Category: Windows

6 Improvements for Drafty Windows

Wondering what to do about uncomfortable, drafty windows? Looking for an eco-friendly home improvement ideas? Improved window insulation can reduce vulnerabilities in your building envelope, meaning that less of your valuable heat escapes and your windows are more comfortable to sit by.

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Don’t Get Caught With the Wrong Window Frames

Replacement windows can add to the energy efficiency of your home and ensure that your interior living spaces receive adequate light. Most homeowners focus in on the type of glass that will be included in their replacement windows while failing to give enough attention to the selection of the right window frames.

The frames that surround each of the windows in your home serve several important purposes. Window frames offer structure that creates an aesthetic appearance. Since modern windows can be much heavier than their predecessors, frames offer the support needed to keep replacement windows anchored. Frames also serve as a connection point between your home and your replacement windows.

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How to Inspect an Aging Window


When your windows approach the 20-year mark, you should start keeping a closer eye on them for signs that they need replacement. That is not to say your windows won’t last longer than this — many do. However, inspecting them every year or so ensures that signs of wear and damage do not go unnoticed. The following are the five primary questions you should answer when inspecting an aging window.

1. How Many Panes of Glass Does the Window Have?

Look closely at the window, and assess whether each sash has one or two panes of glass. In places like Wisconsin where winters are cold, double-pane windows are now considered standard. However, some older homes still have single-pane windows.

Single-pane windows are much less energy-efficient than double-pane windows. Heat travels very easily through a single pane of glass. Even if your single-pane windows are in decent shape, you may want to have them replaced with double-pane windows. Doing so could save you hundreds of dollars per year on energy.

2. Can You See Condensation Between the Glass?

A little moisture on the inside of a window is not abnormal, especially after a period of high humidity. But if you go to wipe the moisture away and realize it is trapped inside your double-pane glass, you have a problem. Condensation can only form between the glass once a double-pane window’s seals break and the window starts leaking. A leaky window is an inefficient window.

If the window is otherwise in good shape, you may be able to have the leaky glass pane replaced. However, condensation and leaks are usually due to deteriorating window sash material, which makes replacing the window the smarter choice.

3. Can You See Mold or Rot on the Sash or Frame?

With older wooden windows, rotting sashes and frames are the primary concern. Look closely at each sash and frame, making note of any areas where the wood appears chipped, soft, or discolored.

Even if the window is still stable in the moldy or rotten frame, mold presents a health hazard. Plus, mold and rot indicate that moisture is entering through the windows. Fail to replace such windows, and you could end up with water damage to the floor and walls before long.

4. Does the Window Pass the Incense Test?

Air leaks can occur without causing condensation buildup and without distinct mold or rot. The incense test is an easy way to assess whether a window is leaking.

Start by closing all doors and windows in your home. Also, turn off the heat and any fans to ensure there is as little air movement inside the home as possible. Light a stick of incense, and slowly pass it along the borders of your window glass. If the streak of smoke coming from the incense waivers, you have a leak.

5. Does the Window Open, Close, and Lock Easily?

Sometimes a window may look fine, but when you try to operate it, you realize that it does not open, close, or lock properly. If you cannot get a window to close properly, not only will it leak, but it will also present a security risk.

If your windows are newer or are in otherwise good condition, they may just need a few adjustments, lubrication, or a simple repair to get them functioning well again. However, with older windows, poor operation is often a sign of deterioration or warping of the sash material.

If the results of your window inspection suggest your windows are on their last legs, contact Pella. We offer wood, fiberglass, and vinyl windows that will save you energy and look great in your home.

Unusual Window Styles to Use in Your Home

Windows do more than let light into your room, though that’s certainly an important function. The shape and style of the windows also affects the appearance of both the façade and your interior rooms. You may be well-acquainted with standard styles, such as double-hung and casement windows. However, other window configurations can help set your house apart.

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The Practice of Kaizen and Improving Warehouse Processes

The warehouse at Pella Windows & Doors of Wisconsin recently participated in a Kaizen initiative to improve current facility practices for organization and damage prevention. Kaizen, which means making something better in Japanese, is a continuous improvement program for all company processes.

Earlier this year, Pella corporate facilitated the Kaizen event here in Green Bay, WI. The weeklong event was created to reduce product damage throughout the company, from shipping the products directly from Pella, Iowa, to facilities in Wisconsin, and later to the customer. Although Pella currently operates with low damage rates, there are continuous efforts to improve overall customer satisfaction to lessen potential dissatisfiers. For this improvement effort, a four-person crew was tasked with making the changes in the warehouse over a span of only one month.

