Window replacement projects are a great way to spruce up your home and improve energy efficiency, but comparing windows can be difficult if you aren't sure what to look for. Quality windows will advertise their Air Leakage Rating, but what is it, and how should you know if a window has a good AL rating? Understanding Air Leakage for windows can help you make the best decision for your window upgrades!
What is Air Leakage and how to understand the rating
Air leakage (also known as Air infiltration) is measured by how much air (in cubic feet) passes through a window in 60 seconds, so you can define exactly how airtight your windows actually are. When finding the air leakage rating, you'll strive for a lower number as this means less air is passing through. You'll find air leakage ratings on the manufacturer label ranging from 0.1-0.3; again, a lower number is ideal. However, size will affect the rating! You should consider the windows’ or replacements' size and compare like-size windows to get an accurate representation of the product.
Measuring the performance of your windows
Heat loss and gain is the primary concern around air leakage, as this is where your energy savings will come into play. If you aren't sure if your windows are performing up to par, try to do a visual inspection. Do you see signs of wear around the framing? Is the caulking of your windows rotting, or does there appear to be any weatherstripping, common in Florida’s humid climate? This will indicate if you should worry about Air Infiltration, and seek professional advice on your windows.
How do you stop Air Leakage in your home?
High-quality windows manufactured with a low AL rating will help with existing air leakage. Vinyl windows are known to have the lowest AL ratings, lower than 0.1. We utilize Energy StormSaver Window—the industry’s best vinyl windows for high-impact, extreme-weather situations. Professional installation that strives for high-quality craftsmanship, such as FHIA, can help deter air infiltration issues that a low-quality install would present. Properly maintaining your windows is also crucial, occasionally checking your windows and performing visual inspections can help you identify any air leakage issues before they become costly.
While Air Infiltration is an essential measure of your windows' energy efficiency, it is not the only one, and there are many factors to consider when replacing or repairing windows. You'll not only want to invest in high-quality windows but also a team that works to avoid common causes of air leakage. Faulty installation will negate the benefits of your replacement product.
Learn more and browse through our replacement window options, and request your free estimate now to get started on your next window replacement project!
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