Shopping for replacement windows can be a nightmare. It doesn’t help that all the critical information you want to know — about energy efficiency, impact resistance, durability, and so on — is delivered in confusing terminology. Looking at an alphabet soup of ratings and abbreviations doesn’t really help clarify how well a given set of windows will perform, unless you know what that alphabet soup means.
Luckily, some manufacturers are beginning to describe replacement window performance in real world terms, using language and examples that actually make sense. Alside Windows, manufacturer of Sheffield Vinyl Replacement Windows, is one of these companies.
For example, Sheffield Windows passed the test referred to as ASTM E 547. That doesn’t tell you a lot, does it? ASTM E 547 is a water resistance rating. In this test, Sheffield Windows resisted water infiltration during a test in which the equivalent of eight inches of rain an hour is blown onto the window at a simulated wind speed of approximately 60 mph.
Let’s put this into perspective. If you have eight inches of rain falling in an hour at your house, you’ve got a problem. Eight inches of rain is more than some locales get in a month, much less an hour. Eight inches of rain in an hour is, at a minimum, flash flood territory. Chances are you’ll be getting out the hip waders and rescuing short dogs from imminent disaster.
Couple eight inches of rain in an hour with 60 mph winds, and things aren’t looking good.
Unless, of course, you’re looking at it through Alside Sheffield Vinyl Windows. These windows are so well built, so well engineered, and are so high performance that they’re able to resist the tremendous force and pressure associated with such extreme conditions.
Water’s only one part of the story. Sheffield Windows were also subjected to and passed the rating test ASTM E 330. What does that mean? It means that Sheffield Vinyl Windows maintained their structural strength and integrity in tests simulating winds of over 155 mph.
How strong is a 155 mph wind? Well, let’s put it this way: no one wants to be hit by a car, but you certainly don’t want to be hit by a car going 155! The wind can be just as powerful.
A wind of 75 mph will damage shrubbery and small trees. A few miles faster, say 100 mph, and you see roofs coming off, major damage to mobile homes, and upended trees.
At this point the Sheffield Vinyl Windows are still holding strong.
Let’s ramp up the storm a bit, to 120 mph. Mobile homes at this point are completely destroyed, flattened like cardboard boxes being stepped on by an elephant. Large trees, hundreds of years old, are uprooted and broken like twigs. Small homes suffer serious damage.
Yet the Sheffield Vinyl Windows remain intact.
Another twenty miles of wind. At 140 mph, the wind is strong enough that shoreline homes are in peril of flooding. The damage is devastating.
But even then — even as the winds reach 155 mph, the same force as a Category Five Hurricane, the Alside Sheffield Vinyl Windows stand up. That’s pretty impressive, considering the unmatched force and fury of a massive storm.
When considering home replacement windows, don’t let the jargon throw you. Ask the sales representative what the terms mean — and to give it to you in real world terms. If they can’t do that the way Alside Sheffield dealers can, you’ll want to move on until you find someone who can.