In addition to the NFRC Label, ratings comparisons, and ENERGY STAR, buyers may consider a number of other factors when choosing windows. These include: air infiltration, water infiltration, structural performance, acoustical performance, security performance, product cost, and warranty. Product cost and warranties are issues to be considered when making any major purchase, and this information is available from the window distributor or manufacturer. Water infiltration measures the amount of water and pressure that a window can resist to keep the water from leaking through it. The higher the water infiltration rating, the better the window is at resisting water leakage. Structural performance ratings measure the amount of air pressure (wind load) a window can resist before failing. The amount of structural pressure ratings required for windows in your area is often determined by local code requirements. The higher the structural performance ratings, the more wind load a window can resist. Acoustical performance ratings measure the amount of sound transmission through a window. The higher the sound transmission rating, the better the product is at blocking noise from coming through the window. Security performance ratings measure the ability of a window to resist different types of forces. For example, there are burglar-resistant windows, fire-resistant windows, bullet-resistant windows, wind-borne debris-resistant windows, and many others. Many of these products have special uses for different building types and may be covered by local building code requirements.
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