One would assume if you have updated your old windows, from say single pane windows to an EnergyStar double pane low e and argon gas window, they should be performing well right?
Not necessarily! For instance, York Home Performance performed an audit in East York, Pa recently and found exactly that, new windows that were performing poorly. The homeowner had the audit performed to help gain a perspective of why his new windows, that had been replaced just 2 years ago, still felt cold and drafty. Why were they failing you may wonder?
The short answer, the windows were not installed properly. During the thermal imaging scan of the home it was clear that the contractor who installed these windows failed these homeowners. The windows were not air sealed around the rough opening. The window was level, plumb, and opened and closed with ease. The mistake came during the finishing stages. The contractor had sporadically shoved fiberglass insulation into the rough opening. They then proceeded to wrap the exterior in aluminum, and place shoe molding on the interior to cover the holes and nailed it to the trim. It looked great, but leaked like a civ. In fact, the new windows, leaked worse than the old windows.
Remember, the window will always be smaller than the hole that it goes in, this is what is revered to as the rough cut out or rough opening. When installing windows, making sure that the rough cut outs are air tight is one of the most important factors. The contractor at this home thought that if he put fiberglass insulation in that would be sufficient. Wrong! Fiberglass insulation will not stop air flow. Fiberglass insulation in porous, and therefore, should not be used to stop air. Low expansion spray foam was manufactured for this specific reason, which is why we use low expansion spray foam on every window we install.
We helped this local homeowner without much hassle. We had to gently remove the shoe molding, and take out the fiberglass batt insulation. We proceeded to use low expansion spray foam to completely air seal and insulate the windows. We then put the shoe molding back on and re-caulked the interior. They now looked, operated and performed very well.
Avoid these types of mistakes by having your new Energystar window installed by York Home Performance. We make sure that your windows look good, operate effectively and perform efficiently.
Before you break the bank, have an Energy Audit performed!