vinyl window advantages


Replacing your old, leaky and drafty windows with high performance vinyl windows has obvious advantages. For starters, you’ll never have to paint your new vinyl windows and they require virtually no maintenance at all.

If you choose the right styles, glazing options and installation method, your new windows will enhance the curb appeal of your house and add to its resale value.

In addition, high performance vinyl windows, like the ones manufactured by FM, will offer immediate savings on home heating and cooling costs. Depending on the house design and the existing levels of efficiency in the rest of the home, switching to high- performance vinyl windows should yield 9 to 18 percent reductions in heating costs. The same low-E coating that keeps infrared (heat) energy inside the home in winter keeps unwanted heat out in the summer. This keeps the interior cooler and cuts down on the need for air conditioning.

But there are some other benefits that you may not have thought of, as well. For example:

  • Increased comfort. In houses with conventional windows, air leakage, drafts and radiative heat loss all contribute to occupant discomfort which the heating system must try-usually with only limited success- to overcome. But high-performance vinyl windows are better insulated and maintain a much higher surface temperature on the interior glazing. This characteristic, together with proper installation, makes the window feel warmer to the occupant.
  • Higher humidity without condensation. During the winter, outside air is very dry and can significantly lower the relative humidity inside. This can lead to annoying static shocks when touching doors or light switches, as well as dry throats and skin.
  • If you try to compensate by humidifying the air, then you run the risk of condensation forming on the windows. This is unsightly and can lead to mould growth.
  • New vinyl windows can change this, since higher inside glass temperatures and improved thermal performance allow much higher relative humidity levels inside. This means reduced static shock, improved health and healthier plants, too!
  • Lower sound transmission. The heavy gas fills and added layers of glazing will reduce sound transmission into the home. Our customers often comment on how much quieter their home is with their new FM windows.
  • More daylight. The advent of high-performance vinyl windows is allowing larger glazing areas to be incorporated into house designs, without the penalty of either high heat loss in the winter or high heat gains during the summer. This not only enhances energy efficiency and improves the view, but it lets in more daylight which can lead to reductions in the use of electric lighting.
  • Increased passive solar heat potential. With the right selection of low-E coatings and gas fills, new vinyl windows can gain more energy during the day than they lose at night. This means that your new high-performance FM windows will actually be a source of free energy for your home and not a waste of energy like the ones in your home right now.

How do I clean window frames? > top

As a general rule, all parts exposed when the window is closed should be washed down with warm soapy water (mild detergent) or a plastic cleaner. Use a soft cloth, sponge or towel to avoid scratching. Rinse well with water.The exterior surface of window frames and doors may collect a layer of dirt over time, depending on environmental conditions. Rainfall will usually be sufficient to remove accumulated dirt. However in conditions with smog, excess smoke or dirt the exterior surfaces should be cleaned more regularly. A soft bristle brush or low-pressure spray cleaner may also be used .Avoid using high powered washers, ammonia, abrasive cleaning agents, glass cleaners and tile cleaners. Using these products over time will cause cracks.The pigments that are used in paint are almost identical to those used in vinyl, but vinyl's color goes all the way through. A little rubdown with Soft Scrub will bring vinyl back to its original brilliance.

How do I clean glass? > top

Glass is a durable material when exposed to normal atmospheric conditions, but it does suffer some surface deterioration. One of the most aggressive elements in the atmosphere is water. An absorbed layer of water attacks the surface of glass, dissolving or releasing certain elements that cause the water to become alkaline. With repeated wetting and drying without washing, the dissolved products will appear as a whitish scum. This reduces the brilliance of the surface and in severe conditions can obscure visibility. This latter condition is common where condensation is permitted to occur regularly. Consequently, frequent cleaning is important.

Glass can be cleaned with warm soapy water, vinegar-based cleaners or any cleaning product specifically formulated for the cleaning of glass. Avoid using ammonia or alcohol-based cleaners, which can cause streaking. Care should be taken not to damage glazing, frame finish, or insulating unit seals by overgenerous application of cleaners.Wipe the cleaning solutions on the glass in a circular motion, applying light to moderate pressure. If streaks appear, rinse the surface with clean water. Using a clean, lint-free cloth, wipe dry the interior glazing surfaces, including any interior frame or hardware components to prevent spotting or water damage.

To clean grease, oil, tape adhesive, crayons or paint, apply a small amount of acetone (mineral spirits) to a cloth or towel and rub only the affected area. Repeat the cleaning steps listed above, if necessary .Glass should be cleaned by starting at the top and systematically working down. This technique reduces the possibility of residue and cleaning solution rundown. Caution: Do not clean glass or frames while they are exposed to direct sunlight. Detergents and soap based cleaners may dry prematurely and leave a hard to remove residue on the frame or glass surface.

How do I clean sash tracks? > top

Parts exposed when the window is open should be simply wiped clean, removing grime from old lubricant, airborne debris, remains of insect life, etc. Special attention should be paid to keep the drainage channels free and clear of blockages.Sash tracks should be kept free of dirt by using a small brush and blowing the dust out of the tracks and corners. Keep moving the sashes so that different areas can be cleaned.Use mild soap or detergent to clean all tracks and sash cavities. This will allow the sash to operate smoothly and prevent excessive wear on hinges, locks, rollers and weather stripping components.

How do I clean and lubricate hardware and screens? > top

Remove all dust and grit before lubricating pivot points and all other moving metal parts with light machine oil. This should been done annually. A very light application of petroleum jelly or equivalent will keep the locking mechanisms and hinges in good working condition. A resin free grease or lubricant should be used on sliding bars, gears and face plates.In the case of sliders or single hung windows, a silicone spray (candle wax / furniture polish) can be used to help lubricate the sashes to help them to slide more smoothly.In the case of double hung windows a few drops of light machine oil or spray such as WD-40 applied via the top end of the balance tube will improve the operation of the balance.

