Open Window with Curtain

Old, Outdated Windows

Almost all homes constructed prior to late 1980’s or early 1990’s had single pane windows installed. Single pane windows have been the standard since buildings first started having a hole cut in the side of the building and something put in that hole during winter. In our part of the world the oldest windows we see are wood windows. The frame is made of wood and the panels that hold the glass are made from wood. Wood is actually a good choice for a window frame since it’s a very poor conductor of heat or cold. The early windows were just a single piece of glass. A bit further on we see the wood double hung windows where you have a top panel and a bottom panel. The bottom panel opens upward and the top is supposed to open downward but is almost always painted shut.

New, Dual Pane windows in a customer residence

In about the 1940’s we started seeing metal framed windows, first steel framed casement windows and then, during the housing tract boom, the aluminum frame single pane sliding window was the norm. Millions were installed. In the 1990’s we started seeing the same metal frames but with dual pane glass panels. Dual pane windows were just not very popular until the process of putting two pieces of glass together with a completely dead air space in the middle, with absolutely no air leakage was perfected. Since the aluminum frames were such exceptional conductors of heat and cold, a lot of the good done by having dual pane glass was lost due to the poor performance of the frames.

Effective and Efficient Dual Pane Windows

We are now seeing dual pane window designs that really work as intended. They allow you to see thru them, they are dual pane, and the frames are made from vinyl which blocks heat transfer. Other newer choices are frames made from fiberglass, or in some cases we go back to the original wood frames. The drawback to the fiberglass and wood frames is cost. The new vinyl framed dual pane windows offer an energy efficient option at a reasonable cost. We offer a line of windows that are designed just for a retrofit application. They are made for the exact size of the existing opening and they are installed right over the old frames. When trimmed out with a special Z-Bar trim they appear as if they were installed when the building was constructed. And this process is done in such a way as to usually not require any drywall or siding repair, or in most cases not even any painting. The window is a Milgard Tuscany and has a low U-factor as well as Solar Heat Gain Coefficient and Visible Light Transference numbers that are impressive and meet all energy program guidelines. They also have a lifetime warranty. Check them out.

Want help with your Energy needs? Contact us today!

(707) 485-5158

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  • The initial goal was to locate a local business for a home insulation evaluation. I was quickly put off by the overabundance of outfits that responded to my internet search by interviewing over the phone before providing firms to choose.

    Roger Phelps, Santa Rosa