When vinyl construction products first came on the market many consumers were skeptical. How could a plastic be better than wood or metal construction materials? While it is true the older products would warp, yellow, and crack, modern vinyl products have come a long way. This is in part thanks to manufacturers like Milgard, who want nothing but the best for their customers. Today vinyl windows are sturdy, durable, and practically maintenance free.
First, What is Vinyl?
The Milgard vinyl frames are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a construction grade plastic. Each manufacturer has a different compound for their vinyl—a recipe of sorts. Vinyl takes a mixture of fillers, chemicals, pigments, and plasticizers. This combination of materials dictates the long-term characteristics of the material. For example, heat resistance comes from titanium dioxide. And organic tin stops yellowing. Milgard produces their own vinyl to exacting standards in a controlled environment. Their products do not contain any fillers to ensure the final result is a stable, high performance window.
How Do I Know it is Quality Vinyl?
Here are a few things to look for in a top notch product like Milgard vinyl windows in Portland, OR:
You can’t rely on price to determine quality, you need to look at the construction material. Lower quality vinyl often has a polar blue tint to delay the yellowing process. This usually means they didn’t use enough organic tin. Windows with high amounts of titanium dioxide and organic tin will almost always be pure white.
There are two main methods for vinyl window construction: welding or mechanical connections. Fully welded construction is another sign of high quality vinyl windows. For this manufactures take advantage of vinyl’s chemistry. Once the sections of the frame are measured and cut, they heat the mitered corners and assemble the frame. With this method the vinyl molecules interlock, and once it cools, two pieces of vinyl become one. Mechanical joints involve brackets, screws, and caulking. This method does not hold up as well during transport or installation.
You should also be able to take a look at a cross section of the vinyl window. A higher number of empty chambers in varying sizes also points to higher quality. Not only do more edges mean a stronger weld, it also means better insulation and energy efficiency.
Thanks to the National Fenestration Ratings Council (NFRC), you have even more information about energy ratings. You can compare values from product to product. While it doesn’t tell you if the vinyl is quality, it will tell you the U-Factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC). These measurements show you just how well the window reduces heat loss and helps you save energy.
Choosing EnergyGuard for Milgard Vinyl Windows
All Milgard vinyl products undergo rigorous testing to ensure quality and consistency, which is why we stand behind them. With over 40 years of experience in the industry, at EnergyGuard we know a quality product when we see one. Milgard offers superior quality, design, and material options in all their products. Want to check some of them out for yourself? Call us today at 503-554-5500 for a free consultation, no obligation. Or if you are near Portland, OR come see our showroom at 516 E. 2nd St Newberg, OR 97132.