The science behind heat transfer
Let’s face it. Whether you realize it or not, everybody experiences heat transfer everyday. Here’s one example: Your car is out in the sun and when you get into your car, it’s so hot that you can’t hold onto the steering wheel or touch anything else in the car. That’s because the material that makes up your steering wheel has absorbed the heat from the sun. The steering wheel is hot, which means it’s performing two additional phenomenon: radiance and transfer.
But this article is not about cars. It’s about replacement windows. However, the same science applies.
During the heat of the day, especially here in the hot, humid southern climate of Houston, the sun heats up your old single-pane, aluminum-framed windows. The outside of the window—glass and frame—gets HOT! This heat will transfer into the interior of your home in two ways.
Heat transfer: Why vinyl windows are better
Since the old extruded aluminum frames were just solid, one-piece aluminum, the interior frame was just about as hot as the exterior side facing the sun. By conduction, the entire frame is so hot that it’s difficult to unlock and open the window, similar to the hot steering wheel.
That hot window frame is now transferring heat into the room and other objects (like blinds and shutters) making your air conditioner work overtime.
Radiant heat: Double-pane windows with vinyl frames solves it
The single-pane glass in your old windows is completely ineffective at insulating your home from the heat. Stand in front of the window and you’ll know instantly that it’s just as hot there (if not hotter) than being outside. Single-pane glass allows heat to pass right through and heat up your home. It also transfers heat and adds to the radiant heat coming off the frame. Single-pane glass also allows damaging UV rays to enter the room.
When these window surfaces get hot, they continue to radiate heat even after the sun goes down or is covered by clouds. This process is called solar heat gain.
Vinyl replacement windows: Houston’s solution to better windows
How can you cut down or even eliminate heat transfer and radiant heat from entering through your windows? For Houston’s climate, the solution is vinyl replacement windows.
What makes vinyl replacement windows perform better?
First, vinyl is a superior insulator because heat doesn’t efficiently transfer through it. Think about a hot pan on the stove. Only the bottom of the pan is touching the stove, but the heat is transferring through the metal and into the handle. With a nice vinyl handle on the pan, you can hold it by the handle while stirring your hot food. The same principle applies with vinyl replacement window frames. The sun heats up the exterior side of the frame, but the interior side stays cool. No heat transfer.
Second, the glass unit is a unit of two panes of glass, separated by an insulating spacer. The exterior pane gets hot, but because of the air gap between the panes and the vinyl or butyl rubber-based spacer, the interior pane is insulated from the exterior pane. No heat transfer taking place.
Finally, another element of the IGU is the combination of coatings and gas. Together, they block UV rays from entering the room. This means that not only do your new vinyl replacement windows reflect heat back off the window surface, but they also block carpet-damaging and fabric-fading UV rays.
Now you can stand in front of your windows without sunglasses and enjoy the view without getting overheated. Your air conditioner won’t always be able to compensate for all that radiant heat.
Houston Vinyl Replacement Window Quotes
Houston Window Experts carries almost two dozen different brands of replacement windows. This means that we’re uniquely qualified to tackle any home’s unique window needs. Many other window contractors only specialize in a couple brands—that means less choices and less customer satisfaction.
We offer free, no obligation replacement window quotes with a superior selection of manufacturers and a zero-pressure sales team. You’ll get exactly what you need: a professional consultation with an expert so you can discover your options. That’s Houston Window Experts!