Installation Instructions

AMSCO Windows® in a New Construction Vinyl Stud Frame Application

The following installation instructions given are based upon ASTM E2112 and the AAMA Installer Training and Certification Program Manual RLC-1. These instructions should meet or exceed window installation codes and regulations in your area; however it is the responsibility of the installer installing all products to know his or her own local requirements.

These instructions are given as a guideline and standard for all installers using AMSCO products. Download a copy of the installation instructions below. For any further questions regarding installation of AMSCO products, call AMSCO Windows® at (801)978-5000 or (800)748-4661

Installation Instructions – Vinyl, New Construction

Renaissance New Construction Installation Instructions

OXXO Door Astrigal Installation Guide

 

Replacing Windows

Replacing your windows can feel like a daunting task. Not sure what all is involved? Are you concerned how long it will take? Whether you are a do-it-your-selfer or prefer the red-carpet treatment or anywhere in between, we hope this information will help you make better informed decisions when you plan your window replacement project.

Installation plays a huge factor in the ultimate efficiency of your new windows. A quality installation will ensure your new windows will perform as expected, while poor installation can erase any of the benefits that caused you to replace your windows in the first place. Water is one of the biggest concerns when it comes to window installation.

Installation Methods

The installer should follow the manufacturer’s recommended installation procedures for their product or the InstallationMasters™ guidelines prepared by AAMA. In general though, there are three methods used to replace old windows. Two methods involve tearing out the old window frame and the third method covers your existing window frames. Ask your dealer or installer how they plan to install your new windows. Be sure that you are comfortable with their preferred installation method before you purchase your new replacement windows.

Full Tear Out

During a full tear out, the glass is removed from the old window frame. Next, the exterior material of the home around the window and the house wrap, or weather barrier, is removed or pulled back to expose the nail fin of the window frame. The type of exterior material your home is made of – siding, stucco, brick or wood – will determine how much is removed. The old frame is removed and the new window is installed using the nail fin. The house wrap, or weather barrier, is reapplied following building code guidelines and the siding of the home is replaced or repaired. While a new window can be installed in the opening and secured in about 2-3 hours, it depends on the exterior facade material as to how long the entire replacement process will take.

The benefits to a full tear out are that the new window is secured behind the weather barrier providing the best protection against water infiltration and the home exterior looks as if the new window was the original.

Modified Full Tear Out

Following the example above, after removing the glass the installer will cut off the nail fin around the window frame by using a reciprocating saw. This method allows the installer to remove the frame without having to cut back the house façade material. The old frame is then removed from the opening, leaving the original nail fin and weather barrier in place. The replacement window is installed using either a flush fin frame or a block frame with trim accessories.

The benefit with this method is that the weather barrier on the home is undisturbed. In addition, the façade of the home is kept in tact and the installation time should be less than with the full tear out method.

Covering the Existing Window Frame

When the installation method uses the existing frame, the glass is first removed from the old window. At this point, the old window frame may be trimmed down with a reciprocating saw by removing the lips and tracks that held the existing sash or the frame may be left alone. In either case, the new window is set into place over the existing frame, sealed and secured to the home. This method would use a flush fin window frame that covers the old frame to provide a finished look from the exterior.

The benefits to this method are that the home’s weather barrier is left intact as well as the exterior façade of the home. The installation process is typically shorter than with a full tear out with the average window taking about 2-3 hours to install.

Nail Fin Frame

Flush Fin Frame

Block Frame

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Day of Installation

When the day arrives for your new windows it can be very exciting. Yet it can also be one filled with anxiety. Will they ruin my floors or walls? Will I freeze if they are installing my windows in the middle of winter? Will they damage my landscaping? What kind of mess will they leave me to clean up? All of these are valid concerns, but easily overcome with a little bit of knowledge.

Preparing Your Home

On the day of installation, the installers will arrive and set up their work space. Most dealers will ask that you remove all window coverings including curtain rods and brackets. You should also remove any items on walls adjacent to the windows to be replaced to avoid them falling during installation. Clear all furnishings away from the windows to allow ample space for the installers to work. Some sections of your home will become a temporary construction site. Be sure to keep children and pets away from the work areas to prevent any accidents.

If you have an alarm system, you should notify your alarm company of your installation date. You will need to make arrangements with them to reconnect any sensors. Installers are not trained in alarm systems and will not make any re connections.

Installers Arrive

Once the installers arrive, they will set up a work area either in the yard or driveway. The installers should use a tarp inside and outside the home to minimize any damage to the area during installation. Installers should take precautions when entering your home.

Removing Your Old Window

Installation will be focused on one or two windows at a time. This helps to minimize the extent of heating or cooling loss during the installation. The window is then removed using one of the installation methods outlined above. Once the old window is removed, the opening is cleaned out and prepared to accept the new window.

Installing Your New Window

The new window is inserted into the opening, sealed and secured to the home. The window is finished off by caulking the interior and adding trim as necessary. The exterior façade of the home is replaced if it was removed during the installation. The new window may also be finished off with brickmould or other trim accessories if necessary. A flush fin frame would not require any trim.

Clean Up

After all of the windows are installed for the day, the areas inside and outside the home are cleaned up removing all construction debris. Your old windows will be loaded up and ready to be hauled away to the installer’s facility for recycling and disposal. At this point, your installer should provide you with the option to review and inspect their work and have you sign a customer satisfaction form prior to leaving your home.

Possible Tools Needed

Depending on the particulars of your installation requirements some of the following tools may be used:

    • Hammer
    • Pry Bar
    • Drill
    • Saw (s)
    • Reciprocating Saw
    • Skill Saw
    • Chisel
    • Caulk Gun
    • Utility Knife

Other tools may be required as dictated by the finishing materials used in the construction of the home.

New windows can be one of your homes most attractive features. New windows can provide you with convenient ventilation, ease of use, superior natural light and cleaning convenience not found in older windows. Today, windows come in many shapes and sizes—rectangles, triangles, squares, octagons and even round. The more unique shaped windows usually don’t open, however, but provide a stylish design element and let light into the home.

Windows that open and allow ventilation come in these basic styles:

  • Double or Single-hung windows
  • Sliding windows
  • Casement windows
  • Awning windows

The styles that are most appropriate for your project can depend on a number of factors and which are most important.

  • How you operate the window—slide them up or down, left or right, or manually crank them out
  • How much ventilation is needed
  • What room are they being used in
  • Which look best from the outside
  • The location of the window and the amount of wall space available When code requires windows to be large enough for fire escape (Egress)

Ideally, the style of window should complement the design of your home whether you are remodeling or building new. If you are remodeling and have a home with double-hung windows, look for a replacement window to blend with your existing architecture. If you live in a contemporary ranch with casement windows, then stick with the same style when remodeling. If you plan to remodel in phases, select the style that works best when the project is finally completed.

AMSCO’s windows are typically available in single-hung, double-hung, horizontal sliders, picture windows, awnings and casement styles. You can also special order a wide variety of specialty shapes. Here is a look at the most common window styles and configurations:

Single-hung


Because they open up instead of out, single-hung windows don’t take up exterior space when open. This makes them ideal for areas like adjoining walkways, porches, patios and other high-traffic areas. AMSCO® single-hung windows offer the added security of secure locking, with the exclusive SentryLock available in the Artisan Series or the option of the sturdy cam lock or easy-to-use positive action lock in our other vinyl windows, all built to exceed every industry standard for forced entry. And our high-quality block and tackle balance spring system allows for simple, seamless operation.

Single-hung windows differ from double-hung windows due to the fact that the upper sash is fixed and the lower sash is moveable.

