When it comes to windows, there are a multitude of fenestration types available to choose from. If you are replacing the windows in your home or commercial property you must consider the materials used in the construction of the frame as well as the glazing material itself. By choosing the correct combination of frame material and glazing options most suited for your specific climate you can optimize the performance of your new windows.
Frame Materials | a Wide Range of Fenestration Types
Window manufacturers take a close look at the thermal resistance of the frame when designing new products in an effort to improve the overall efficiency of a window. The frame actually plays an important role of the rating of the window including the U-Factor. While each material has its own unique qualities and benefits, you will discover that when it comes to thermal resistance fiberglass, wood, and vinyl frames outperform metal frames by far. Most composite frames will also perform better than metal frames.
Aluminum or Metal Frames: The advantage of metal frames is that they are strong, light, and virtually maintenance free. The problem is that they also conduct heat very well, meaning they have very little insulating value. In some designs this can be somewhat overcome by inserting a plastic strip between the inside and outside of a split sash.
Fiberglass Frames: One of the benefits of fiberglass is that it has a very low rate of expansion and contraction. Meaning the windows will be dimensionally stable and maintain the tight tolerances for an air-tight fit. In addition, the hollow cavity can be filled with insulation to further enhance the thermal properties of both the frame and sash.
Composite Frames: Composite wood such as laminated lumber or particleboard can be very stable and rot resistant. In general, the windows will have similar thermal values to that of solid wood windows.
Vinyl Frames: The main advantage of vinyl is that it is virtually maintenance free and requires no painting. The newer PVC materials are produced with a UV stabilizer which reduces damage from the sunlight and prolongs the life of the product. Like the fiberglass frames, the cavity in vinyl frames can also be filled with insulation to boost the thermal properties.
Wood Frames: Traditional wood window frames provide good insulation value. The down side with wood is the expansion rate and the routine maintenance required.
Do you want to learn more about fenestration types and what frame material is best suited for your application? Contact, One Source Glass LLC at OneSourceGlass.com or give us a call at (815)-725-7033.