Follow exterior surface cleaning instructions for all exterior screens. Interior mounted screens can be vacuumed with a soft brush attachment or wiped with a soap water solution. An easy way to clean screens is to remove them and lay them on a flat surface. Apply cleaning solution to the screens and let them soak for a minute. Then rinse the screens using a low-pressure spray. Alternatively vacuum with a soft brush.We would like to stress that at all times care should be taken not to overreach or risk falling.

Why do my windows leak? Is this normal? > top

Any operating window, either horizontal or vertical slider, will leak air and water. This is called air and water infiltration. Water infiltration is more visible. Windows are constructed with weep holes allowing any internal water to weep to the exterior of the home. Depending on weather conditions it is normal to see water in the sill section of windows.

What is condensation? > top

Excess humidity manifesting itself in the form of a thin film of water on a cold surface is called condensation. This is illustrated on a humid, hot summer day when condensation appears on a cold glass. If the temperature changes but no water vapor is added or taken away, then the relative humidity will also change and will increase as the temperature falls. The relative humidity will continue to rise with falling temperature until the dew-point is reached - that is, the temperature at which the relative humidity becomes 100 percent. Any further decrease in temperature will force some of the vapour to condense as water (when the temperature is above freezing) or as frost (when the temperature is below freezing). Condensation is the primary reason for window-related callbacks.

What is "window sweating"? > top

Condensation usually occurs first on windows because they have the lowest temperature of any of the interior surfaces in the house. This is commonly referred to as "window sweating". It seldom appears on walls because they are normally warmer. In extreme cases this has led to mildew and the growth of mould.

Do windows cause condensation? > top

No, condensation on windows is not the fault of the window. However, by replacing old drafty windows or installing a new roof, you are reducing air-flow in your home and making it more air tight. Tighter homes actually retain more humidity.

Is condensation bad? > top

The occupants of a house rightly feel that condensation on the inside surfaces of windows is not good. It not only creates a nuisance by limiting visibility and by wetting adjacent walls and floor surfaces, but in more severe cases it can cause the rotting of wood and the deterioration of paint and plaster. To the builder the problem takes on a special significance because the homeowner frequently assumes that window construction or installation is faulty. He does not readily appreciate that his own living habits are of prime importance, or that a well built house is often more vulnerable to excess moisture problems than one that is loosely constructed.

Where on a window does condensation normally form? Why?      > top

Condensation often forms at the meeting rail and at the bottom of the lower sash on the interior of the glass. This is because when warm air cools, it falls down across the interior surface of the window at the same time that the air's temperature is falling. The air contacts the horizontal surface of the meeting rail, which acts like a dam, slowing the air's rate of fall and creating the perfect opportunity for the trapped water vapor to escape and form on the meeting rail's surface. The air then rolls over the edge of the meeting rail and again gains speed until it encounters the lower handle of the sash. At this point, the water vapour again makes its exit and lies at the bottom of the sash.

Can I reduce the condensation on my windows? > top

Yes. In order to reduce condensation, humidity must be controlled and air movement must be generated. As the exterior temperature drops, the humidity level needs to be decreased. Fortunately, the occupant can control window condensation, once they understand the causes.

What causes condensation on windows? > top

There are several factors that put moisture into the air and cause condensation on windows. Normal breathing and perspiration add 3 pints of water to the air every day for each person in your home. In fact, every activity that uses water adds more moisture to the air including cooking, taking showers, dish washing, and doing laundry. If you have too much moisture in your home, then look for some of these occurrences:

  • Constantly dripping faucets.
  • Any containers in the home that have water standing often or all the time such as sinks and pet bowls and open fish tanks.
  • Indoor drying of clothing and leaking indoor clothes dryers
  • Gas cooking. Moisture is a by-product of gas combustion.
  • Keeping lids open on toilets thus allowing more evaporation.
  • Not running the exhaust fan during baths and showers to remove the moisture.
  • Excessive use of things like steamers, plant misters or tea pots.
  • Some building slabs may not have a vapour barrier. You may see sweating on the slab where visible.
  • Overuse of humidifiers.
  • Faulty plumbing such as leaks in walls or under cabinets.
  • Leaking hot water heaters or water piping.
  • Excessive indoor plant containers that require watering.
  • Saunas and hot tubs.
  • Outdoor drainage that holds water against slab or bricks. You may need to inspect your sprinkler system, too.
  • Faulty shower piping or faucets and seals leaking into walls, etc.
  • Faulty refrigerators or ice machines that leak or drain excess water or moisture.
  • Poor ventilation in bathrooms.
  • Air conditioning.
  • Making sure the doors are not so tight as to not allow circulation of air from the room.
  • Extensive soaking of clothing in open water containers. You may wish to move these to the garage or utility areas.
  • Wet clothing, wash rags or towels repeatedly left laying out.
  • Rainwater leaking into the attic and/or walls.
  • Use of open space gas heaters especially at high room temperatures.
  • Poor refrigeration or faulty condition of the cooling system that doesn't remove enough moisture from the air. Have this checked by a technician.
  • Leaving floors very wet after mopping

So how can I reduce Condensation? > top

Reduce the humidity and decrease the number of cool surfaces in your home. Your first step is to find what the humidity level in your home is. This will need to be monitored regularly as the temperature outside varies. Devices which measure humidity are called hygrometers. They can be purchased at most reliable hardware and home center stores. As a guide, the following chart will help:

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