After the dust has settled and the furniture has been put back in its usual spots, it suddenly dawns on you – “It’s over”. Your window replacement project has come to a successful end leaving you to enjoy your investment in some peace and quiet. As you walk from window to window opening and closing them your head starts to fill with questions. Just as it is true with anything in this world, there is no such thing as a dumb question when it comes to replacement windows. If you are reading this, you have chosen to bypass your supplier’s customer service hotline or are simply looking for a second opinion. Below you will find some of the most common questions window manufacturers are faced with post-installation.
Curious about the window service process? Check out this infographic.
How can I tell if I had triple pane windows installed?
One of the most frequently asked questions that homeowners have after having their home windows replaced is how can they tell whether the triple pane windows that they just got replaced are indeed triple pane. The reason why there is so much confusion about this matter is because you actually cannot see the third pane of glass in modern windows. If you look at a cross-section of triple glazed windows you will see that the middle pane is separated from the two outer panes by low-conductivity spacers. If looking from the inside all that can be seen is the spacer with a silver line down the middle – this silver line is the third pane. Another foolproof way to tell if the glazed unit is triple pane or not is to do the “reflection test”. The test consists of taking a solid object like a coin and holding it perpendicular to the glass surface. Looking to see how many reflections of the coin are reflected in the glass you should be able to tell whether or not the glass is triple or double pane. If there are three reflections it is triple if there are two it is double.
Can I drill into the jamb extension of my vinyl window?
If you have chosen vinyl windows, PVC windows, or fiberglass windows over wood windows, then chances are this question has crossed your mind. Homeowners who previously had blinds installed inside of their old windows worry that drilling holes in the jamb of their new high-efficiency windows will affect their functionality or even worse, void their warranty. Thankfully both of these worries are unfounded. Vinyl, while lightweight, is an incredibly strong and durable material so drilling a few holes to hoist a set of blinds will be no different than drilling into a wooden component. The warranty is not affected as the integrity of the window was not affected and no change was made to the unit. What you need to keep in mind is that if you ever decide to get rid of the blinds, you will not be able to replace the jambs free of charge.
Do I need to do anything to maintain vinyl windows?
In the process of doing research to find the best windows for your replacement project, you considered multiple criteria such as window prices, the energy efficiency of the windows, and their functionality. At some point during that process, you most likely thought of maintenance. In fact, for homeowners making the transition from wood windows or aluminum windows with wood trim, the maintenance question is a big one. Relative to these two materials, vinyl windows are virtually maintenance free. First and foremost you do not need to re-paint them. You also do not need to re-caulk them yourself because chances are your windows company offers an installation warranty which will cover such maintenance for a certain period of time. This only leaves the maintenance of window parts such as closing mechanisms. Made of stainless steel, these components do not need much maintenance, however, a little extra lubrication will only do these windows good. Sliding tracks for single and double hung windows, as well as horizontal sliders, can be lubricated. Crank mechanisms for vinyl casement windows, awning windows, tilt and turn windows and egress windows can be lubricated as well. Vinyl lubricate is the only material that should be used as the use of lubricants such as WD40 will compromise the vinyl.
Will I have condensation on windows now?
The last big question that homeowners have after having their custom windows put in is whether or not they will have condensation. The answer to this question is not altogether obvious and very much depends on each individual property. If the windows that were put in are eco windows, high-efficiency windows, triple pane windows or all of the above, then the likelihood of condensation should definitely be reduced. However, whether you get condensation or not will greatly depend on the amount of humidity inside the home. Sometimes we at Ecoline Windows get calls from homeowners saying that their newly installed have condensation. When we mention humidity, the homeowner says, “I assure you, sir, the humidity in our home is no higher than 50%!”. This is where the issue lies. Energy Star has come up with target humidity levels given a certain outside temperature. At 20 degrees celsius, the humidity inside the home should be between 35 and 40%, if it is at 50% then there will be condensation.At the opposite end of the scale, at minus 20 degrees celsius, Energy Star calls for 15-20% humidity to avoid condensation. To answer the question in a more definite manner, we can say that if the humidity inside your home exceeds the allowed amounts then you will continue to get condensation in all weather conditions. Most of the time, if the humidity inside your home is under control then you will have condensation free windows which will prevent drafts and heat loss. Following these guidelines, however, does not always guarantee that your home will be condensation free. Furthermore, and possibly most important is that a high level of humidity is damaging to your health as it fosters the growth of and spread of mold throughout the house.
What to do if something is wrong with the windows?
Finally, if you ever experience any issues with your new windows or have some concerns about their performance or installation you can always contact your window suppliers. Most window companies will have a call in service line where you can express your concerns. If you got your windows straight from a windows manufacturer it may be a little more difficult to get the units serviced as many issues can be attributed to poor installation. Keep track of your supplier’s service record to be sure that should anything go wrong, you will be covered. Having this knowledge works wonders for your peace of mind.