Let’s go window shopping! Lou Manfredini’s “Window Shopping 101” is a great resource for anyone looking and shopping for new or replacement windows. Covering the differences between window styles and features, Lou Manfredini talks about window performance, energy efficiency, what to look for when choosing windows for your home, and Marvin windows. Windows are critical features of you home, and choosing the right brand, material, and style are some of the most important decisions a homeowner can make. The best windows bring personal style to your home, fill your home with light, and keep the rain, heat, and cold weather outside.

Windows (and doors) are the biggest source of energy loss in your home and account for up to half of your lost heating and cooling. New replacement windows can save you 15-25% on your monthly heating and cooling bills, which for a typical home owner, can be $350-450 a year. Whether you need replacement windows or windows for a new home construction or remodel, take this course on windows and definitely look into Infinity by Marvin for windows with the best performance, durability and beauty.

Lou’s Manfredini’s “Window Shopping 101”: Window Materials

The Most Common Window Materials are vinyl, aluminum, fiberglass, wood, and clad wood. Learning about and comparing these window materials can help you make the best window investment for your home. While all windows are much more energy efficient than they were 10 years ago, the following window material “hierarchy” will help you understand the differences in energy efficiency and performance between each window material. From the least energy efficient to the most energy efficient, here is Lou’s breakdown of window materials:

Vinyl windows are the least energy efficient and least durable window options. Vinyl windows can degrade significantly in 5 years and can fade, warp, and crack over time. While cost effective at the time, vinyl windows do not provide the long-term money return like fiberglass, wood and clad wood windows.

Aluminum windows are more durable than vinyl, but still rank lower on the energy efficiency scale when compared to wood or clad wood windows. In aluminum windows, the metal is a poor insulator from heat and cold (low R-value) and cheaper aluminum windows often do not have a long lasting exterior finish.

Fiberglass windows offer many benefits, and their thermal efficiency is greater than vinyl or pure aluminum windows. Offered in wide range of styles and sizes, fiberglass windows are very durable and their finish resists fading, chalking, or cracking. Fiberglass is also paintable, unlike vinyl.

Wood windows are long lasting and energy efficient, making natural wood and clad wood windows a top choice for Lou Manfredini. Wood windows produce high R-values (better insulation), are unaffected by temperature extremes, and are less prone to condensation. Available in a range of wood species, wood windows can be painted and stained any way. Wood windows do require periodic maintenance, such as painting.

Aluminum clad wood windows, like Marvin windows, have the great benefits and energy efficiency of wood windows but come with a low maintenance exterior. With a clad window, the frame is natural wood but an aluminum covering or cladding is applied snugly over the window’s exterior. On high quality windows, like Marvin, the cladding comes with a commercial grade finish that resists cracking, fading, and scratching. Marvin’s cladding is the thickness of a quarter and meets the toughest AAMA 2605 70% PVDF standard. If you’re considering clad windows, ask about the thickness of the cladding, because all aluminum cladding is not created equal and many other windows use roll form aluminum, which is the thickness of a soda can.

Common Window Shapes:

Double hung windows allow you to adjust either sash and are the most widely used windows in American homes. Choose one that tilts in for easy cleaning.

Casement windows have a crank that can be opened like a book, and they come in different shapes, styles and sizes. Marvin has a casement window that can be pushed out without a crank, as well as a casement window with a wash mode, which allows you to clean the outside of the window from the inside of your home (no more ladders!).

Awning windows are hinged at the top, while the hardware is on the bottom. Cranked open, awning windows allowing airflow from underneath and are perfect for airflow during a light rain.

Round top windows have become very popular, and the arch has been a fundamental design throughout history that you can now bring into your own home.

Customizable window options are available with Marvin windows. Marvin is the industry leader in window options and can bring your one-of-a-kind window to life. Check out CRS Exterior’s full list of Marvin window sizes and shapes here.