-quality energy-efficient vinyl windows.