Window FAQ

Answers to Your Window Questions

Do you have questions concerning any of our window products? Here are a few answers to frequently asked questions. Don’t hesitate to send us your questions. We may even add yours to our list!

 

How can I get more information and literature about your products?

Send us e-mail, or call us at 281-338-8888. A representative will be happy to contact you with additional information.

What causes condensation on windows?

Condensation, or “sweating,” is a natural occurrence on all windows and is caused by excess humidity, or invisible water vapor, present in the air. When this water vapor comes in contact with a surface which is at a cooler temperature, the vapor turns to visible droplets of moisture.

Our windows have many features built in to keep the temperature of the glass as warm as possible to reduce condensation. Insulating glass units provide superior energy efficiency to reduce the potential for condensation, however, there is no such thing as a condensation-free window in high humidity conditions. Controlling the amount of moisture in your home is the most effective action you can take to avoid condensation.

Here are a few tips on reducing the moist air in your home:

  • Use fans in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms to circulate the air.
  • Air out your home frequently by opening doors and windows.
  • Reduce the number of indoor house plants, as plants increase humidity levels.
  • Use a dehumidifier to remove excess humidity from the air.

What are R-values and U-values?

R-value is the resistance a material has to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the resistance of heat transfer.

U-value is the amount of heat transferred through a material. The lower the U-value, the slower the rate of heat flow and the better the insulating quality.

What are AAMA and NFRC standards?

Windows products test data should compare favorably with American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) standards. Our commitment is to provide the best possible thermal, air, water, operating force and structural performance in each of our product lines.

How do vinyl windows compare with windows made from other materials, such as wood and aluminum?

The performance and longevity of vinyl windows compare very favorably to those of other building materials, and vinyl often costs less to produce. Vinyl windows and doors are rapidly capturing a major market share as more builders and homeowners learn about vinyl’s outstanding value and economy.

Long-lasting beauty, low maintenance and excellent thermal efficiency ratings give vinyl windows a winning edge over other types of replacement windows. Vinyl window compound is produced with extra levels of UV inhibitors to help withstand harsh weather conditions, and it is recyclable and environmentally friendly. The color of the vinyl is molded clear through, and will never pit, peel, chalk or require any maintenance other than normal cleaning.

I plan to have windows installed in my new or existing home. How can I be sure the contractor, remodeler or window installer is qualified to install them?

We suggest you ask your contractor, remodeler or window installer for local references, call your local area Builder’s Association, and check with the Better Business Bureau in your area.

What is Low E/Argon-filled glass, and how does it work?

Low E (Emissivity) Glass is glass with a transparent metallic oxide coating applied onto or into a glass surface. The coating allows short-wave energy to pass through, but reflects long-wave infrared energy which improves the U-Value.

Argon Gas is an odorless, colorless, tasteless, nontoxic gas which is six times more dense than air. It is used to replace air between the glass panes to reduce temperature transfer.

How does insulating glass improve the quality of windows and sliding doors?

Insulating glass improves the quality of windows and doors by:

  • Improving the performance of the U and R values of your new windows and doors
  • Reducing condensation
  • Helping keep the heat in and cold out during winter
  • Helping keep the heat out and the cold in during summer

How can I help maintain the quality and beauty of my new windows?

Vinyl windows need very little attention to maintain their beautiful appearance. To learn more about how to maintain the quality and beauty of your new windows, click here.

I selected the brass hardware option for my new windows. How do I maintain the brass hardware’s beautiful appearance?

If properly maintained, the brass hardware on your windows may keep a brilliant luster for years to come. During routine housecleaning, use a dry, clean, soft, cotton cloth to remove dust and dirt from the protective lacquer coating on your brass hardware.

Over time, all brass hardware will eventually develop tarnish. This is when the finish of the protective lacquer coating on your brass hardware begins to breakdown, usually noticed as small dark spots appearing in high contact or wear areas. The rate tarnishing occurs depends on your surrounding environmental conditions. Areas with high levels of automotive and industrial pollutants, ultraviolet rays and salty sea air will produce accelerated levels of tarnishing.

When tarnishing of the hardware reaches an undesirable level, the brass hardware components should be refinished. The following procedures are recommended:

  1. The hardware must be thoroughly cleaned, including removal of all remaining lacquer and other foreign materials. When cleaning the hardware, it should first be removed from the window to avoid any unnecessary damage to the window during the refinishing process. Simonton, makers of the Prism Platinum window line, recommends using fine steel wool (No. 00000) soaked in a light oil or soapy water to keep metal abrasion to a minimum. For tough to clean hardware, try soaking the hardware in a lacquer thinner or paint reducer overnight.
  2. Once the hardware is thoroughly cleaned, you can restore the hardware’s brilliant luster with any commercially available polish.
  3. The refurbished brass surfaces must now be protected. It is impractical to reapply a lacquer coating unless the proper tools and experience are available. Therefore, Truth Hardware recommends several coatings of a quality automobile wax. The finish can then be prolonged with follow-up wax applications.

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