In our initial visits with potential customers a phrase we all too often hear is, “If I buy any new Savannah replacement windows, I’ll be better off than I am now, right?” This is a thought process than so many replacement window dealers that advertise almost too good to be true prices feed upon. Unfortunately, these new, cheap home replacement windows, can actually be worse than the old windows that they replace. Interestingly, it’s not just the lower cost suppliers that perpetuate this myth, as we will see.
With a proliferation of vinyl replacement window manufacturers available to choose from (10,000 companies involved in the manufacturing of vinyl replacement windows in North America, and 1,000 vinyl window manufacturers in the United States alone), a Savannah home improvement dealer has choices to make. The reality is that there are very few window dealers in the Savannah marketplace that actually manufacture their own vinyl replacement window product. Thus, your replacement window installer’s choice of product is a great indicator of their true concern for your home.
When it comes to deciding whether you are better off with just any Savannah replacement window there are several items to look at. Frame insulation, air leakage rates, gas fill rates and available low e coatings are common areas where price, on either end of the spectrum, doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be better off with just any new Savannah replacement window.
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Because approximately 95% of the vinyl replacement windows sold in the Savannah area don’t have insulated mainframes, it is easy to assume that an insulated mainframe is overkill and not worth any additional expense. As a matter of fact, that is typically what you will be told by a Savannah window installer that sells vinyl windows without insulation. They tout “hollow core pvc” or “multi chambered pvc” as having more dead air space, a better insulator. Did you know that prior to 1950 our homes exterior walls were “insulated” with dead air space, in other words, nothing at all. Also, to achieve any real energy efficiency without frame insulation requires many dead air spaces. This leads to the bulky, boxy look of so many Savannah replacement windows, as well as contributing to a major loss of glass viewing area as compared to typically wood or metal frames.
If installing new energy efficient replacement windows are what you are trying to do, think about a couple of things. Would you buy a new freezer that wasn’t insulated, no matter what the cost? Secondly, according to several published stories, wood frame windows offer a higher R value than a multi-chambered, or hollow core, pvc window. If you are replacing wood windows, as most Savannah replacement windows do, you are better off keeping what you already have.
When it comes to Savannah replacement windows, frame insulation is not price dependent. While the vast majority of low cost products have bulky, non-insulated mainframes, so of the most well-known window names also choose the “dead air space” route. These windows can cost you as much as $1200 to $1500 an opening. Are you really better off without insulation?
In the next post, we’ll continue exploring this thought process and discuss maybe the biggest culprit when it comes to thinking that any new Savannah replacement window is better than what you already have.