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Woodland Windows and Doors Blog

This is where we will post relevant articles, information, and how-to's related to all things windows and doors. Check back often for updates and new information!

Low-E Gets Personal

Perhaps no term is uttered more frequently, in the world of windows, than Low-E. By now, most people think they know what that means, but few know what it means for their home. This is because continued advances in glazing (glass) technologies allow you, with a little advance planning; select from different Low-E finishes for different windows in your home. With minimal effort your budget will go further and you’ll get a more energy efficient home.
Marvin Windows Gallery
A Northern Climate
In a nutshell, our northern region climate is dominated by heating energy use. Our summers can get hot and humid requiring air conditioning, but heat waves are usually short lived, while winter is cold and long. It’s a straightforward decision to choose windows with a higher SHGC (solar heat gain co-efficient), which means the window, will reflect heat back into the home, collecting more solar heat.
Window Orientation
In addition to our northern climate, you want to consider the orientation of the windows in your home. Specifying Low-E requirements for different windows allows you to maximize your home’s comfort and spend your money wisely. In other words, it’s no longer, one size fits all, and instead Low-E comes in a sophisticated array of options to meet your exact needs.
Here are simple northern region strategies to consider when planning a remodel or new home.
South facing windows: Choose a high SHGC glazing – above 0.40. South windows are a good source of passive heat in winter, but if you use this strategy you also need a roof overhang that provides shading in the summer.
West facing windows: Choose a low SHGC glazing to reduce much unwanted afternoon summer heat gain. Overhangs don’t work well against the low evening sun.
Marvin Windows Gallery
East facing windows: Like west facing windows, keep the size of these windows to a minimum in order to control unwanted solar gain or loss. Most people select a low SHGC, however some prefer a high SHGC glazing as a good way to warm cool mornings.
North facing windows: Minimal contribution to the temperature control of your home’s interior.

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Replacing Windows. To Everything There Is A Season

How do I know if my windows need to be replaced? It’s a question we get nearly every day and I must admit that when I hear that question a song plays in my head. The song goes something like this; to everything there is a season…a time for this and a time for that. That sentiment is indeed the best way to answer the question. Everything eventually wears out and is replaced with something else. In the case of windows that ‘something else’ is far and away better than what it is replacing.

Source: Marvin

Older homes often have extremely durable original wood windows that with regular maintenance and repair can last 100 years. On the other hand, homes built within the past 50-60 years usually require wood windows to be replaced around 20 years after installation. These wood windows are more prone to rotting primarily due to the fact the wood is not old growth and so not the hardwoods of yesteryear. Additionally, techniques such as finger joints and the environmental restrictions placed on paint ingredients, reduces the paint’s preservative and anti-microbial properties.

While it’s possible to repair surface damage caused by mold, wood rot or cracks, these may be an indication of deeper damage or a precursor to future infrastructure damage because the window system is slowly failing. The most important thing to determine is whether the surrounding structure of the home has sustained any damage. Inefficient windows can leak, allowing water to enter your house both in front of and behind the walls, inviting mold and mildew to grow.

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Argon Gas and Its Impact on Replacement Windows

Argon is one of the group eight elements in the periodic table. It has an atomic number of 18. Argon gas makes windows more energy efficient. Argon has a higher density when compared to that of oxygen. This means that the Argon gas between the layers of double or triple paned windows is less affected by convectional currents and drafts .The windows will therefore have a higher insulation value. This saves on the cost of energy since the homeowner will not have to spend so much on heating and air conditioning during summer and winter.  
Argon gas also reflects excess heat better when compared to plain air. Un-welcomed heat is inhibited from entering your home, leaving you only with the desired warmth. This is a much needed property, especially during hot weather.
On the other hand, Argon gas may have adverse effect on your window panes. Argon gas will dissipate out of your window after some time; this results in its reduced efficiency. This problem can be easily taken care of by using nonmetallic spaces that seal better and will not allow your gas to escape. Argon gas replacement windows are not available at higher altitudes (i.e. at 2500 and above). 
Improper sealing can also cause leakage of your Argon gas. Manufacturers normally use two methods to seal gas into your replacement window panes, namely, the one-holed method and two-holed method. The former is thought to be the best as it minimizes the possibilities of the gas escaping.