  • Artisan Series features the new SentryLock, an automatic, magnetic-action lock.
  • Studio Series features a cam lock or a positive action lock.
  • Serenity Series features a positive action lock

Single-hung windows are available in the Studio SeriesArtisan Series and Serenity Series

Click on the links listed below for information about other window styles:

Double-hung

Because they open up instead of out, double-hung windows don’t take up exterior space when open. This makes them ideal for areas like adjoining walkways, porches, patios and other high-traffic areas. Double-hung windows look best in more traditional architectural styles such as French, Colonial, Craftsman, Shingle and Victorian.

Double-hung windows differ from single-hung windows due to the fact that both sashes are moveable. In addition, both sashes tilt for easy cleaning.

Available in the ArtisanTM Series and Renaissance® Series only.

Click on the links listed below for information about other window styles:

Fixed Windows

Fixed windows can be used by themselves to provide beautiful, unobstructed views, design accents or to add extra style to a window grouping. Fixed windows can’t be opened.

AMSCO® offers fixed windows in a virtually limitless* variety of standard and custom shapes and sizes in the Studio Series, Artisan™ Series, Serenity™ Series and Renaissance® Series.

*Octagon and Circle shapes available in the Studio Series, Artisan Series and Renaissance Series.

Click on the links listed below for information about other window styles:

Horizontal Slider (single-, double-vent)


Horizontal sliders are available in single-vent or double-vent styles where the vent sash slides along the sill of the window. Horizontal sliders work easily in a wide variety of architectural styles including: Prairie, Tudor, French, Ranch and Contemporary. And because they open and close horizontally they are often used for ventilation and egress purposes.

Double-vent windows are similar to single-vent windows but have two sash that operate on either side of a fixed window. A double-vent window is typically divided up in 1/4 – 1/2 – 1/4 or in equal thirds (1/3 – 1/3 – 1/3).

Our horizontal slider windows offer the added security of the exclusive AMSCO® SentryLock or our cam and positive action locks, all built to exceed every industry standard for forced entry. And our superior-quality adjustable* tandem nylon rollers allow for effortless operation and help line up reveals.

  • Artisan Series features the new SentryLock, an automatic, magnetic-action lock.
  • Studio Series features a cam lock or a positive action lock.
  • Serenity Series features a positive action lock

Single-vent and double-vent windows are available in the Studio SeriesArtisan Series, and Serenity Series

* Adjustable rollers available in the Studio Series and Artisan™ Series only.

Awning Windows

Often used in Ranch, Prairie, French, Tudor and Contemporary architectural styles as well as homes with traditional or double-hung windows. Awning windows can be positioned above or below a window/door to add ventilation and high on walls to add light to a room without sacrificing privacy. When placed in rows or even against other windows, they can create a “wall of light” effect that adds beauty and functionality to a room.

Awning windows are similar to casement windows except they are wider than they are tall and crank open from the bottom towards the top on the outside of the house.

The Encore® locking hardware offers multi-point locking capability. The standard nesting handle folds neatly into itself for a clean appearance that won’t obstruct blinds and shutters. Choose from hardware that is color matched to the window or select from a variety of popular metal finishes inspired from a bygone era, including Oil Rubbed Bronze, Brushed Nickel, Antique Brass and Polished Brass.

Available in the Artisan Series and Renaissance® Series only.

Click on the links listed below for information about other window styles:

 

Casement Windows

With a contemporary look, casement windows work easily in a wide variety of architectural styles including: Prairie, Tudor, French, Ranch and Contemporary. They provide unobstructed views and can be used to direct air flow into your home. And because they crank open on a hinge, they are ideal in awkward spaces such as over sinks and countertops.

The Encore® locking hardware offers multi-point locking capability. The standard nesting handle folds neatly into itself for a clean appearance that won’t obstruct blinds and shutters. Choose from hardware that is color matched to the window or select from a variety of popular metal finishes inspired from a bygone era, including Oil Rubbed Bronze, Brushed Nickel, Antique Brass and Polished Brass.

Available in the ArtisanTM Series and Renaissance® Series only.

Windows Can Account For Up to 30% of Energy Consumed Annually

Windows can be a major source of heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer. The principle energy concerns for windows include U-Value and Solar Heat Gain (SHGC). U-Value measures how well a window prevents heat from escaping the home. Solar heat gain measures how well a window blocks heat from the sun.

These values are expressed as a number between 0 and 1. The lower the value, the better the window is at preventing heat loss or blocking the sun’s heat. Look for these factors when comparing different windows and options. You can find AMSCO’s window Performance measurements on our Web site for each of our product lines.

In warm weather, Low-E glass reflects the sun’s heat and reduces solar heat gain.

In cold weather, Low-E glass reflects the heat back into the home, reducing heat loss.

Window Materials Influence Efficiency

With today’s advanced window systems there are many features to consider when deciding on the right window for your home. Window frames come in different materials and vary in performance. And, because the glass makes up the greatest proportion of area in a window, you should review all of the glass options available—from Low-E coatings and tinted glass to insulated glass units with warm edge spacers.

ENERGY STAR

When it comes to energy conservation, ENERGY STAR is the model program for everything that is energy wise. ENERGYSTAR is a dynamic government/industry partnership that offers businesses and consumers energy-efficient solutions, making it easy to save money while protecting the environment for future generations. AMSCO is proud to be an ENERGY STAR Partner and sells many ENERGY STAR qualified windows and doors.

There are over 40 product categories and thousands of models with the ENERGY STAR label on the market today. Some of the product categories include appliances, heating and cooling, office equipment, lighting, and of course windows, doors and skylights. Be sure to check out all there is to know about ENERGY STAR products at.

Energy Saving Tips

Even if you are not ready to replace your windows just yet, you can still make a difference and conserve energy in many other ways. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Caulk and weatherstrip around windows and doors to seal out any draft
  • Close window coverings in the summer to help block out the sun’s heat and open them in the winter to allow the sun in. Be aware of any excessive heat build-up behind the window coverings so as not to cause damage
  • Repair leaky faucets and toilets promptly
  • Replace high use incandescent lightbulbs with compact fluorescent lightbulbs
  • Use only full loads in dishwashers and your clothes washer
  • Insulate your water heater. Always follow directions carefully when installing an insulation jacket

Internet Resources

ENERGY STAR® – a U.S. Government Website

Efficient Windows Collaborative – Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy in collaboration with the members of the EWC

National Fenestration Rating Council – a non-profit energy performance rating and labeling organization

U.S. Department of Energy – a U.S. Government Web site

With today’s technology, window frame material is constantly evolving. Window frames now come in a variety of materials. Which material suits you best depends on your climate, budget and the look you want to achieve. Here are some of the most common window frame materials on the market today.

Aluminum

Aluminum window frames are easy to maintain and are sometimes less expensive than all other window frame materials. But when it comes to insulation, aluminum windows lose heat – which greatly increases the overall U-factor of a window unit and your energy bill. In cold climates, an aluminum frame can be cold enough to condense moisture or frost the interior surfaces of window frames.

Vinyl

Windows manufactured from vinyl, or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) have become a popular choice for building windows because they are energy efficient, durable, require little maintenance and come in a wide variety of sizes and styles. Vinyl windows are one of the least expensive choices, yet come in a wide range of prices.

Composite

Constructed from a unique alloy of resins, composite windows are gaining popularity due to their superior aesthetics, dimensional stability and resistance to rotting and decay, as well as providing high thermal performance at costs less than wood. The technology involved in composite materials allows for a greater range of exterior colors that will not fade, and often are available with wood veneer interiors; thus providing the beauty of wood without the upkeep.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass is another composite frame material that is fairly new to windows. The manufacturing process involves pulling raw materials through a die using a continuous pulling device. Like other composite materials, fiberglass won’t rot or decay and usually requires only minimal maintenance. However, when fiberglass windows are assembled the fasteners create a fragile joint that must be handled carefully prior to installation. Due to the high cost of manufacturing, fiberglass may only be available in a select set of colors but may also be painted. However, painting fiberglass windows contradicts the low maintenance benefit many find appealing.