The Kaizen crew first analyzed how they were receiving parts in Green Bay from corporate to determine where the damage was occurring, whether it was due to the packaging, caused in transit, or by storage practices at the facility. The packaging made it difficult to detect minor damage until the products were unpackaged at the customer project site, proving problematic for installation schedules and timelines. At the Green Bay facility, the task team reviewed how products were handled and stored once delivered, and Pella corporate explored options for improving their packaging. The result was the development of a new racking system to store and protect products. Dedicated areas were created to store specific products in select bins with dividers to prevent the windows and doors from tipping, slipping, or being stacked on one another.

Since implementing the new practices, a Kaizen 30-60-90-120 day follow up procedure was set into place to review and analyze the changes made, ensuring that progress was made. Overall, the desired results were achieved for continuous improvement, and the new methods added an extra level of structure and confidence to daily tasks at the Green Bay facility.

At Pella Windows & Doors of Wisconsin we have a commitment to continuous improvement, to Kaizen, and to providing the best products and services for our customers.

 

-Stephanie Krubsack

Which Window Glass Is Right for Your Home?

When you buy windows, it’s easy to spend a lot of time thinking about the style and the look of the window without giving much thought to the type of glass. The type of glass you choose for your windows can have a significant impact on your satisfaction with your windows as well as your home’s energy efficiency. Knowing the differences between the most popular types of glass on the market can help you pick the right window glass for your needs.  

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Benefits of Getting a Home Energy Assessment in Wisconsin

Wouldn’t it be great to save between 5-30% on your monthly energy bill ? You may feel an opportunity like this is unrealistic, but it’s actually much simpler than you think.

As a homeowner, you probably have heard of home energy audits and how they help determine the amount and frequency of which your home uses energy. A home energy audit, also known as a home energy assessment, can help you understand your home’s energy consumption, and how excessive energy use can be corrected to make your home more efficient.

Why Should You Have a Home Energy Audit?

Have you experienced an unexplained spike in your heating bill lately, or noticed that no matter how high you set your thermostat, it feels like heat is escaping? A home energy assessment can help identify issues that may be negatively affecting the performance, efficiency, and comfort of your home, including:

  • Drafty rooms
  • Continuously running heating & cooling systems
  • Dry indoor air during colder months

Not only is an energy audit helpful in diagnosing energy inefficiencies in your home, it can also pinpoint areas where a bit of home improvement could help save you money in the long run.

Energy Audits Provide Comfort Without the Cost

Midwest winters can be chilly, and any Wisconsin resident would agree that heating bills are quick to rise as temperatures continue to drop. A home energy audit can offer ways to prevent heat from escaping your home, and can also provide you with tips on how you can save more by consuming less energy throughout the year.

Whether you’re a homeowner looking to sell your house in coming months or are trying to find ways to make simple home improvements on a budget, a comprehensive energy audit may help you succeed. When conducting a home energy assessment, an auditor can identify areas in your home where a bit of home improvement can help to:

  • Improve ventilation
  • Promote indoor air quality
  • Reduce interior drafts

Simple home improvements may save you hundreds of dollars in energy bills. For example, installing additional insulation in drafty areas of your home, like the attic or basement can save you between 10%-30% annually on heating and cooling costs.

In older homes especially, insufficient insulation and unsealed doorways can cause drafts in your home. You may notice that one room of your home feels significantly warmer than others, while other areas are downright cold. An energy assessment can help address the cause of temperature variances, such as inadequate insulation or drafty windows, and provide a report with home improvement solutions that can help add comfort to your home.

Schedule Your Home Energy Assessment Today

Are you ready to improve the energy efficiency of your home, all while saving a few extra dollars.

As energy costs rise, the renewable resource program continues to work with residents and businesses to put energy-saving plans into action. The program works with local energy audit companies to offer improvement suggestions and cash incentive opportunities.

Focus on Energy also offers whole-home improvements and heating and cooling assessments for low-income families. For qualification information or to apply, click here.

For more information on scheduling your home energy audit, call (800) 762-7077.

Save Money with ENERGY STAR® Replacement Windows and Doors

ENERGY STAR® is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program that rates and promotes various appliances, equipment, and electronics with exceptional energy efficiency in order to help people and businesses save money while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

To promote the efficiency of your home, Pella products have energy efficient options to be ENERGY STAR® certified. This means our products can help save your home energy while still offering the features you’re looking for. Our windows and doors are designed to withstand the elements outside while keeping your home cozy on the inside.

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