“It’s amazing,” Jeff Riggle said. “We saw a savings of almost $700 on our fuel oil bill this winter — and the only thing we did differently is replacing the windows.”
Riggle and his wife replaced 15 windows in their home with Alside Sheffield windows, a high end vinyl replacement window. Most of the windows in their home were older aluminum replacement windows, from the seventies. “By and large they were in good shape,” Riggle said, “or at least they appeared to be.” One small kitchen window had a crack in the glass. “We thought that was the extent of the damage, but when we swapped the windows out, we discovered that there was major rot and sill damage. Lots of cold air was coming through what appeared to be solid wood.”
Riggle learned what many homeowners have discovered: windows that appear to be ‘fine’ can still serve as one of the biggest sources of home energy loss. Experts estimate that over 40% of a home’s energy can be lost through windows and doors. Convection, outside air infiltration, conduction and radiation work together to funnel the nice, warm air you enjoy — and pay for — through any vulnerable points into the great outdoors. “The squirrels and chipmunks already have fur coats,” Riggle quipped. “We don’t need to provide them with central heating!”
With energy efficiency being a prime concern for the Riggle family, Sheffield windows became an attractive option. “They feature a multi-chamber design,” Riggle said. “That means more glass. Those chambers trap the dead air, and it acts like insulation in there — you can’t see it, but it keeps you warmer.”
Sheffield windows have other components that add to their energy efficiency. Extra-thick fusion welded frames and sashes provide superior structural strength. They also help eliminate the vulnerable points that allow outside air infiltration. “Not only that,” Riggle said, “but it keeps the moisture out. Moisture leads to rot, and rot will destroy the sills. Happened once,” he said, crossing his arms over his chest and nodding his head, “and it’ll happen again unless we prevent it from the get-go.”
Also important are the sloped sills Sheffield windows feature. By sloping away from the house at a subtle angle, these sills help further prevent air and moisture infiltration. Older windows had straight sills — or worse, if there’d been damage to the home or uneven settling over the years, sills that subtly sloped upward, allowing rainwater to pool and collect in the worst possible spot — in direct contact with your home.
“I think that’s what happened in at least one instance,” Riggle said. “With that water just laying there, problems are bound to happen.” Preventing further damage can help extend the benefit one realizes from their home replacement windows: the longer a homeowner can delay air and moisture from entering their home, the longer they can enjoy substantial savings on their energy bill. “I think it’s a great thing,” Riggle concluded. “I’m glad we got the Sheffield windows.”