Wood

Generally the highest priced option in windows, wood window frames serve as better insulators than aluminum. However, weather can be very damaging to wood requiring them to be painted periodically. Unlike vinyl and composite windows, if not properly protected, they can rot or warp. Some manufacturers address this problem by cladding the exterior of the window with either vinyl or aluminum, which results in an even higher ticket price.

A Word About Energy Efficiency and Frames

When selecting a window material the “K-value” (the amount of heat loss of a particular window material) is an important factor to consider. The lower the K-value for a window material, the better it insulates.

The diagram below illustrates the comparison of K-values for the following window materials:

AMSCO builds its windows and doors using vinyl or composite. See the variety of quality vinyl windows that AMSCO offers, or learn more about AMSCO’s Renaissance® Series composite windows.

Window glass has come a long way since the days when only a single pane of glass sat between you and the elements of nature. There are many more options for today’s windows when it comes to glass. Learning about these different options may take some time, but it will surely pay off in increased comfort and energy savings.

Single-pane Glass

If you owned a gas guzzling 1970 Buick, you would surely want to trade it in with gas prices as they are today. Well, windows with one pane of glass literally suck the energy dollars from the home and offer little in protection from heat and cold. Excessive heat loss in the winter months equates to cold drafts and high utility bills. If you have single pane windows with or without a storm window, consider upgrading your windows with today’s insulated glass systems. Because of the poor efficiency with single pane windows, AMSCO only manufactures windows with two or more glass panes.

Insulated Glass

Insulated glass (IG), a key component for total window performance, offers year-round thermal performance and durability. Insulated glass, also called double glazing, is made up of two panes of glass separated by an air space. The air space provides the insulating value by reducing the transfer of heat flow between the inside and outside. Insulated glass offers several advantages for new construction and replacement window projects, including:

  • Improved condensation resistance
  • Better sound control
  • Increased wind load resistance
  • Glass configuration options to control winter heat loss and summer solar heat gain

Warm-Edge Spacer Technology

The material used to create the air space between the two panes of glass in insulated glass is called the spacer. To reduce heat transfer near the edge of a window, low conductance spacers, or warm-edge spacers, are used. Different technologies exist to keep the edge of the windows warmer, preventing heat loss and reducing condensation around the edges of the window.

AMSCO primarily uses the Intercept® Warm-Edge Spacer System by PPG. Intercept spacers feature a unique, one-piece, tin-plated or stainless steel, U-channel design that creates an effective thermal barrier to help reduce conducted heat loss through the window. The sealed, one-piece design makes Intercept spacers stronger and better at retaining the insulating air than many conventional designs. The U-shaped design allows the spacer to flex with the window during temperature changes instead of the sealant. This reduces sealant failure and loss of insulation ability.

Gas Filled IG Units

In some IG units manufacturers will fill the air space with argon or krypton gas. Argon and krypton gas are less conductive than air, which further reduces the heat transfer between the inside and outside. Argon gas is nontoxic, non-reactive, clear, and odorless. Krypton gas has better thermal performance than argon, but is more expensive to produce. The use of a less conductive gas in IG units has insulating benefits but comes at a higher initial cost.

Clear Glass

Clear glass in a single pane unit allows for the most heat loss or heat gain based on climate. And, it allows the most visible amount of daylight into the room known as visible transmittance (VT). Clear glass in an insulated glass window reduces solar heat gain but has a visible transmittance similar to single pane units with clear glass.

Low-E Glass Coatings

Low-emittance (Low-E) coatings are virtually invisible, metal or metallic oxide layers deposited on a window glass surface in an effort to reduce the Ufactor by suppressing radiated heat flow out the window through the glass. Heat is transferred in a dual paned window by thermal radiation from a warm pane of glass to a cool pane.

In warm weather, Low-E glass reflects the sun’s heat and reduces solar heat gain.

In cold weather, Low-E glass reflects the heat back into the home, reducing heat loss.

The Low-E coating systems blocks a significant amount of this radiant heat transfer, thus lowering the total heat flow through the window. There are different types of Low-E coatings designed to allow for high solar heat gain, moderate solar heat gain and low solar heat gain.

These different options are utilized in different climates of the country. For instance, cold climates, where heating is primarily used, would utilize the high solar heat gain Low-E coatings. This allows more of the suns heat to come through the windows but the Low-E coating helps to prevent heat escaping from the room. By contrast, warm climates, where cooling is primarily used, would want a low solar heat gain Low-E coating to protect the home from the sun’s heat.

Tinted Glass

There are various types of tinted glass such as double glazed with high-performance tinted glass and single glazed with bronze or gray tints. One differentiating factor is how much light is passed through – also known as visible transmittance or VT.

Tinted glass has no effect on the U-factor but reduces solar heat gain which may be beneficial in the summer but a liability in the winter depending on where you live.

Pattern Glass

There are other types of glass available primarily to obscure views while still allowing in light. Different patterns are available to suit almost any style. These glass options are typically used in bathrooms and other rooms where privacy and light is desired.

  • Obscure – A pebble-textured obscure glass that is usually a standard offering
  • Aquatex – Glass that has an obscure scalloped pattern
  • Rain – An obscure glass that gives the illusion of running water down the glass
  • Glue Chip – A translucent glass of fine etched glue texture in random patterns
  • Narrow Reed – A directional type of obscure glass with a vertical parallel reed pattern
  • Hammered – A translucent pattern made to resemble the look of beaten metal
  • Delta Frost – A semi-opaque glass with frosted, raised impressions and clear valleys in a random cracked pattern

Laminated Glass

Laminated glass consists of a tough protective interlayer made of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) bonded together between two panes of glass under heat and pressure. Once sealed together, the glass behaves as a single unit and looks like normal glass. Similar to the glass in car windshields, laminated glass may break upon impact, but the glass fragments tend to adhere to the protective interlayer rather than falling free and potentially causing injury.

Laminated glass is used for safety to deter break-ins and for protection against hurricanes and earthquakes by keeping the broken glass intact within the frame. Laminated glass is also great at reducing sound transmission and is found in airports, museums, schools and libraries to keep out unwanted noise such as from airplanes, heavy machinery and traffic. r

Tempered Glass

To create tempered glass, ordinary glass is heated to around 680 degrees Celsius (1256 degrees Fahrenheit) and then cooled rapidly by blowing air on both sides. This manufacturing process can make the tempered glass up to four times stronger than ordinary glass. When tempered glass breaks, it shatters into small blunt fragments, reducing the risk of serious injury.

Safety codes require tempered glass in all doors (including patio doors) and in windows that are located near doors, bathtubs or showers.

Get informed before you request an estimate

At AMSCO Windows, we feel that providing you with as much knowledge as possible about windows is the best way to a satisfied customer. So before you meet with a windows sales person, arm yourself with these 10 important questions. If they are not prepared to answer these truthfully, you’ll know what to do.

Q1. Are your windows certified by AAMA and NFRC?

Make sure the windows you purchase are certified. The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) has produced standards for vinyl and composite window construction that are certified by independent testing laboratories. These specifications are very technical and deal with issues concerning durability and safety. Windows must be constructed using certified components, such as high quality vinyl or composite material, glass, weather stripping and hardware. For more information on the AAMA standards and what the certification stickers look like, click here.

Windows and doors are also certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). As a non-profit organization, NFRC administers the only independent rating and labeling system for energy performance of windows, doors and skylights. Energy code requirements for windows and other glass products in residential and commercial construction began in the 1970’s. For more information on the NFRC ratings and what the certification labels look like, click here.

All AMSCO windows and doors are certified by AAMA and NFRC. In fact, AMSCO meets or exceeds the criteria involved in the certification process.

Q2. Is your vinyl formulated for the harsh Western climate?

