Invest in High-Performance Window Features

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for Direct from the Designers

All windows should meet certain expectations. They need to be durable and weather resistant to maintain the integrity of your home’s envelope. And no matter your home’s architectural style, you should find products that complement its look. But what if you want or need something more from your windows? Here are some high-performance window features that’ll add value to your home!

Pella Architect Series Windows

Pella® Architect Series® Windows are exceptionally energy efficient—several designs were recognized as ENERGY STAR® Most Efficient products in 2022! With Low-E glass to keep heat inside in the winter and reflect it away in the summer, insulating gas to slow heat transmission through the panes, and insulated frames to prevent leaks, these windows will keep your home comfortable through the years.

Energy Efficiency

Conserving resources is increasingly important, so it’s a good idea to invest in windows that put an emphasis on efficiency. Minimizing the risk of leaks around the frames and heat transfer through the panes will help reduce strain on the HVAC system; your home will be more comfortable in all seasons and you’ll save on utility costs.

What makes a window energy efficient? A few things. First, consider windows of the past—each comprised of a single pane of glass. Heat can easily transfer through a single pane, which is why modern windows are comprised of at least two but often three panes now. An air gap modestly improves insulation, but special insulating gasses like argon slow heat transfer much more. Next, the glass itself also affects energy efficiency; special glazes are used to absorb or reflect the sun’s heat depending on your region and the season. This is why you’ll see windows for different climate zones. Finally, consider the construction of the window frame. Whether poorly designed, improperly installed, or damaged from expanding and contracting in temperature fluctuations, a bad frame will allow air to leak around the window unit and create drafts. As you can see, you have to invest in the entire window to optimize energy efficiency, so make sure to look for a complete system that checks all the boxes.

Pella Defender Series Windows

Pella® Defender Series™ Windows are made with impact-resistant glass to protect your home even in hurricane conditions. Just close and lock them—you don’t need to board up! A polymer layer reinforces the panes and will prevent the glass from shattering apart even if it takes a direct hit. These windows also block 99.7% of UV rays, so they protect furnishings from fading in the day-to-day, too!

Impact Resistance

If you live in an area that experiences hurricanes, impact-resistant windows may actually be mandated by your local codes. These windows are laminated between the panes—you can’t see this extra layer, but it will effectively keep glass together even if it breaks. Why is this important? One broken window can compromise the whole house in a high-wind event; any breach in the exterior can cause pressure to build up inside and blow out the roof. Due to the very real risk of catastrophic property damage from storms, Florida has the most stringent impact-related requirements, but other areas can benefit from this protection as well.

Impact-resistant windows should be considered up and down the Atlantic coast, even if your municipality doesn’t require them. Hurricanes travel and have been known to hit as far north as Canada; the entire Eastern Seaboard needs to build with that in mind. The West coast and even the Great Lakes also have a history of powerful storms, so it’s no wonder why impact-rated windows are suggested anywhere near water. Of course, the water isn’t the problem—it’s the wind. Some homeowners in Tornado Alley also install impact-resistant windows. While the odds of a devastating tornado hitting your home are lower than a hurricane, many insurance companies offer reduced rates if you build with products that meet higher standards. So, you’ll often benefit from the investment even if your home is never threatened by extreme weather.

Pella Lifestyle Series

Pella® Lifestyle Series Windows offer a variety of performance packages. If you’re particularly concerned about outdoor noise intrusion, opt for the Sound Control or Ultimate Performance package, both of which feature triple-pane construction with a variety of glass thicknesses to disrupt sound waves at different frequencies.

Sound Resistance

Nobody wants to be subjected to the noise outside when they’re in their own homes. If you live in a city, on a busy street, or near an airport or fire station, having sound-resistant windows can make a world of difference. And unlike other types of windows that should be installed throughout the house for optimum performance, you can choose to outfit only key rooms like the office or nursery with noise-dampening windows if you need to stick to a budget.

Sound-resistant windows are constructed similar to energy-efficient windows—in fact, there’s a good amount of overlap in the categories! The more efficient a window, the more sound resistant it usually is as well; the multiple panes and insulating gas that slow heat transfer also dampen sound. So, what’s the difference? Sound-resistant windows are constructed with panes of various thicknesses. Like looking through glasses of different colors can change the colors you see in the environment, the thickness of glass determines how sound waves travel and can change what you hear. Having a variety of pane thicknesses will disrupt more frequencies and let less noise inside. These windows don’t look any different, but the auditory experience is noticeable!

Pella Insynctive Smart Home Technology

Pella® Insynctive® Smart Home Technology makes it possible to check on the status of windows when you aren’t in the room—you can see if they’re open or closed and locked through an app! This nifty tech also lets you raise and lower motorized integrated blinds remotely, so there’s no need to get up. The sensors that make this possible are hidden in the frames to keep views clear, too.

Smart Home Capability

Everything’s about being connected these days! If you want to build a smart home with intelligent windows, make sure to plan for them from the beginning. Windows with sensors in the frames can tell you through an app if they are open or closed and locked, so you don’t have to go around checking the whole house. If you want to be able to control blinds or shades remotely, go for the integrated option; motorized blinds and shades can be included between panes of glass, a solution that simplifies cleaning and means you can add light control measures to windows that are out of reach. Keep in mind that not all windows are compatible with this functionality, so if any of this sounds good to you, make sure to communicate that early on.

Whatever sort of windows you’re in the market for, take a look at what Pella® has to offer! With a wide variety of high-performance features and wonderful products for every climate and region, you’re sure to find the window solution that’s perfect for your needs. Schedule a free consultation with an expert or find a local showroom to explore the possibilities!

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