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Frequently Asked Windows Question

Q: What are windows made of?

Q: What does "cladding" mean?

Q: How often should residential windows be replaced?

Q: What do U-values and R-values really mean?

Q: What does Low E stand for?

Q: How do I know what type of glazing is right for a window?

Q: How do I decide between single-, double- or triple-glazed windows?

Q: Are different grille pattern options available on or between the glass?

Q: What is the difference between Simulated and True Divided Light?

Q: What are grilles?

Q: What other types of grilles are available on windows?

Q: What is an impact resistant glass window?

Q: Who should have impact resistant glass in their homes?
 


Q: What are windows made of?

A: The easy answer is glass, plus a framework of wood, vinyl or composite materials. However, the window industry has many options available to suit any home and lifestyle. Window frames today are offered in vinyl or vinyl-clad (for low maintenance), all wood, aluminum-clad or composites. And there are many types of glazing options available to make windows more energy efficient.

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Q: What does "cladding" mean?

A: Some windows are made of wood and then covered on the exterior and/or interior with another layer, such as aluminum or vinyl. This layer of extra covering (the cladding) gives added protection to the window and strengthens its resistance to outside weather or heavy inside usage.

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Q: How often should residential windows be replaced?

A: Homeowners with windows over 25 years old should consider replacing them, both to gain the best energy efficiencies and to protect the "envelope" of the house. A home is an ideal candidate for a window replacement if its windows are sealed or painted shut, experiences ice buildup or a frosty glaze during the winter, gets fogged with condensation or has drafts that come through the windows.

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Q: What do U-values and R-values really mean?

A: U-Values represent the amount of heat that escapes through a wall, window, roof or other surface. The lower the U-Value, the more energy efficient a material is. R-Values are the direct opposite. These measure an object's resistance to heat flow. The higher a material's R-Value, the lower its U-Value, and the less energy it will lose. An R-Value depends on the number of layers of glass in a window, what type of gas is between those layers, and whether one or more of those layers of glazing have been treated with a Low E coating.

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Q: What does Low E stand for?

A: Low E is a non-visible, microscopic layer of silver coating added to glass for greater energy efficiency and increased comfort. Low E stands for "low emissivity", which is the action of reflecting light passing through glass. By reflecting part of the light spectrum (the part that transmits heat), we reduce a window's U-Value and increase its R-Value.

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Q: How do I know what type of glazing is right for a window?

A: Different climates and styles of homes require different glazing options to maximize their energy efficiency. Some glazing options can also help reduce outdoor traffic noise from entering the home. Options range from single glazed glass, as in historic homes (minimal insulating value), up to R10, which features dual-sealed, triple-insulated glass with two Low E surfaces and two krypton/argon gas-filled insulated airspaces for maximum efficiency.

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Q: How do I decide between single-, double-, or triple-glazed windows?

A: Single-glazing is a single pane of glass and is best used in garages and tool sheds?buildings that don't need to be extremely energy efficient. Double-glazed windows have two panes of glass with either air or a safe, colorless and odorless gas tightly sealed between the panes. When its glass is treated with Low E coating, the window can achieve a value of R5 at the center point of the glass. The most energy efficient window is a triple-glazed window. Gases are sealed between three panes of glass and Low E coatings are applied on two of the panes. This can bring the energy efficiency up to a value of R10 at the center point of the glass.

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Q: Are different grille pattern options available on or between the glass?

A: True divided light, simulated divided light, airspace grilles, and perimeter grilles are available in a variety of styles and patterns. Custom configurations are available, as well.

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Q: What is the difference between Simulated and True Divided Light?

A: True divided lights are individual panes of glass, held together by muntin bars. These windows are similar to those found in colonial times. While they look very much like the windows of yesteryear, with today's technology, these windows are extremely energy efficient and feature insulated glass or insulated Low E2 glazing. Simulated divided light windows use just one piece of glass, but have grilles adhered to the interior and exterior of the window in a variety of decorative options to give the window an overall look of true divided light.  Often available with removable grilles, these windows are easy to clean.

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Q: What are grilles?

A: Grilles are light or pane dividers that form a design partition on a window or door in a decorative pattern.

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Q: What types of grilles are available on windows?

A: Airspace grilles are sealed in the airspace of insulating glass in different designs. That makes the windows easy to clean, because the grilles are sandwiched between the glass. Removable perimeter grilles have easy snap-in designs and allow a homeowner to change the look of their windows. Custom Grilles are also available as removable perimeter grilles and can also be easily installed and removed. 

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Q: What is an impact-resistant glass window?

A: Impact-resistant glass has strong laminated glass interlayers. When combined with an exceptionally strong window frame, this type of window provides homeowners with greater security and protection from storms, flying debris and even the occasional stray golf ball. When struck by something hard and forceful, like a tree branch or softball, the glass resists shattering. In the rare event that an object impacts the glass, the pane may shatter, but it remains held within the frame. This greatly reduces the risk of flying glass, water or debris penetrating into the home.

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Q: Who should have impact-resistant glass in their homes?

A: Homeowners living in coastal areas prone to strong winds and storms, or who live directly on a golf course or in an area where vigorous sports activities take place, should consider impact-resistant glass in their homes. Other homeowners might be interested in the sound reduction and security benefits which impact-resistant glass provides.

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 The Hardwood Company
Main Office: 550 North Main Street
PO Box 126, Granite Falls, NC  28630
Phone: 800-771-5006  Fax: 828-396-8182
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