We discussed current window technologies and how they are used to improve energy efficiency in the first two parts. Now, we will close the series with a discussion of the process integral to harnessing the advantages of those technologies: proper installation. Installing high quality windows that have all the performance ratings you need can produce significant energy savings and help keep you comfortable in your home. But if the right window is installed incorrectly, energy savings will be negligible – and you run the additional risks of possible damage to the home.
Proper installation, with careful measurement, assembly, inspection, and certification, ensures the best fit and finish for the job. In this aspect, homeowners will find it best to seek professional help.
An installer needs to understand more than the energy guidelines and take the home’s unique aspects into account in their analysis. Planning ahead and double-checking everything before the windows are installed are important. So are thorough analysis and research, to find a window that meets your home’s exact needs and subsequently prevent these mistakes.
- Overpacked Insulation. Expanding foam or overpacked mineral fiber can distort the frame shame and disrupt the sashes.
- Improper Attachment. Anchors for nails and screws that are not screwed in deep enough or are too short often cause the window frame to sag and may even cause it to pull loose when it’s windy or leak when it’s raining.
- Damage or Loss of Moisture Barrier. The moisture barrier is sometimes compromised when a strip of exterior siding is mistakenly cut to expose the nailing fin and remove the existing window, which allows water to penetrate.
- Window Is Too Big or Too Small. When the window is not fitted properly, the seasonal contraction and expansion of the wall around it will distort the window’s shape and expose the interior of the house to moisture and bad weather.
These are only some of the common mistakes that less experienced installers will face. With the help and guidance of a professional, though, these are all easily avoidable. From choosing which materials suit your home’s microclimate to adding custom grilles to increase curb appeal or custom fit screens for natural ventilation, a wide range of options will open up. And because your new windows are custom made for your home, they will fit better and, therefore, look and perform better.