Upgrading the Windows in Your Home

Home WindowsWhen we had our house built, DR Horton installed the crappiest windows possible. To make matters worse, the windows were installed poorly and rain water leaked down through the walls causing quite a headache. I waited 6 months for them to come out and replace the windows the first time. Well, the second time they leaked I decided to take matters into my own hands. No, I didn’t take them to court. The money I would of spent in court fighting them to replace the crappy windows with the same crappy window was instead used to buy brand new windows. Top quality windows.

After a lot of research, I found a great window made by Champion Windows. Two days after I called to set up an appointment, they came over and gave us a 1.5 hour demonstration, which was actually very cool. One of the tests demonstrated who inefficient our current windows were by using a thermal heat sensing gun. It was 15°F outside and the inside of our windows read 25°F. That’s bad and would explain why water condensed then turned to ice on the inside of our windows during the colder winter months. He then took a can of super cool liquid and sprayed on all over his test window. The thermal gun read 3°F while the inside portion of the window read 64°F. Wow!

For the second test, he pulled out a 300 BTU thermal lamp to simulate the sun (the kind you would find in a bathroom to warm you up). He put a single pane window in front of the lamp and the BTU meter read 280. Virtually no change. He then put a double-pane window in front of the lamp and the meter dropped a bit further to 220. Then he put a triple-pane argon filled window and it dropped considerably to about 120 BTU’s. For the final test, he put the Champion Window in front of the heat lamp and the meter dropped to an amazing 40 BTU’s! I was really impressed. You could barely feel the heat through the window.




For those interested, the specifications on the windows were as follows: Double-pane, argon-filled, vinyl frame, double-glazed Low-E, 0.29 UV, 0.31 SHGC, 0.55 Visible Transmittance, 0.005 Air Infiltration. They also come with a lifetime warranty for anything that goes wrong. And I mean anything. If my son puts a baseball through the window, it’s covered. You only have to pay a $45 service fee, and that’s it.

The windows were a bit pricey. As an example (call them to set up an appointment and take measurements) our 42″x36″ double-slider cost about $1,300. They have specials going on all the time, especially in the winter right around January.

The windows are very well made. They use thick vinyl for solid construction and the interior portion of the frame is foam filled. Both the windows and the screen slide back and forth for easy cleaning and also eliminates the need to remove it. The windows themselves slide very smoothly in their tracks with very little effort. They roll on bearing wheels and don’t simply slide on a vinyl insert.

Since the windows are custom made, it took about 1 month before they were ready. The installers were very nice and did a very thorough job. It took them about 6 hours to install five windows which considering the amount of work involved, was actually pretty good. About half way through the installation, a representative from Champion Windows came by to make sure everything was going OK. We were very impressed.

It’s been about a week since the windows were installed and we have noticed a big difference in our family room. In the past, with the thermostat set at 68°F, the room would get to at most 68°F but would then quickly fall back down to 63°F or lower. With the new windows, the room stays at about 69°F and can hover around 73°F if the rest of the house needs heating. So we are seeing an increase of about 8°F.