Not all vinyl is formulated the same. Western climates with arid deserts and high altitude where the sun can be more damaging can cause lesser vinyl, or vinyl formulas designed for the East Coast, to yellow or degrade. Lesser quality vinyl allows more of the sun’s UV rays to pass through the vinyl which attacks the chemical properties of the vinyl causing deformation and color shifts.

By using a specific blend of materials, AMSCO’s vinyl is formulated to meet the intense demands of our region. AMSCO uses color-stabilized vinyl to prevent discoloration and keep windows looking new. In addition, AMSCO field-tests all its products for quality in an independent desert testing facility to ensure its vinyl formulation can stand up to the extreme elements of Mother Nature.

Q3. How are your windows assembled?

There are two basic methods for assembling vinyl windows: mechanically fastened and fully welded. Both types of assembly can pass the rigid testing as outlined by the AAMA specifications.

Fully welded construction takes advantage of the chemistry of vinyl. AMSCO’s vinyl windows are mitered and fusion-welded, creating an airtight seal that prevents air and water infiltration.

Mechanically fastened vinyl windows are assembled by using screws, brackets and caulk at the corners of the sash and frames. Because vinyl windows have hollow chambers for energy efficiency there is not a lot of material to hold screws. Connections can loosen or fail during the trip from the factory to your home. And, as we all know, caulking deteriorates over time allowing in air and water, defeating any gains in energy efficiency.

With composite windows, where the frame material has a solid core, AMSCO uses wood-type joinery methods. Mortise-and-tenon sash and tongue-and-groove frame corners provide structural strength emulating the look of a wood window.

Other composite materials, such as fiberglass, require additional support in the corners, known as corner keys, in order to stabilize the window. Extra precaution is needed during transportation and installation to prevent connections in fiberglass from loosening.

Q4. What do you use for your vinyl window reinforcement?

AMSCO uses extruded aluminum reinforcement in all its windows’ meeting rails. When the size of a window is over five feet, additional aluminum reinforcement is used. Some window manufacturers may use steel inserts. However, if the steel is not fully encased, your vinyl windows may actually start to show the rust.

Q5. How many chambers does your vinyl have?

Quality vinyl windows are constructed using frames which have multiple hollow chambers. The different chambers help prevent the passage of heat through the frame. As an exterior chamber is heated, it must overcome the next chamber’s temperature before it can influence the temperature of the following chamber. AMSCO’s vinyl windows are constructed with three or four chambers of varying widths.

Q6. What warranties do you offer?

Warranties can differ greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer. Be sure to ask to see the manufacturer’s warranty for the products you have selected. AMSCO is proud to stand behind its products by offering you a Lifetime Warranty which covers any defects in materials or workmanship for as long as you own your home. For further information on AMSCO’s Limited Lifetime Warranty, click here.

Q7. Are your installers trained or certified?

The money you invest in quality windows can be compromised by poor installation. Poor installation can cause air and water to leak around the windows, make operation of the window difficult to use, prevent locks from engaging and cause weather stripping to not seal properly.

Dealers should follow manufacturers’ recommended installation procedures. Ask your dealer about their installation training program or if they use certified installers. Ask about the program and the company behind any certifications. While other certification programs are available, AMSCO Windows offers certification classes to its dealers through InstallationMasters™, the training program developed by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA).

Q8. Are your installers insured?

As you know, we live in a society where lawsuits are everywhere. Contact your insurance agent prior to your remodeling project and discuss what insurance risk you may be taking on. You may be liable for any injuries occurred on the job or any damage caused to your home during installation. Ask your insurance agent about what levels, if any, of liability and workers compensation insurance coverage your dealer and/or installer should carry.

Ask for copies of the insurance certificates from your dealer/installers to prove coverage and get all promises in writing. If your window dealer relies on sub-contractors for the installation make sure that they are covered under the dealers’ insurance or prove that they have their own insurance.

Q9. How long will it take for my windows to arrive?

The length of time from order to finished installation includes many variables. This timeframe could take anywhere from 2 weeks to 12 weeks depending upon the complexity of your order, inclement weather, installation lead times, etc. Your dealer should provide you with a typical timeline that you are comfortable with and agree to.

A typical process starts with your signed agreement with the dealer. Your order is then sent to the window manufacturer to build your windows. The manufacturer builds and then ships your windows to your dealer. Upon arrival, your dealer will schedule your installation date.

AMSCO is proud to offer one of the best lead times in the industry when it comes to building windows. AMSCO’s highly efficient manufacturing facility will build and ship your windows to your dealer in a timely manner that won’t negatively impact your overall timeline provided by your dealer. From order entry in AMSCO’s production system to ready-to-ship—can take as little as 5 business days. Some dealers will pick up your windows at our will-call dock while others may receive an AMSCO truck daily or weekly.

Q10. How long will it take to install my windows?

A typical AMSCO window can be installed in about 2-3 hours. However, it depends on the installation method, the extent of any prep work and finish work around the windows as to how long your installation project will take.

Your home is your canvas. So let its true beauty shine through with windows that complement and enhance the work of art you call home.

At AMSCO, we offer a wide selection of premium vinyl windows, cutting-edge composite windows and innovative sound control windows that help you realize your vision.

AMSCO Vinyl Windows

If you’re looking for a broad selection of high-quality vinyl windows, you’ve come to the right place. We invite you to learn more about our complete line of quality vinyl windows.

Studio Series: Added Strength and Durability

With the new Studio Series, AMSCO combines energy efficiency, sturdy design and good looks into a budget-friendly vinyl window. With clean lines, large 3-inch frames, and energy-saving CōzE glass standard, these windows are ideal for homeowners who are looking for the perfect mix of performance and style. Choose from a number of options, styles and colors to create the perfect fit.

Artisan Series: the Pinnacle of Performance and Appearance

The new Artisan Series is our top-of-the-line vinyl window product. It offers the very best in aesthetics, efficiency and durability. A 3 1/4-inch frame is perfect for retrofit applications and new construction projects. The exclusive SuperCapSR® color technology is far superior to paint providing a durable surface that resists scratching and color fading. And, with a wide range of color, grid and hardware options, the Artisan Series gives you the flexibility to enhance the appearance and efficiency of any room in your home. The new exclusive SentryLock hardware with its automatic magnetic-action lock is featured on the Artisan Series’ sliders and hung window styles. The SentryLock adds discrete and attractive security for the ultimate vinyl window experience.

AMSCO Composite Windows

The dawn of a new era in windows has arrived, and it’s guaranteed to change the way you think about windows in your home. With the new composite windows from AMSCO, you can now have the elegant beauty of wood without the upkeep.

Renaissance® Series: Once You See it, Wood Starts to Lose its Luster

Our Renaissance Series composite windows are made from a proprietary composite formulation extruded for strength and covered with an acrylic capstock for durability. It’s also what makes our composite windows superior to any others on the market. Unlike wood, Renaissance Series composite windows withstand even the harshest conditions year after year without the extensive maintenance that wood requires.

AMSCO Sound Control Windows

AMSCO’s sound control windows are specifically engineered to reduce unwanted noise and for superior energy efficiency. With Serenity™ Series, homeowners can significantly reduce the level of noise entering their home and achieve greater energy efficiency at the same time.

Serenity Series: Reduce Noise, Save Energy, Enjoy Peace of Mind

If you want the best in sound control and energy performance look not further than our Serenity Series sound control windows. Designed with STC ratings from 40 to 47 to reduce noise, Serenity Series features the same premium vinyl material used in our other vinyl products and quality craftsmanship you’ve come to expect from AMSCO. And, when it comes to energy performance, Serenity Series has earned the right to carry the ENERGY STAR® label. In fact, when combined with Low-E insulated glass, Serenity Series far exceeds ENERGY STAR rating specifications. So rest easy and comfortably with AMSCO’s new Serenity Series sound control windows.

