Window Questions Continued

Question 6: What is Low-E and, how important is it to have it on your windows?

Answer: Low-E stands for low emissivity and is a fairly new advancement in glass technology. Basically, it’s a microscopic, metallic coating—applied to a surface of glass—that reflects and re-radiates heat energy either into or out of a home depending on climate conditions. Using Low- E is an excellent way to increase the energy efficiency of a window.

Question 7: What is the NFRC and what should I know about it?

Answer: NFRC stands for the National Fenestration Rating Council. It’s a program established by the U.S. Department of Energy to help consumers compare window products and options. Window manufacturers participating in the program are required to label every window to its specific thermal performance level. Customers are then ensured that the products they select meet the requirements for their application. Participation in the NFRC program is voluntary. Not all manufacturers participate because it requires outside third party inspection and extensive product testing.

Question 8: Does argon or krypton gas between glass panes really make a difference in energy efficiency?

Answer: For air to insulate well, it needs to be as still as possible because moving air carries energy. Both argon and krypton are heavier than air—so they’re less prone to convection or thermal movement. The bottom line is that heavier-than-air gases offer a higher level of insulation. Both argon and krypton are found naturally in the air you breathe and are completely harmless.

Question 9: How much protection do windows provide against forced entry?

Answer: Generally, not much with typical windows and doors. However there’s a new security concept that’s growing quickly in popularity throughout the U.S. The idea of using special laminated glass, similar to that found in auto windshields, in conjunction with extremely tough vinyl windows and doors. FAS offers exactly this concept in its Impact Glass , which typically take up to 30 powerful hits of a baseball bat before even a small hole is formed. In a real-life scenario, the whole neighborhood would be alerted after about the fifth hit!

Question 10: Can windows and doors reduce outside noise?

Answer: All windows and doors reduce noise to some degree. The best solution, however, is to use a laminated, insulating glass in windows and doors. It provides as much as a 100 percent improvement in sound deadening over other glass types.

Brett Roth 10/10/2009