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OTHER/NOT SURE
Select this option if you need multiple types or assistance in determining the best type for your project.

SKYLIGHTS
Allow natural light into top floor rooms such as attics that may not have walls for windows.

AWNING WINDOWS
Like casement windows, they crank out, but the sash opens upward instead of sideways.

STORM WINDOWS Protect older windows against energy inefficiency and are an economical option.

SLIDER/GLIDER
These windows feature a sliding track allowing the sashes to move left and right.

SINGLE HUNG WINDOWS Only the bottom sash opens. The top half of the window is stationary.

DOUBLE HUNG
Both sashes move up and down. Generally both sashes will pop in for easy cleaning.

BAY/BOW WINDOWS Generally protrude out from the exterior wall of a home, creating a wide view and wide window sill inside.

CASEMENT WINDOWS These windows crank out and allow maximum air flow in and out of a home.

BASEMENT EGRESS These maximize light in a basement and are also used for safety.

Some brands our contractors use

Replacement Windows Ratings

Replacement windows ratings help consumers make choices on which ones to buy when replacement projects comes along. There is a wide variety of different ratings systems in place around the country and worldwide. Some of them specifically address scientific analysis of the performance of these windows. And some replacement windows ratings have more to do with the average consumer's experience with a product. Both are totally valid, and both can be very useful used in conjunction with one another to try to figure out which window to buy. On top of these two basic rating systems there is another, less formal mechanism that many buyers use to help them narrow down their purchase decisions outside of replacement window prices. Personal testimony from friends and family also seems to have a great effect on buyers even in the face of contradictory evidence from one of the other two groups.

National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC)

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) is a government appointed agency charged with the task of testing and labeling fenestration products such as windows, doors, and skylights. NFRC ratings deal primarily with windows' energy efficiency. The better a window performs in this category, the better its ratings will be with the NFRC. The best scoring windows are given the Energy Star label.

Energy Star is the name of a program devised by the U.S. federal government to try to encourage and reward companies for producing energy efficient products and consumers for buying them. Energy Star products are the ones of each type that perform the best on certain uniform tests devised by the NFRC. The idea behind the Council is that the creation and administering of these tests to participating products and brands will level the playing field because products of different brand names made by different manufacturers all get tested in exactly the same way according to exactly the same guidelines under exactly the same conditions. Replacement windows ratings adopted by the NFRC are extremely important, then, because windows have to do well on these tests to earn Energy Star certification, an accolade with high public recognition.

Energy Star creates regular opportunities for buyers of replacement windows to save money on the purchase of energy saving products by setting aside certain benefits such as tax credits that are in place from time to time. Replacement windows that qualify can thus potentially save buyers in a number of ways, from energy bill to tax savings.

Consumer Products Rating Groups

Powerful consumer advocacy groups also have a lot of say in replacement windows ratings. They will put these replacement products through their own testing and come out with their own results, which they publicly publish. A replacement window that does poorly in these tests is likely to suffer a sales backlash as a result. The ratings systems in use by these various groups all vary according to the individual group or club, with different groups really looking for different things in their replacement windows ratings.

The Importance of Personal Testimony

But replacement windows ratings are not always that formalized. In fact there is another huge ratings factor that many people put into use when they are choosing a window. This factor is completely off the cuff, unwritten, and unpublished except in informal spoken conversation. Personal testimony is a very important driving force in many product purchase decisions, and it is as true of window buys as it is with any other purchase. These replacement windows ratings might be based on the opinion of a family member who just had a certain brand installed last year. Or they could be based off of the experiences of a distant family member who does window installations as part of his job.

In any case, there is no denying the importance of personal testimony. Even with a ringing endorsement from a powerful consumer group and a nice label from the Energy Star program, a window is unlikely to ever be bought by someone who heard bad things about it from a family member or trusted advisor.

All three of these distinct yet related types of ratings systems hold sway over certain portions of the buying public. Different people put stock in different things. Some folks believe an official organization like the NFRC must know what it is talking about. Others prefer to hear the opinions of someone they know personally. And still others trust the masses, counting on the votes of consumers like themselves and believing in the rightness of the majority.

Replacement windows ratings have some significance with many different groups of consumers. They are one more way to try to choose replacement products for our homes. By getting a look at replacement windows ratings, some consumers feel like they have direct access to the pulse of the people or the buying public.

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