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Argon Gas and Replacement Windows in Your Chicago Home

Argon is one of the group eight elements in the periodic table alongside other gases like neon and krypton. Its atomic radius is 18. Argon gas has so many advantages when it comes to modern replacement windows, as well as a few downsides. To begin with, let’s look at the positive side of this gas.
Argon gas improves the energy efficiency of replacement windows. Its density is higher when compared to that of oxygen, thus the argon gas between the layers of double or triple paned windows is not easily affected by air currents and drafts. The windows will consequently have a higher insulation property. This saves on energy costs. 
Argon gas may also have some not so great effects on your window panes. For example, it will leak out of your window after awhile. This will make it less efficient and therefore not as useful. The argon gas is also not found at higher altitudes, 2500 and above, according to researchers. Should you be living in high altitude areas, it is advisable that the dealer makes your window at that exact altitude to avoid any problems.
Argon gas can never prevent transmission of rays of the sun into the room. Infrared rays will always make your furniture and drapes lose their original color over time when exposed to a lot of sunlight.
Just keep these things in mind when choosing new replacement windows for your Chicago area home.

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Importance of Efficiency Windows in Your Chicago Home

Windows play several important roles. Basically, they help in filtering out sunlight and air, even as they allow them to enter through it. Without windows, your rooms would without doubt be a little dark, uninteresting, and dingy. Windows come in many types including single pane windows, double pane windows, wooden shaft windows, vinyl replacement windows, aluminum windows, etc. etc. Windows are definitely a basic necessity of any home, especially if you are living in an area with extreme weather during winter and summer.
However, it is quite unfortunate that many homeowners are still using older windows which are inefficient. They have not yet discovered the true value of energy efficient windows. Windows are heavy consumers of energy. An average American home may lose about 30 percent of heating and cooling energy through windows. Energy efficient windows save a lot of money on monthly utility bills. In fact, some new replacement windows have been designed in such a way that they gain energy instead of losing it.
If you are building a new home, their higher purchasing costs can be offset as you will probably require a smaller,  less expensive air-conditioning system. Your choice of window can have a significant impact on monthly utility bills. Windows gain or lose heat by means of radiation, convection, conduction and air leakage. This is referred to as heat transfer and is expressed with U-factors or U-values. U-values are opposite or converse to R-values. Thus, a U-value of 2 is the same as an R-value of 0.5 0r 1/2. Not like R-values, the higher the U-values, the better. In other words, higher U-values have better insulation.
Conduction is the transfer of heat through a solid, such as metal. Most of the heat is lost through windows via conduction.  With less conductive window frames, such as wood and vinyl, you slow down heat flow. Double or triple pane windows are filled with nonreactive gas, such as Argon and Krypton between panes of glass. This helps to reduce heat flow, as well.
Radiation is the transfer of heat from a warmer place to a colder place. For example, if you stand near a fire, you’ll get a warm feeling on your body. On the contrary, your body feels cool when it radiates heat when taking a cold shower.
Air leakage through windows accounts for a huge percentage of heat loss through windows. Modern replacement windows have great features that efficiently stop the loss of heat through conduction, convention, radiation or air leakage.
Double pane and triple-pane glass windows are known for their superior insulating values. And combining double-pane or triple-pane windows with low-E coatings boosts energy efficiency considerably.

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Argon Gas Replacement Windows for Chicago Homeowners

Argon gas replacement windows are usually filled with gas between panes to boost energy efficiency. Some window manufacturers use Krypton gas, as it is a little heavier than Argon. Krypton, however, is more expensive than Argon. And that’s why Argon filled replacement windows have gained more in popularity than Krypton gas windows.
Why Argon Gas?
According to window experts, Argon gas is one of the single most important components in a replacement window. The gas is capable of improving a home's energy efficiency and saving you lots of money on heating and cooling costs.

