Window repair improves energy efficiency

Looking to improve the energy efficiency of your windows?  Window replacement isn’t always the answer.  Some simple cost saving improvements can be made to your existing wood windows to improve their efficiency without replacing the whole window.

Weatherstripping

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There are two basic styles of weatherstripping that come in many shapes and colors, but serve two simple purposes.  A bulb type weatherstrip is used to provide the thermal seal between the sash and the window frame.  You would typically find this type of weatherstripping along the edge of the frame on a casement window where the sash meets the frame when closed.  A bulb is also used on the top and bottom edges of double hung windows where the sash meets the sill and head jamb.  The other general style of weatherstripping is called a leaf type seal.  You find these typically on the perimeter of a casement sash.  The misconception is this serves as a thermal barrier.  The leaf seal on a casement is referred to as the storm shield.  This is meant to prevent excess wind driven rain, inserts and debris from getting in around the sash.  It doesn’t provide any significant thermal value.

By replacing the bulb type on your windows, you can cut down on drafts around the sash.  Many windows were supplied with a hollow vinyl bulb that flattens out over time.  By simply replacing this with new, it will return the seal to its original performance.  For an even better seal, you can upgrade from the hollow bulb to a foam filled bulb that will take up more space in the gap and create a tighter seal between the jamb/sill and the sash.

 

Glass

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A common issue with aging windows is seal failure.  This is the breakdown of sealant around the perimeter of the glass unit allowing air and moisture to enter in between the panes of glass.  The common misconception here is that there is some sort of gas between the panes of glass.  This is not the case with most windows older than 10 years or so.  The addition of argon or krypton gas is relatively new and still and expensive upgrade.  Prior to that, there is simply dead airspace between the panes of glass creating the thermal barrier.  A couple things to keep in mind when having glass replaced.  Glass is not brand specific.  The IGU, or insulated glass unit is a separate, pre-sealed component of the window that can be removed and replaced with any type of glass unit provided it is the same size and thickness.  This is your opportunity to upgrade the existing glass to newer technology to increase the energy efficiency of your existing windows.  With the evolution of lowE coatings and cool edge spacer technology, you could increase the efficiency of your existing windows by 20-30% without replacing anything but the glass…which had failed and needed to be replaced anyway! Most new glass comes with a warranty too!

When considering upgrading your glass, keep these things in mind.  One, upgrading just one piece of glass on a bank of windows won’t do anything.  You need to replace all of the glass in a set of windows, and even a step further, all of the glass in the room to see any significant improvement.  Also, keep in mind, glass with a lowE coating will have a slight tint compared to basic clear glass.  Now its not “tinted”. By itself you wouldn’t call LowE glass tinted, but next to a window with clear glass on a sunny day, you will notice a difference.  Avoid this by upgrading glass in windows that are directly side by side.  Finally, for the best results, upgrading all of the glass on the south and west exposures of the house is the best way to see and feel an increase in energy efficiency.

If energy efficiency is your primary goal, but your budget isn’t ready for new windows, consider these cost effective window repair ideas to upgrade the windows you have for a fraction of the cost of all new.  There’s an old saying, “They just don’t make them like they used to.”  This is true in many respects.  New window companies push the energy efficiency of their windows.  What they don’t tell you is the technology is in the glass, not the rest of the window.  Its my humble opinion that a traditional wood window is far more attractive and warm feeling in a home than white plastic.  If you had the opportunity to put the same glass technology in your wood window that comes in the new vinyl one, what would you choose?

Visit us at www.fensterUSA.com to order your weatherstripping and sash upgrades today!

16 Comments

  • Sandy
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    i have a home built in 1997 and we used Malta windows. I now have several springs in window frames that are broken. Any chance of you having some replacements?

  • Dilip Kulkarni
    Posted July 5, 2016 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    I have a Pozzi window with a center casement mulled to two fixed sides each of which have two pieces of insulated radius glass in a TDL design. The radius glass units have spots in the interior which mar the look of the window. Is it possible to remove the wood stops of the TDLs to copy the glass profile on to a piece of paper so I can send them to you for replacement? I live in the NYC area.

    Thanks!

    Dilip

    • Posted July 5, 2016 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Dilip, Yes, the glass can be replaced. Unfortunately, we can not get radius shapes. Glass is not brand specific. I recommend having a local glass company handle this for you.

  • Matt
    Posted July 26, 2016 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    I have 1985 Craftline casement windows. I’m looking for the outer weatherstripping that is attached into the grove around each window sash. Do you know which part number I need? The weatherstrip itself is Beige in color.

    Thank you in advance for your help

    • Posted July 26, 2016 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Matt, The only weatherstrip we carry is what is shown on our website on the weatherstrip product page. Thank you.

  • Brian
    Posted July 28, 2016 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Ryan, you mentioned in a post that Fenster had a showroom in the Indy area but I can’t find an address\phone #.

    Would it be possible to get the information and visit your showroom?

  • Stan Schmidt
    Posted September 2, 2016 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    How can I replace the weather strip on the frame of a Caradco casement window? I have pulled off some of the strip but I can not figure how to install the new weather strip. Any thoughts are appreciated.

    • Posted September 3, 2016 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Stan, Maybe I don’t understand what you mean? The weatherstrip fits into a kerf groove. You just push the kerf of the weatherstrip back into it. Are you asking about getting new weatherstrip? All of our stock products are listed on our website, https://www.fensterusa.com.

  • Toby Payne
    Posted October 2, 2016 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    I have a home with Caradco Casement widows & doors.

    Is there anyone you would suggest I contact in the Phoenix Arizona area
    that would be familuar with your products that could help me in maintaining
    them? I have only one with Glass seal leakage. Several with dri rot under the clading
    and a french door that has warped inward at top. Multiple seals shot.

    Toby Payne

    • Posted October 4, 2016 at 12:38 am | Permalink

      Toby, We don’t have many contacts in the southwest, but can certainly help you with replacement sash. Regardless of seal failure or wood rot, we have had great success with our version of Caradco replacement sash. To get the process going, I recommend completing an order request on our website, https://www.fensterusa.com for clad casement sashes. Unfortunately we can’t help with the doors.

  • Marlys
    Posted March 6, 2018 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Do you still sell the vinyl square shape double hung compression jams
    I can not find them on your site to order

    • Posted March 7, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      Marlys, Yes we do. Not sure why you’re not seeing them on our website? We have a product page dedicated to jambliner balance kits. You can order them from there. https://www.fensterusa.com

      • Marlys
        Posted March 7, 2018 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        I found the page with the balance kits ,but did not see any other jams offered
        If you can send the link , much appreciated. Looking for the compression jam liner square opening.
        I would like to know the price including shipping to Utah. Might start with just 1 kit to make sure they work. interior window size 35 X 49. I eventually will need around 14 kits. windows are wood. it is a log house built in 1974

      • Posted March 8, 2018 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        Marlys, here is the link to our product page. https://www.fensterusa.com/double-hung-balance-kits/

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