AMSCO Windows strives to provide you with the most up-to-date information available. If you have a question that is not addressed in one of our Windows 101 Chapters or elsewhere on our site, let us know. We’ll research your question, call in our experts from every department and respond to you in a timely manner. So, send us your questions. You never know, your question could become the next chapter in Windows 101.

Have a question? You may find the answer in our FAQ. Or you can contact us.

+ Overview

Replacing your windows can feel like a daunting task. Not sure what all is involved? Are you concerned how long it will take? Whether you are a do-it-your-selfer or prefer the red-carpet treatment or anywhere in between, we hope this information will help you make better informed decisions when you plan your window replacement project.

Installation plays a huge factor in the ultimate efficiency of your new windows. A quality installation will ensure your new windows will perform as expected, while poor installation can erase any of the benefits that caused you to replace your windows in the first place. Water is one of the biggest concerns when it comes to window installation.

Installation Methods

The installer should follow the manufacturer’s recommended installation procedures for their product or the InstallationMasters™ guidelines prepared by AAMA. In general though, there are three methods used to replace old windows. Two methods involve tearing out the old window frame and the third method covers your existing window frames. Ask your dealer or installer how they plan to install your new windows. Be sure that you are comfortable with their preferred installation method before you purchase your new replacement windows.

Full Tear Out

During a full tear out, the glass is removed from the old window frame. Next, the exterior material of the home around the window and the house wrap, or weather barrier, is removed or pulled back to expose the nail fin of the window frame. The type of exterior material your home is made of – siding, stucco, brick or wood – will determine how much is removed. The old frame is removed and the new window is installed using the nail fin. The house wrap, or weather barrier, is reapplied following building code guidelines and the siding of the home is replaced or repaired. While a new window can be installed in the opening and secured in about 2-3 hours, it depends on the exterior facade material as to how long the entire replacement process will take.

The benefits to a full tear out are that the new window is secured behind the weather barrier providing the best protection against water infiltration and the home exterior looks as if the new window was the original.

Modified Full Tear Out

Following the example above, after removing the glass the installer will cut off the nail fin around the window frame by using a reciprocating saw. This method allows the installer to remove the frame without having to cut back the house façade material. The old frame is then removed from the opening, leaving the original nail fin and weather barrier in place. The replacement window is installed using either a flush fin frame or a block frame with trim accessories.

The benefit with this method is that the weather barrier on the home is undisturbed. In addition, the façade of the home is kept in tact and the installation time should be less than with the full tear out method.

Covering the Existing Window Frame

When the installation method uses the existing frame, the glass is first removed from the old window. At this point, the old window frame may be trimmed down with a reciprocating saw by removing the lips and tracks that held the existing sash or the frame may be left alone. In either case, the new window is set into place over the existing frame, sealed and secured to the home. This method would use a flush fin window frame that covers the old frame to provide a finished look from the exterior.

The benefits to this method are that the home’s weather barrier is left intact as well as the exterior façade of the home. The installation process is typically shorter than with a full tear out with the average window taking about 2-3 hours to install.

Nail Fin Frame

Flush Fin Frame

Block Frame

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Day of Installation

When the day arrives for your new windows it can be very exciting. Yet it can also be one filled with anxiety. Will they ruin my floors or walls? Will I freeze if they are installing my windows in the middle of winter? Will they damage my landscaping? What kind of mess will they leave me to clean up? All of these are valid concerns, but easily overcome with a little bit of knowledge.

Preparing Your Home

On the day of installation, the installers will arrive and set up their work space. Most dealers will ask that you remove all window coverings including curtain rods and brackets. You should also remove any items on walls adjacent to the windows to be replaced to avoid them falling during installation. Clear all furnishings away from the windows to allow ample space for the installers to work. Some sections of your home will become a temporary construction site. Be sure to keep children and pets away from the work areas to prevent any accidents.

If you have an alarm system, you should notify your alarm company of your installation date. You will need to make arrangements with them to reconnect any sensors. Installers are not trained in alarm systems and will not make any re connections.

Installers Arrive

Once the installers arrive, they will set up a work area either in the yard or driveway. The installers should use a tarp inside and outside the home to minimize any damage to the area during installation. Installers should take precautions when entering your home.

Removing Your Old Window

Installation will be focused on one or two windows at a time. This helps to minimize the extent of heating or cooling loss during the installation. The window is then removed using one of the installation methods outlined above. Once the old window is removed, the opening is cleaned out and prepared to accept the new window.

Installing Your New Window

The new window is inserted into the opening, sealed and secured to the home. The window is finished off by caulking the interior and adding trim as necessary. The exterior façade of the home is replaced if it was removed during the installation. The new window may also be finished off with brickmould or other trim accessories if necessary. A flush fin frame would not require any trim.

Clean Up

After all of the windows are installed for the day, the areas inside and outside the home are cleaned up removing all construction debris. Your old windows will be loaded up and ready to be hauled away to the installer’s facility for recycling and disposal. At this point, your installer should provide you with the option to review and inspect their work and have you sign a customer satisfaction form prior to leaving your home.

Possible Tools Needed

Depending on the particulars of your installation requirements some of the following tools may be used:

    • Hammer
    • Pry Bar
    • Drill
    • Saw (s)
    • Reciprocating Saw
    • Skill Saw
    • Chisel
    • Caulk Gun
    • Utility Knife

Other tools may be required as dictated by the finishing materials used in the construction of the home.

+ Window Styles

New windows can be one of your homes most attractive features. New windows can provide you with convenient ventilation, ease of use, superior natural light and cleaning convenience not found in older windows. Today, windows come in many shapes and sizes—rectangles, triangles, squares, octagons and even round. The more unique shaped windows usually don’t open, however, but provide a stylish design element and let light into the home.

Windows that open and allow ventilation come in these basic styles:

  • Double or Single-hung windows
  • Sliding windows
  • Casement windows
  • Awning windows

The styles that are most appropriate for your project can depend on a number of factors and which are most important.

  • How you operate the window—slide them up or down, left or right, or manually crank them out
  • How much ventilation is needed
  • What room are they being used in
  • Which look best from the outside
  • The location of the window and the amount of wall space available When code requires windows to be large enough for fire escape (Egress)

Ideally, the style of window should complement the design of your home whether you are remodeling or building new. If you are remodeling and have a home with double-hung windows, look for a replacement window to blend with your existing architecture. If you live in a contemporary ranch with casement windows, then stick with the same style when remodeling. If you plan to remodel in phases, select the style that works best when the project is finally completed.

AMSCO’s windows are typically available in single-hung, double-hung, horizontal sliders, picture windows, awnings and casement styles. You can also special order a wide variety of specialty shapes. Here is a look at the most common window styles and configurations:

Single-hung


Because they open up instead of out, single-hung windows don’t take up exterior space when open. This makes them ideal for areas like adjoining walkways, porches, patios and other high-traffic areas. AMSCO® single-hung windows offer the added security of secure locking, with the exclusive SentryLock available in the Artisan Series or the option of the sturdy cam lock or easy-to-use positive action lock in our other vinyl windows, all built to exceed every industry standard for forced entry. And our high-quality block and tackle balance spring system allows for simple, seamless operation.

Single-hung windows differ from double-hung windows due to the fact that the upper sash is fixed and the lower sash is moveable.

  • Artisan Series features the new SentryLock, an automatic, magnetic-action lock.
  • Studio Series features a cam lock or a positive action lock.
  • Serenity Series features a positive action lock

Single-hung windows are available in the Studio SeriesArtisan Series and Serenity Series

Click on the links listed below for information about other window styles:

Double-hung

Because they open up instead of out, double-hung windows don’t take up exterior space when open. This makes them ideal for areas like adjoining walkways, porches, patios and other high-traffic areas. Double-hung windows look best in more traditional architectural styles such as French, Colonial, Craftsman, Shingle and Victorian.

Double-hung windows differ from single-hung windows due to the fact that both sashes are moveable. In addition, both sashes tilt for easy cleaning.

