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When it comes to an airtight window, you need two things:

  1. Perfect installation
  2. An impeccably designed window

Here’s How Zen Windows Provides Both

Poorly designed double hung windows are a huge source of air leaks in many Charlotte homes. And that’s really bad news for your energy bills—air infiltration in your windows can run up utility costs in a big way.

In this article, I want to tell you more about air infiltration in double hung windows, how it happens, and why Zen Windows has the most airtight double hung windows in the industry—by a long shot!

First, let’s start with what air infiltration actually is.

Window Air Infiltration 101: What Is Window Air Infiltration?

ENERGY STAR® rates air infiltration of individual windows. You can find this rating on a window’s NFRC label under Air Leakage (AL). Here’s what the label looks like…

NFRC Label Showing AL Rating
NFRC label. I’ve circled the Air Leakage (AL) rating.

The Air Leakage rating measures how much air will enter a room through the product itself (not around the actual frame—I’ll come to that in a second). This rating is expressed as a number between 0.1 and 0.3, with lower numbers being better. The number itself refers to how much air leakage occurs in a window per minute. For example, a window with a 0.23 AL rating will leak air at a rate of 0.23 cubic feet per minute (CFM).

As a rule of thumb: 0.1 is exceptional, 0.2 is pretty good, and 0.3 is average and considered the industry standard.

What Causes Double Hung Windows to Leak Air?

How Air Infiltration Occurs With Double Hung Windows
Air can leak through the sash meeting rail, sash perimeter & sill of a double hung window.

Air infiltration can occur in the actual window or around the frame. Since double hung windows are not fixed (meaning they contain parts that can open and close), there are multiple spots where air infiltration can occur.

Poorly designed double hung windows will leak air because they don’t have the built-in airlocks, weather stripping, and barriers required to stop air from forcing its way into your home. Without these components, air will push between the sash meeting railings and around the perimeter of the sash.

Why Zen Windows Has the Most Airtight Double Hung Windows

The Air Leakage rating on an NFRC label only goes as low as 0.1. That’s unfortunate because it cannot capture how amazingly efficient our vinyl double hung windows are. In fact, our vinyl double hung windows have AL ratings from 0.01 to 0.07!

That’s right. Our vinyl double hung windows are over 10 times more airtight than the NFRC’s best rating.

How? Our windows are specially designed to block air and are packed with weather barriers that go FAR beyond industry standards. These components include:

  • High-density comfort foam
  • Ultra-smart, triple-fin weather stripping
  • Soft-seal straddle gasket
  • Dura Sill’s double-walled sill dam

To put this into perspective, consider this:

  • WOOD double hung windows from brands like Pella, Marvin, and Andersen have an average AL rating of 0.23. This means our vinyl double hung windows are 23 times more airtight. In other words, just one wood double hung window leaks the same amount of air as 23 of our vinyl double hung windows.
  • The best VINYL double hung windows from “big-name” brands like Alside, Simonton, and Champion have an AL rating of about 0.15. This makes OUR vinyl double hung windows 15 times more airtight.

How Does Installation Contribute to Window Air Leakage?

As previously stated, the AL rating measures only the proficiency of the window itself. It does not take into account potential air leakage around the frame. And even the best vinyl double hung windows in the world will leak air if they are not properly installed.

In fact, windows WILL leak air if:

  • The installation is crooked.
  • The opening for the window isn’t cut PERFECTLY
  • The sill flashing is done wrong.

This is why it’s best to go with a professional, well-reviewed window company, like Zen Windows North Carolina, to install your double hung windows in Charlotte. Here are a few things to consider when researching window companies:

  1. Do they have plenty of reviews and customer references?
  2. Does their website contain an ample number of project photos, so you can get a sense of their work?
  3. How long is the company’s warranty? Does it include both labor and materials, and is it free from fine print?
  4. Does the company have the proper liability insurance?
  5. Is the owner easily accessible if you have questions? Are they actively involved to ensure the highest-quality installation?

At Zen Windows Carolina, our no-deposit promise GUARANTEES you the absolute best installation. Why? You don’t pay us a dime until we’ve installed your windows and you are 100% satisfied!

To find out more about our industry-leading windows or to get your FREE quote for replacement windows, call Zen Windows at (704) 980-0057 in Charlotte or (336) 600-0096 in Greensboro. You can also contact us online now!

For more reasons why we’re Charlotte’s go-to company for vinyl double hung windows, explore the links below:

  • Free, zero-hassle 100% accurate quotes
  • A stress-free, zen-like window shopping and installation process
  • Our hands-on owner who is committed to providing first-class service and products
  • Flexible financing

Thank you!

Brian Zimmerman