Blackwolf Exteriors installs a wide variety of windows and doors from leading manufacturers. There are many choices, so we recommend an initial consultation to discuss your needs.
Windows and Window Ratings
Modern windows rely on a wide array of technologies to achieve a level of energy efficiency as high as five times that of traditional windows. All that technology can also be confusing. A basic understanding of window terms and ratings should help you in the decision making process.
What is low-emissivity glass?
Low-emissivity glass (or low-e glass as it is commonly referred to) is a type of energy-efficient glass designed to prevent heat escaping through your windows to the cold outdoors. Low-e glass has an invisible coating which dramatically reduces heat transfer and reflects interior heat back into your room.
Unfortunately, many older double glazed units do not contain low-emissivity glass and are therefore not energy-efficient. By replacing your existing window glass with low-e glazing, you can improve the energy efficiency of your home, reduce your monthly bills and decrease the size of your carbon footprint. New windows with low-e glazing units can make your home more than twice as energy-efficient in comparison to older double glazing with no low-e coating.
Low-e glass is essential for rooms or buildings with a high proportion of windows or glass doors, such as conservatories and sun rooms. The use of low-e glazing helps to retain heat, even in winter, allowing you to comfortably use these rooms for more months of the year.
Argon gas-filled windows
Argon is the gas most often used between panes in a double- or triple-glazed window. The gas is colorless and odorless. Argon is denser than the atmosphere, providing more thermal efficiency than having air between the panes.
Other types of gases
Krypton gas is denser than argon, and xenon gas is denser than krypton, providing somewhat more thermal efficiency. Some manufacturers also offer a mixture of two gases. But the incremental benefit of these higher densities doesn’t necessarily justify their prices, as these can be costly upgrades.
What do gas-filled windows offer?
Added energy efficiency is the key benefit to having gas-filled windows. The gas acts as an insulator, working in both summer and winter to keep interiors protected from outside temperatures. Typically, gas infusion is provided in conjunction with applying a low-emissivity (low-E) coating film to the glass panes.
The other key advantage is making people’s homes more comfortable. The low-E coating and gas keep the interior pane of glass closer to the temperature of the interior air, minimizing air currents that are created when different temperatures come into contact. This reduces drafts and cold spots.
U Factor Rating
An organization called the National Fenestration Ratings Council (NFRC) has developed a rating system based on the U factor. The U factor is the rating most homeowners look at first, and for good reason. This rating measures the heat loss that occurs through the window. Most homeowners choose to install thermal replacement windows because of the heat loss that occurs in the winter with their old windows. Most windows now carry this rating so it’s becoming easier to make comparisons between window brands. Generally speaking, windows all have a U factor between 1.3 and .2 (the lower the number, the better).
Window type U factor ratings
- Old metal casement window: 1.3
- Good quality single-pane window: 1.0
- Good single-pane with storm window: .6
- Double-pane with low-E glass: .4
- Triple-pane with low-E glass: .25
More Thermal Replacement Window Ratings
You don’t need to get caught up in a two hour sales pitches that dissects every last technological term, but you don’t necessarily want to run to the simplest answer, either. Many websites will tell you to ignore everything but the U factor. In our cold climate, this may be the most important rating, but it’s not the only one. During warm summer months, the solar heat gain coefficient is also important to your overall window performance.
Here is a brief description of performance ratings that may be important to you:
Air Leakage: This rating measures how much outside air will infiltrate through your window installation. The range is typically between .1 and .3 (the lower the number, the better).
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient: This is the exact opposite of the U factor. It measures the windows heat gain during the summer months. It’s expressed as a number between 0 and 1 (again, the lower the number, the better).
Condensation Resistance: This rating measures the window’s ability to resist the formation of condensation. As ventilation and insulation continue to be geared more toward energy-efficiency, condensation, especially on windows, is becoming more of an issue in homes; in this case, the higher the number, the better.
Visible Transmittance: This window rating has more to do with homeowner preference than superior performance. VT measures the amount of light that is allowed to pass through the window. The higher the number, the more daylight you can expect in your home.
Not sure what you want? Here are the different styles of windows we offer:
What is Energy Star?
ENERGY STAR is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) voluntary program that helps businesses and individuals save money and protect our climate through superior energy efficiency.
Partnerships have been key to its success. Organizations from small school districts to large Fortune 500 companies have embraced the value of ENERGY STAR and made it their own. As of December 2013, families and businesses have realized estimated savings of more than $295 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 2.1 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the past two decades.
What does this mean for you?
ENERGY STAR qualified windows and doors will reduce energy bills up to 15%.
Today, an ENERGY STAR clothes washer uses about 70% less energy and 75% less water than a standard washer 20 years ago. Homes built and certified under the new ENERGY STAR label are at least 15% more efficient than those built as recent as 2009 under the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).
How do you tell if a product is ENERGY STAR qualified? Look for the label. All qualifying products must display the ENERGY STAR information on their product performance label.
Front Entry Doors:
- Fiberglass, Steel & Wood
- Beautifully Crafted
- Energy Efficient
- Easy to Maintain
Benefits of fiberglass
- Fiberglass remains the most advanced material for entryways, able to satisfy homeowners by giving them the look of wood doors and the strength of steel doors, without the compromise of either.
Overhead Garage Doors:
- Raised panel steel or flush panel (windows optional)
- Insulated & non-insulated
- Exterior colors: white, sandtone, almond, brown
- Pre-painted wth baked factory finish
- Wood grain embossing
- Heavy gauge steel
- Carriage house wood and steel
- Decorative hardware
- Removal and disposal of current door
- New track and hardware
- New stop
- New door
- New operator (or attach to existing operator)
- New keypad (optional)
- Two remotes