If energy efficiency is your foremost consideration in choosing a window—and color choice, too—then you should know about the Elements line of vinyl replacement windows by Soft Lite.
Soft Lite has been a manufacturer of window products since 1934, and in order to separate themselves from their competition, they set out to create the most eco-friendly, energy-efficient window in the industry—bar none—no matter what material: wood, vinyl, fiberglass, aluminum... you name it.
Did they ever. Elements vinyl replacement windows are currently deemed the most energy-efficient produced in North America according to independent assessments by the AAMA1 and the NFRC2, exceeding all industry standards for durability, energy, and efficiency, not to mention air- and water-penetration. And they have won the EPA Energy Star Partner of the Year Award for 2014.
1 American Architectural Manufacturers Association 2National Fenestration Rating Counsel
First, by reinforcing the window with Kelvar instead of metal. Kelvar is a synthetic fiber with a tensile strength-to-weight ratio that's five times that of steel. it was developed to replace the steel cords in racing tires. It also does military duty as the main reinforcing agent for combat helmets, ballistic face masks, and bulletproof vests.
This kind of strength makes for a vinyl replacement window that is virtually impervious to warping from heat, from cold, your home's natural settling—whatever. In fact, Elements vinyl windows are twice as strong as the industry average.
Beyond its exceptional strength, unlike metal or steel, Kelvar does not conduct heat or cold. So you get a window that is stronger than steel with none of the heat- and cold-conducting disadvantages of metal frames or reinforcements.
Next, using robotic technology not available just a few years ago, Elements frames are built to extremely precise tolorences (.03125 in. to be exact), resulting in perfect welds and smooth micro-abraded seams.
Then the frames are filled with insulation, which is rare enough among replacement vinyl windows. But rather than simply slide or spray the insulation into the frame, Soft-Lite hand-fills it to make sure no seam or crevice gets overlooked.
The net result is that Elements vinyl replacement windows are independently rated to leak 15 times less air than the leading competition, and boast a U-factor that is 20 percent better than the highest NFRC-rated U-factor in the industry.
3U-factor is the nationally-recognized rating method used by the NFRC for a window in its entirety, including glass, frame, and spacers. The lower the U-factor the greater a window's resistance to heat flow and the better its insulating properties.
Both Elements double-hung and slider vinyl replacement windows can tilt inward for easy cleaning. The tilt feature is one-touch and achieved with a patented invisible hardware system that completely eliminates traditional tilt latches, thereby adding a streamlined premium look.
Elements vinyl replacement windows offer a wide assortment of standard exterior-side paint options. So chances are the color you want is a color they have. But if you really want a very specific color, you can choose virtually any shade on Earth as an extra-cost custom option—and it will carry the same guarantee against chipping or fading as do any of the Elements standard colors. No other vinyl replacement window company we know of offers anything like it.
In addition to our best-in-the-industry Genesis Exteriors guarantee, Elements windows are additionally backed by Soft-Lite's standard lifetime warranty and come with accidental glass breakage protection.
Soft Lite Windows