Available in the ArtisanTM Series and Renaissance® Series only.

Click on the links listed below for information about other window styles:

Fixed Windows

Fixed windows can be used by themselves to provide beautiful, unobstructed views, design accents or to add extra style to a window grouping. Fixed windows can’t be opened.

AMSCO® offers fixed windows in a virtually limitless* variety of standard and custom shapes and sizes in the Studio Series, Artisan™ Series, Serenity™ Series and Renaissance® Series.

*Octagon and Circle shapes available in the Studio Series, Artisan Series and Renaissance Series.

Click on the links listed below for information about other window styles:

Horizontal Slider (single-, double-vent)


Horizontal sliders are available in single-vent or double-vent styles where the vent sash slides along the sill of the window. Horizontal sliders work easily in a wide variety of architectural styles including: Prairie, Tudor, French, Ranch and Contemporary. And because they open and close horizontally they are often used for ventilation and egress purposes.

Double-vent windows are similar to single-vent windows but have two sash that operate on either side of a fixed window. A double-vent window is typically divided up in 1/4 – 1/2 – 1/4 or in equal thirds (1/3 – 1/3 – 1/3).

Our horizontal slider windows offer the added security of the exclusive AMSCO® SentryLock or our cam and positive action locks, all built to exceed every industry standard for forced entry. And our superior-quality adjustable* tandem nylon rollers allow for effortless operation and help line up reveals.

  • Artisan Series features the new SentryLock, an automatic, magnetic-action lock.
  • Studio Series features a cam lock or a positive action lock.
  • Serenity Series features a positive action lock

Single-vent and double-vent windows are available in the Studio SeriesArtisan Series, and Serenity Series

* Adjustable rollers available in the Studio Series and Artisan™ Series only.

Awning Windows

Often used in Ranch, Prairie, French, Tudor and Contemporary architectural styles as well as homes with traditional or double-hung windows. Awning windows can be positioned above or below a window/door to add ventilation and high on walls to add light to a room without sacrificing privacy. When placed in rows or even against other windows, they can create a “wall of light” effect that adds beauty and functionality to a room.

Awning windows are similar to casement windows except they are wider than they are tall and crank open from the bottom towards the top on the outside of the house.

The Encore® locking hardware offers multi-point locking capability. The standard nesting handle folds neatly into itself for a clean appearance that won’t obstruct blinds and shutters. Choose from hardware that is color matched to the window or select from a variety of popular metal finishes inspired from a bygone era, including Oil Rubbed Bronze, Brushed Nickel, Antique Brass and Polished Brass.

Available in the Artisan Series and Renaissance® Series only.

Click on the links listed below for information about other window styles:

 

Casement Windows

With a contemporary look, casement windows work easily in a wide variety of architectural styles including: Prairie, Tudor, French, Ranch and Contemporary. They provide unobstructed views and can be used to direct air flow into your home. And because they crank open on a hinge, they are ideal in awkward spaces such as over sinks and countertops.

The Encore® locking hardware offers multi-point locking capability. The standard nesting handle folds neatly into itself for a clean appearance that won’t obstruct blinds and shutters. Choose from hardware that is color matched to the window or select from a variety of popular metal finishes inspired from a bygone era, including Oil Rubbed Bronze, Brushed Nickel, Antique Brass and Polished Brass.

Available in the ArtisanTM Series and Renaissance® Series only.

+ Energy Conversation

Windows Can Account For Up to 30% of Energy Consumed Annually

Windows can be a major source of heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer. The principle energy concerns for windows include U-Value and Solar Heat Gain (SHGC). U-Value measures how well a window prevents heat from escaping the home. Solar heat gain measures how well a window blocks heat from the sun.

These values are expressed as a number between 0 and 1. The lower the value, the better the window is at preventing heat loss or blocking the sun’s heat. Look for these factors when comparing different windows and options. You can find AMSCO’s window Performance measurements on our Web site for each of our product lines.

In warm weather, Low-E glass reflects the sun’s heat and reduces solar heat gain.

In cold weather, Low-E glass reflects the heat back into the home, reducing heat loss.

Window Materials Influence Efficiency

With today’s advanced window systems there are many features to consider when deciding on the right window for your home. Window frames come in different materials and vary in performance. And, because the glass makes up the greatest proportion of area in a window, you should review all of the glass options available—from Low-E coatings and tinted glass to insulated glass units with warm edge spacers.

ENERGY STAR

When it comes to energy conservation, ENERGY STAR is the model program for everything that is energy wise. ENERGYSTAR is a dynamic government/industry partnership that offers businesses and consumers energy-efficient solutions, making it easy to save money while protecting the environment for future generations. AMSCO is proud to be an ENERGY STAR Partner and sells many ENERGY STAR qualified windows and doors.

There are over 40 product categories and thousands of models with the ENERGY STAR label on the market today. Some of the product categories include appliances, heating and cooling, office equipment, lighting, and of course windows, doors and skylights. Be sure to check out all there is to know about ENERGY STAR products at.

Energy Saving Tips

Even if you are not ready to replace your windows just yet, you can still make a difference and conserve energy in many other ways. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Caulk and weatherstrip around windows and doors to seal out any draft
  • Close window coverings in the summer to help block out the sun’s heat and open them in the winter to allow the sun in. Be aware of any excessive heat build-up behind the window coverings so as not to cause damage
  • Repair leaky faucets and toilets promptly
  • Replace high use incandescent lightbulbs with compact fluorescent lightbulbs
  • Use only full loads in dishwashers and your clothes washer
  • Insulate your water heater. Always follow directions carefully when installing an insulation jacket

Internet Resources

ENERGY STAR® – a U.S. Government Website

Efficient Windows Collaborative – Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy in collaboration with the members of the EWC

National Fenestration Rating Council – a non-profit energy performance rating and labeling organization

U.S. Department of Energy – a U.S. Government Web site

+ Frame Materials

With today’s technology, window frame material is constantly evolving. Window frames now come in a variety of materials. Which material suits you best depends on your climate, budget and the look you want to achieve. Here are some of the most common window frame materials on the market today.

Aluminum

Aluminum window frames are easy to maintain and are sometimes less expensive than all other window frame materials. But when it comes to insulation, aluminum windows lose heat – which greatly increases the overall U-factor of a window unit and your energy bill. In cold climates, an aluminum frame can be cold enough to condense moisture or frost the interior surfaces of window frames.

Vinyl

Windows manufactured from vinyl, or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) have become a popular choice for building windows because they are energy efficient, durable, require little maintenance and come in a wide variety of sizes and styles. Vinyl windows are one of the least expensive choices, yet come in a wide range of prices.

Composite

Constructed from a unique alloy of resins, composite windows are gaining popularity due to their superior aesthetics, dimensional stability and resistance to rotting and decay, as well as providing high thermal performance at costs less than wood. The technology involved in composite materials allows for a greater range of exterior colors that will not fade, and often are available with wood veneer interiors; thus providing the beauty of wood without the upkeep.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass is another composite frame material that is fairly new to windows. The manufacturing process involves pulling raw materials through a die using a continuous pulling device. Like other composite materials, fiberglass won’t rot or decay and usually requires only minimal maintenance. However, when fiberglass windows are assembled the fasteners create a fragile joint that must be handled carefully prior to installation. Due to the high cost of manufacturing, fiberglass may only be available in a select set of colors but may also be painted. However, painting fiberglass windows contradicts the low maintenance benefit many find appealing.

Wood

Generally the highest priced option in windows, wood window frames serve as better insulators than aluminum. However, weather can be very damaging to wood requiring them to be painted periodically. Unlike vinyl and composite windows, if not properly protected, they can rot or warp. Some manufacturers address this problem by cladding the exterior of the window with either vinyl or aluminum, which results in an even higher ticket price.

