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Homeowners are very aware of energy costs. Hot days in summer and frigid winter temperatures both send utility bills shooting up. Energy efficient windows reduce the loss of heated or cooled indoor air, filter sunlight, and minimize temperature transference. While energy efficiency is a significant concern, but most homeowners consider aesthetics too. Energy efficient windows come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors that enhance a home’s visual appeal.
Vinyl is an inexpensive material, and it does not rot or deteriorate in humid climates. The biggest drawback of vinyl windows has always been a limited selection of colors and styles. SuperCapSR coatings improves the appearance of vinyl frame window exteriors and give homeowners more color options. The technology used to create SuperCapSR color originated from infrared reflective technology developed by the military. It is a co-extruded, thermally fused acrylic coating. The process of coextrusion combines thin layers of material with various functions such as heat resistance and
sealing, cold-resistance, and rigidity or flexibility.
SuperCapSR is a molecularly-fused layer of acrylic color on a window frame’s exterior. The color coating is fused to the window frame in a layer approximately 300% thicker than most paints. It will not crack, chip, or flake
away, and it is 12 times harder and more scratch-resistant than painted vinyl.
SuperCapSR was tested for color fastness after 5 years of weathering exposure in Florida, Arizona, and Kentucky. The American Architectural Manufacturers Association, or AAMA, provides guidelines and performance ratings of construction materials. SuperCapSR meets AAMA 614 color-hold standards, AAMA 615 durability standards, and AAMA 613 color retention standards. Energy efficient windows with SuperCapSR coatings are a low-maintenance option for homeowners in Dallas, TX because the windows never need to be painted or stained.
Vinyl windows in dark colors are susceptible to distortion in hot climates. Distortion warps the shape of the frame so windows are no longer sealed against outside air. Direct sun exposure and high altitude also contribute to distortion. This is a concern in the hot, sunny climate of Dallas, TX. SuperCapSR color reflects 76% of infrared light to prevents distortion and resist fading so colors stay bright and vibrant. It also decreases solar heat build-up inside the home.
The type of glass used in energy efficient windows affects their performance significantly. LoE or Low-E glass has low emissivity. Emissivity describes a material’s ability to radiate heat. Plain glass panes radiate heat from sunlight into a home’s interior during summer and radiate indoor heat to the home’s exterior during winter. Cardinal Low E 366 glass is insulated, so it does not radiate heat or sound. This is a huge benefit on hot summer days in Dallas, TX.
Cardinal Low E 366 glass offers insulating properties that are beneficial in winter weather as well. The surface of most windows is 75% glass. A window’s interior surface temperature affects indoor air temperatures. Energy efficient windows with insulated glass protects the home’s interior from cold temperatures. Insulation also decreases indoor humidity, which is a concern in warm weather in Dallas, TX.
Double-paned Cardinal Low E 366 windows are made from two panes of insulated glass with argon filling. The exterior pane is coated with a triple layer of silver on its inward-facing pane. The silver layer filters solar heat without obstructing the view. The glass also blocks 95% of UV rays to protect furniture, carpets, and curtains from fading. The double-paned windows are Energy-Star rated for all climate zones, and they are available in hurricane-resistant models.
Argon Gas Filler
Argon filler provides more insulation for energy efficient windows than air-filled gaps. Argon gas is more dense and conducts 67% less heat than air. The gas is non-toxic and odorless, so there is no danger if it leaks out. The increased insulation prevents drafts that may occur at windows where indoor and outdoor temperatures meet. It also prevents spikes of warm or cold air, so indoor temperatures remains constant. This relieves demand on heating and cooling systems in Dallas, TX. Argon gas minimizes heat exchange, absorbs UV light, and provides sound-proofing. Energy efficient windows with argon filler are also less prone to condensation and frost.
Gas-filled windows leak gradually at a rate of approximately 1% per year. The National Glass Association stats that gas-filled windows retain their energy efficient characteristics as long as 80% of the gas remains. A window leaking 1% of its gas filler each year is still effective for 20 years. Homeowners can tell when a larger leak has occurred if fog or condensation appears inside the glass panes.
Spacers and Edge Seals
Spacers and edge seals significantly reduce heat loss through double or triple-paned energy efficient windows. The Duraseal warm-edge spacer system contains a spacer, sealant, and dessicants. A warm-edge spacer reduces heat transfer around the insulating glass. It also gives the window a sleek appearance and reduces outdoor noise.
The spacer bar keeps the glass panes at a specific distance from each other. Sealants hold the glass panes and spacer bar together while providing enough flexibility to let the glass move slightly.
Most energy efficient windows with insulating glass units are double-sealed. The first sealant holds the spacer bar and glass panes together. This seal forms a barrier to keep water vapor out and minimize gas leaks between panes. The first seal is frequently made of synthetic rubber. A secondary seal made of silicone or epoxy is placed around the edges of the glass. It also holds the glass panes and spacer bar together and limits excessive movement.
Desiccants in insulated glass units prevent fog and condensation on the interior services of energy efficient windows. Any organic vapor between panes can absorb moisture and leave deposits on the interior glass surface. The deposits impede the view through the window. Desiccants make sure the deposits cannot form, even if water vapor makes it past the seals around multiple panes.