Vinyl Windows

Vinyl replacement windows in Chicago are very popular and for good reason.  They do not rot, chip, or peel, and they never need to painted.  As a material, vinyl is also an excellent insulator so they work perfectly in Chicago's climate.

What you will need to be familiar with are the various glass options available as well as a few tips on what to look for and what to stay away from.

Read on and learn more…..


Vinyl Window Basics – Type And Fastening

When it comes to vinyl windows Chicago there are two types of vinyl a window can be made from.  First is pure vinyl which is usually referred to as virgin vinyl and the other type is called regrind which is like a type of recycled vinyl.

Regrind combines pure vinyl with recycled vinyl and other recycled components.  Virgin vinyl, as mentioned before is structurally sound.  It produces a very strong vinyl that should last a lifetime.  Regrind, on the other hand, is less structurally sound and is actually a softer material.

Fortunately, most window manufacturers use windows made entirely of virgin vinyl, but make sure you ask just to clarify.  Your windows should be purchased with the belief they are going to last far longer than you own your home because they should.

Second, let's look at how the corners of the sashes and frame are fastened together….

In this case as well there are two types – mechanical and fusion welded.  A mechanical weld uses screws to fasten one piece of the frame to the other.  A fusion weld is just like a metal weld in that every centimeter of the vinyl is welded together.

That last statement is the key.  With a mechanical weld, the vinyl is not 100% sealed.  The screws only fasten the vinyl right where the screw is set.  Over time this can lead to structural deficiencies in the window.

A fusion weld, on the other hand completely binds the corners of the sash and main frame.  It makes the window much stronger and will help it maintain it's structural integrity for decades.

Once again, fusion welded windows are what most companies provide.  Just make sure you ask if this is not mentioned by the company you choose.  Also, beware of windows advertised at $159 per window including installation as these are almost all inferior products and are likely to use a mechanical fastening.


How A Window Insulates & A Couple Tips

The most important aspect of vinyl windows Chicago is insulation.  We have some brutally cold winters and your windows' primary purpose is to provide protection from that cold in the form of insulation.

The most important part of your window in regard to insulating is the glass.

Now, if you have been shopping or reading about windows at all you have probably heard some fancy names like 'hermetically sealed' or 'thermal-paned insulated glass'.  All the fancy names are fine, but what it boils down to is AIR TIGHT.

That's most important element of your window's glass is that both panes are sealed together so that no outside air penetrates the space between the two pieces of glass.  The chamber of space between the two pieces of glass needs to be impenetrable and is often referred to as 'dead air space'.

Glass by itself does not insulate.  It's actually the dead air space between the glass that does the insulation so if insulation is your primary concern there are a couple steps you should take to ensure you get the most value.

First, make sure that the space between each piece of glass is at least 7/8in.  A simple rule of thumb is the more dead air space the better.

Many windows are made with only 5/8in. space between the glass.  This simply gives less dead air space and when dealing with vinyl windows Chicago, this does not maximize your energy efficiency.

Second, consider adding Argon gas as an energy enhancement to your windows.

Here's why…Argon is a denser gas than Oxygen.

As the cold air transfers through the exterior glass of your window it is going to hit a pocket of dead air space.  If the pocket of dead air space is filled with Argon gas instead of Oxygen, that cold air must make it past a thinker, denser barrier of dead air.

Another gas used less frequently is Krypton gas.  This gas is denser still than Argon and forms an even more impenetrable barrier of dead air.