A Word About Energy Efficiency and Frames

When selecting a window material the “K-value” (the amount of heat loss of a particular window material) is an important factor to consider. The lower the K-value for a window material, the better it insulates.

The diagram below illustrates the comparison of K-values for the following window materials:

AMSCO builds its windows and doors using vinyl or composite. See the variety of quality vinyl windows that AMSCO offers, or learn more about AMSCO’s Renaissance® Series composite windows.

+ Glass Options

Window glass has come a long way since the days when only a single pane of glass sat between you and the elements of nature. There are many more options for today’s windows when it comes to glass. Learning about these different options may take some time, but it will surely pay off in increased comfort and energy savings.

Single-pane Glass

If you owned a gas guzzling 1970 Buick, you would surely want to trade it in with gas prices as they are today. Well, windows with one pane of glass literally suck the energy dollars from the home and offer little in protection from heat and cold. Excessive heat loss in the winter months equates to cold drafts and high utility bills. If you have single pane windows with or without a storm window, consider upgrading your windows with today’s insulated glass systems. Because of the poor efficiency with single pane windows, AMSCO only manufactures windows with two or more glass panes.

Insulated Glass

Insulated glass (IG), a key component for total window performance, offers year-round thermal performance and durability. Insulated glass, also called double glazing, is made up of two panes of glass separated by an air space. The air space provides the insulating value by reducing the transfer of heat flow between the inside and outside. Insulated glass offers several advantages for new construction and replacement window projects, including:

  • Improved condensation resistance
  • Better sound control
  • Increased wind load resistance
  • Glass configuration options to control winter heat loss and summer solar heat gain

Warm-Edge Spacer Technology

The material used to create the air space between the two panes of glass in insulated glass is called the spacer. To reduce heat transfer near the edge of a window, low conductance spacers, or warm-edge spacers, are used. Different technologies exist to keep the edge of the windows warmer, preventing heat loss and reducing condensation around the edges of the window.

AMSCO primarily uses the Intercept® Warm-Edge Spacer System by PPG. Intercept spacers feature a unique, one-piece, tin-plated or stainless steel, U-channel design that creates an effective thermal barrier to help reduce conducted heat loss through the window. The sealed, one-piece design makes Intercept spacers stronger and better at retaining the insulating air than many conventional designs. The U-shaped design allows the spacer to flex with the window during temperature changes instead of the sealant. This reduces sealant failure and loss of insulation ability.

Gas Filled IG Units

In some IG units manufacturers will fill the air space with argon or krypton gas. Argon and krypton gas are less conductive than air, which further reduces the heat transfer between the inside and outside. Argon gas is nontoxic, non-reactive, clear, and odorless. Krypton gas has better thermal performance than argon, but is more expensive to produce. The use of a less conductive gas in IG units has insulating benefits but comes at a higher initial cost.

Clear Glass

Clear glass in a single pane unit allows for the most heat loss or heat gain based on climate. And, it allows the most visible amount of daylight into the room known as visible transmittance (VT). Clear glass in an insulated glass window reduces solar heat gain but has a visible transmittance similar to single pane units with clear glass.

Low-E Glass Coatings

Low-emittance (Low-E) coatings are virtually invisible, metal or metallic oxide layers deposited on a window glass surface in an effort to reduce the Ufactor by suppressing radiated heat flow out the window through the glass. Heat is transferred in a dual paned window by thermal radiation from a warm pane of glass to a cool pane.

In warm weather, Low-E glass reflects the sun’s heat and reduces solar heat gain.

In cold weather, Low-E glass reflects the heat back into the home, reducing heat loss.

The Low-E coating systems blocks a significant amount of this radiant heat transfer, thus lowering the total heat flow through the window. There are different types of Low-E coatings designed to allow for high solar heat gain, moderate solar heat gain and low solar heat gain.

These different options are utilized in different climates of the country. For instance, cold climates, where heating is primarily used, would utilize the high solar heat gain Low-E coatings. This allows more of the suns heat to come through the windows but the Low-E coating helps to prevent heat escaping from the room. By contrast, warm climates, where cooling is primarily used, would want a low solar heat gain Low-E coating to protect the home from the sun’s heat.

Tinted Glass

There are various types of tinted glass such as double glazed with high-performance tinted glass and single glazed with bronze or gray tints. One differentiating factor is how much light is passed through – also known as visible transmittance or VT.

Tinted glass has no effect on the U-factor but reduces solar heat gain which may be beneficial in the summer but a liability in the winter depending on where you live.

Pattern Glass

There are other types of glass available primarily to obscure views while still allowing in light. Different patterns are available to suit almost any style. These glass options are typically used in bathrooms and other rooms where privacy and light is desired.

  • Obscure – A pebble-textured obscure glass that is usually a standard offering
  • Aquatex – Glass that has an obscure scalloped pattern
  • Rain – An obscure glass that gives the illusion of running water down the glass
  • Glue Chip – A translucent glass of fine etched glue texture in random patterns
  • Narrow Reed – A directional type of obscure glass with a vertical parallel reed pattern
  • Hammered – A translucent pattern made to resemble the look of beaten metal
  • Delta Frost – A semi-opaque glass with frosted, raised impressions and clear valleys in a random cracked pattern

Laminated Glass

Laminated glass consists of a tough protective interlayer made of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) bonded together between two panes of glass under heat and pressure. Once sealed together, the glass behaves as a single unit and looks like normal glass. Similar to the glass in car windshields, laminated glass may break upon impact, but the glass fragments tend to adhere to the protective interlayer rather than falling free and potentially causing injury.

Laminated glass is used for safety to deter break-ins and for protection against hurricanes and earthquakes by keeping the broken glass intact within the frame. Laminated glass is also great at reducing sound transmission and is found in airports, museums, schools and libraries to keep out unwanted noise such as from airplanes, heavy machinery and traffic. r

Tempered Glass

To create tempered glass, ordinary glass is heated to around 680 degrees Celsius (1256 degrees Fahrenheit) and then cooled rapidly by blowing air on both sides. This manufacturing process can make the tempered glass up to four times stronger than ordinary glass. When tempered glass breaks, it shatters into small blunt fragments, reducing the risk of serious injury.

Safety codes require tempered glass in all doors (including patio doors) and in windows that are located near doors, bathtubs or showers.

+ 10 Questions to Ask

Get informed before you request an estimate

At AMSCO Windows, we feel that providing you with as much knowledge as possible about windows is the best way to a satisfied customer. So before you meet with a windows sales person, arm yourself with these 10 important questions. If they are not prepared to answer these truthfully, you’ll know what to do.

Q1. Are your windows certified by AAMA and NFRC?

Make sure the windows you purchase are certified. The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) has produced standards for vinyl and composite window construction that are certified by independent testing laboratories. These specifications are very technical and deal with issues concerning durability and safety. Windows must be constructed using certified components, such as high quality vinyl or composite material, glass, weather stripping and hardware. For more information on the AAMA standards and what the certification stickers look like, click here.

Windows and doors are also certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). As a non-profit organization, NFRC administers the only independent rating and labeling system for energy performance of windows, doors and skylights. Energy code requirements for windows and other glass products in residential and commercial construction began in the 1970’s. For more information on the NFRC ratings and what the certification labels look like, click here.

All AMSCO windows and doors are certified by AAMA and NFRC. In fact, AMSCO meets or exceeds the criteria involved in the certification process.

Q2. Is your vinyl formulated for the harsh Western climate?

Not all vinyl is formulated the same. Western climates with arid deserts and high altitude where the sun can be more damaging can cause lesser vinyl, or vinyl formulas designed for the East Coast, to yellow or degrade. Lesser quality vinyl allows more of the sun’s UV rays to pass through the vinyl which attacks the chemical properties of the vinyl causing deformation and color shifts.