Argon windows work best in areas that have cold weather during the winter. These windows are intended to reduce the U-Value of a window. The U-Value refers to a thermal rating, tested and certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC).The U-Value is used to determine the performance of a window in cold weather. Typically, the testing rule for U-Value begins at zero degrees.
Argon is an odorless, colorless, harmless, and inexpensive gas that is used to increase the insulating properties of a window. More and more homeowners are opting for this type of windows as they offer better insulation than normal windows.
There are also triple-glazed argon-filled windows that feature two layers of insulation. It should be noted that Low-E Windows aren’t the same as Argon gas filled windows. Although they are designed using a similar concept, materials placed in between the panes are different. 
Benefits of Argon Gas Windows

Minimizes heat transfer through the windowMinimizes the chances of frost and condensation Suitable for both hot and cold climate Minimizes the effects of UV-rays Increased R-value The high cost of purchasing and installing argon windows will be recovered on very short timeTriple glazed windows offer greater benefits than even duel pane argon filled windows Unlike oxygen, argon is harmless and won’t oxidize the window material  With argon windows, expect your heating and cooling system to work more efficientlyArgon gas won’t expand or contract Can increase the value of your home  

If you are thinking of replacing your existing windows with new efficient replacement windows, opt for Argon windows. They come in double or triple pane glass, which is an added benefit in terms of preventing leakages and condensation.

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Efficient Replacement Windows in Chicago

Windows are one of your home’s most appealing features. Windows provide ventilation, daylight, views of your property, and much more. Regrettably, they can also become the source of your increasing heating and cooling costs. If you have older windows installed in your home, your air conditioning system must work much harder to cool the house during the summer. Likewise, it must work harder to heat the home during the winter season.
If you suspect that your old single pane windows are to blame for increasing utility bills, consider replacing them with high efficiency windows. Double pane glass windows, for example, come with low-E and high performance glass. They have a special insulation material to protect your home against extreme heat and cold. Also, this insulation can reduce outdoor noise pollution.
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Single, Double, or Triple Pane Windows for Chicago Homeowners

Since the greater part of the window is made of glass, choosing the right window that can dramatically improve your energy efficiency at home is paramount. There are three main types of replacement windows namely: single, double and triple pane windows. Double and triple pane windows are made with layers of glass. The layers are usually filled with gas, such as krypton or argon to improve insulation.
Single Pane Windows
As the name suggest, a single pane window has only one glass pane that is attached on the window’s frame. Glass is a good conductor of heat and tends to allow the transfer of it. During winter seasons, when heating your home becomes a necessity, there can be substantial heat loss through single-pane glass windows. However, single pane glasses are less expensive than their double and triple pane counterparts.
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Learn the Value of Energy Efficient Replacement Windows in Chicago

Over the last decades, huge steps in the construction industry have been made, and windows have not been left out. At the moment, double, triple and quadruple pane replacement windows are available. These windows have been designed to improve insulation in order to reduce heat transfer.
Energy efficient windows save you money on heating and cooling costs every single month. By replacing your old, drafty windows, your monthly utility bill will reduce substantially. Although replacing old windows with energy efficient windows is quite costly, the decision to do so is worth the investment.
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Need Replacement Windows in Chicago? Think About Getting Energy Efficient Ones

There are many reasons to invest in new replacement windows for your home or commercial property. Perhaps you have been dealing with drafts or leaks that make your house an uncomfortable place to stay. Sometimes the fading of your furniture or carpet and high energy bills are caused by inefficient windows. If you are experiencing any of these problems, it’s the right time to look for energy efficient replacement windows—your best bet for affordable, safe, strong, and energy conscious windows.
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