By using a specific blend of materials, AMSCO’s vinyl is formulated to meet the intense demands of our region. AMSCO uses color-stabilized vinyl to prevent discoloration and keep windows looking new. In addition, AMSCO field-tests all its products for quality in an independent desert testing facility to ensure its vinyl formulation can stand up to the extreme elements of Mother Nature.

Q3. How are your windows assembled?

There are two basic methods for assembling vinyl windows: mechanically fastened and fully welded. Both types of assembly can pass the rigid testing as outlined by the AAMA specifications.

Fully welded construction takes advantage of the chemistry of vinyl. AMSCO’s vinyl windows are mitered and fusion-welded, creating an airtight seal that prevents air and water infiltration.

Mechanically fastened vinyl windows are assembled by using screws, brackets and caulk at the corners of the sash and frames. Because vinyl windows have hollow chambers for energy efficiency there is not a lot of material to hold screws. Connections can loosen or fail during the trip from the factory to your home. And, as we all know, caulking deteriorates over time allowing in air and water, defeating any gains in energy efficiency.

With composite windows, where the frame material has a solid core, AMSCO uses wood-type joinery methods. Mortise-and-tenon sash and tongue-and-groove frame corners provide structural strength emulating the look of a wood window.

Other composite materials, such as fiberglass, require additional support in the corners, known as corner keys, in order to stabilize the window. Extra precaution is needed during transportation and installation to prevent connections in fiberglass from loosening.

Q4. What do you use for your vinyl window reinforcement?

AMSCO uses extruded aluminum reinforcement in all its windows’ meeting rails. When the size of a window is over five feet, additional aluminum reinforcement is used. Some window manufacturers may use steel inserts. However, if the steel is not fully encased, your vinyl windows may actually start to show the rust.

Q5. How many chambers does your vinyl have?

Quality vinyl windows are constructed using frames which have multiple hollow chambers. The different chambers help prevent the passage of heat through the frame. As an exterior chamber is heated, it must overcome the next chamber’s temperature before it can influence the temperature of the following chamber. AMSCO’s vinyl windows are constructed with three or four chambers of varying widths.

Q6. What warranties do you offer?

Warranties can differ greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer. Be sure to ask to see the manufacturer’s warranty for the products you have selected. AMSCO is proud to stand behind its products by offering you a Lifetime Warranty which covers any defects in materials or workmanship for as long as you own your home. For further information on AMSCO’s Limited Lifetime Warranty, click here.

Q7. Are your installers trained or certified?

The money you invest in quality windows can be compromised by poor installation. Poor installation can cause air and water to leak around the windows, make operation of the window difficult to use, prevent locks from engaging and cause weather stripping to not seal properly.

Dealers should follow manufacturers’ recommended installation procedures. Ask your dealer about their installation training program or if they use certified installers. Ask about the program and the company behind any certifications. While other certification programs are available, AMSCO Windows offers certification classes to its dealers through InstallationMasters™, the training program developed by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA).

Q8. Are your installers insured?

As you know, we live in a society where lawsuits are everywhere. Contact your insurance agent prior to your remodeling project and discuss what insurance risk you may be taking on. You may be liable for any injuries occurred on the job or any damage caused to your home during installation. Ask your insurance agent about what levels, if any, of liability and workers compensation insurance coverage your dealer and/or installer should carry.

Ask for copies of the insurance certificates from your dealer/installers to prove coverage and get all promises in writing. If your window dealer relies on sub-contractors for the installation make sure that they are covered under the dealers’ insurance or prove that they have their own insurance.

Q9. How long will it take for my windows to arrive?

The length of time from order to finished installation includes many variables. This timeframe could take anywhere from 2 weeks to 12 weeks depending upon the complexity of your order, inclement weather, installation lead times, etc. Your dealer should provide you with a typical timeline that you are comfortable with and agree to.

A typical process starts with your signed agreement with the dealer. Your order is then sent to the window manufacturer to build your windows. The manufacturer builds and then ships your windows to your dealer. Upon arrival, your dealer will schedule your installation date.

AMSCO is proud to offer one of the best lead times in the industry when it comes to building windows. AMSCO’s highly efficient manufacturing facility will build and ship your windows to your dealer in a timely manner that won’t negatively impact your overall timeline provided by your dealer. From order entry in AMSCO’s production system to ready-to-ship—can take as little as 5 business days. Some dealers will pick up your windows at our will-call dock while others may receive an AMSCO truck daily or weekly.

Q10. How long will it take to install my windows?

A typical AMSCO window can be installed in about 2-3 hours. However, it depends on the installation method, the extent of any prep work and finish work around the windows as to how long your installation project will take.

+ Why Choose AMSCO

Your home is your canvas. So let its true beauty shine through with windows that complement and enhance the work of art you call home.

At AMSCO, we offer a wide selection of premium vinyl windows, cutting-edge composite windows and innovative sound control windows that help you realize your vision.

AMSCO Vinyl Windows

If you’re looking for a broad selection of high-quality vinyl windows, you’ve come to the right place. We invite you to learn more about our complete line of quality vinyl windows.

Studio Series: Added Strength and Durability

With the new Studio Series, AMSCO combines energy efficiency, sturdy design and good looks into a budget-friendly vinyl window. With clean lines, large 3-inch frames, and energy-saving CōzE glass standard, these windows are ideal for homeowners who are looking for the perfect mix of performance and style. Choose from a number of options, styles and colors to create the perfect fit.

Artisan Series: the Pinnacle of Performance and Appearance

The new Artisan Series is our top-of-the-line vinyl window product. It offers the very best in aesthetics, efficiency and durability. A 3 1/4-inch frame is perfect for retrofit applications and new construction projects. The exclusive SuperCapSR® color technology is far superior to paint providing a durable surface that resists scratching and color fading. And, with a wide range of color, grid and hardware options, the Artisan Series gives you the flexibility to enhance the appearance and efficiency of any room in your home. The new exclusive SentryLock hardware with its automatic magnetic-action lock is featured on the Artisan Series’ sliders and hung window styles. The SentryLock adds discrete and attractive security for the ultimate vinyl window experience.

AMSCO Composite Windows

The dawn of a new era in windows has arrived, and it’s guaranteed to change the way you think about windows in your home. With the new composite windows from AMSCO, you can now have the elegant beauty of wood without the upkeep.

Renaissance® Series: Once You See it, Wood Starts to Lose its Luster

Our Renaissance Series composite windows are made from a proprietary composite formulation extruded for strength and covered with an acrylic capstock for durability. It’s also what makes our composite windows superior to any others on the market. Unlike wood, Renaissance Series composite windows withstand even the harshest conditions year after year without the extensive maintenance that wood requires.

AMSCO Sound Control Windows

AMSCO’s sound control windows are specifically engineered to reduce unwanted noise and for superior energy efficiency. With Serenity™ Series, homeowners can significantly reduce the level of noise entering their home and achieve greater energy efficiency at the same time.

Serenity Series: Reduce Noise, Save Energy, Enjoy Peace of Mind

If you want the best in sound control and energy performance look not further than our Serenity Series sound control windows. Designed with STC ratings from 40 to 47 to reduce noise, Serenity Series features the same premium vinyl material used in our other vinyl products and quality craftsmanship you’ve come to expect from AMSCO. And, when it comes to energy performance, Serenity Series has earned the right to carry the ENERGY STAR® label. In fact, when combined with Low-E insulated glass, Serenity Series far exceeds ENERGY STAR rating specifications. So rest easy and comfortably with AMSCO’s new Serenity Series sound control windows.

+ Ask a Question

AMSCO Windows strives to provide you with the most up-to-date information available. If you have a question that is not addressed in one of our Windows 101 Chapters or elsewhere on our site, let us know. We’ll research your question, call in our experts from every department and respond to you in a timely manner. So, send us your questions. You never know, your question could become the next chapter in Windows 101.

Have a question? You may find the answer in our FAQ. Or you can contact us.