Questions about PVC windows – a recipe for purchasing windows, part 1

When planning to buy PVC windows, we are looking for information about products. We ask friends, browse websites, read folders, finally get to the point of sale and … Here, it turns out that all this searching for a dog for a kennel has passed. “Lecture” after the “lecture” about the number of chambers, windows, fittings, warm frames, and we didn’t know what windows to buy, we still don’t know. All windows seem to be the same. Reason suggests that this cannot be the case, but how do you find out? What to ask
An unspecified problem

The question about the questions that should be asked to the seller to learn something specific about PVC windows, to distinguish between the better and the worse ones, is not a problem we imagined. We encounter similar questions on a daily basis in conversations and correspondence with readers. They also fall on internet forums.

Online answers and hints rarely show the way out of such a shopping embarrassment, more often they only deepen it. This is amazing, because usually sellers or window manufacturers answer or prompt, and who like who, but they should know perfectly how their product differs from the competitor’s. It turns out that they do not quite know, and everything is to blame for a bad, but deeply rooted tradition of trying to describe windows only through a list and description of the components from which they are made.

5, 6, 7 chamber profile, 1.1, 0.7, 0.5 glass, Roto, Maco, Winkhaus, GU, Siegenia fittings, galvanized steel reinforcements. Do you know it Have you heard Of course, you know and have heard, because only with such a “window description” will you meet in most points of sale or on the Internet. Is this window description correct and true? Referring to the theory of Father Tischner saying that there are three truths: “Fresh truth, thousand truth and shit truth”, the component description of the window, even in accordance with the facts, is closest to the third and last truth, which does not solve anything “shit truth”, sowing not confusion in the minds of buyers and raising questions about questions.

To make things more interesting, the sellers themselves fall into this descriptive trap. Often at one point of sale, customers are offered windows made of very similar components, differing only in the supplier’s brand. Then the window ride begins! Due to the lack of differences, or actually from the bar of knowledge about real and important differences between products, sellers are escaping into some classes of profiles, types of corner welds or legends about PVC windows made from waste from plastic bottles and other such pseudo-technical dyrdymaƂy. Clients register, remember and distribute such nonsense later, cutting off from actual technical knowledge about the product, which is not spoken of at all or says so that it falls pale, vague and incomprehensible.

Any ideas on how windows may differ? What to ask about? What to look for? A confused forum reader asks. The answer is one and many probably won’t like it. It doesn’t matter what, from what components a particular window was assembled. It is important how they were assembled and what effect was achieved as a result of using such and not other components.

Two seemingly identical PVC windows composed of different components (profiles, glass, fittings etc.), and even two identical PVC windows assembled from exactly the same components distinguishes from each other the “effect” obtained as a result of a specific way of using these components in the production process! !! The effect, i.e. the level or class of performance in relation to the essential characteristics (window characteristics), as defined in the relevant harmonized standard.

The correct answer to the question posed in the forum should be: Do you want to know which window has more value in use (is better), ask about classes and levels of performance for the characteristics of windows and balcony doors you want!

Warning! If you ask, do not let yourself be told that the most important property of the window is the lowest possible heat transfer coefficient Uw, because it is … another Tischner’s “shit true”. Don’t you believe Well, think about it, would you go out for a winter walk in a sheepskin coat, short pants, patent leather shoes, and without gloves and a hat? This sheepskin coat is Uw, and the rest of the clothing is … other no less important features and performance properties, without which your window is worth nothing or not much, although it can be cosmically expensive.

The most important features (essential characteristics) of PVC windows and balcony doors

The PN-EN 14351-1 + A1: 2010 standard lists and specifies as many as 23 different basic characteristics (features) of each PVC window and provides values, classes or levels of performance for them. Among these features are as “exotic” as explosion resistance or bulletproofing. Nobody will buy a plastic window to protect it against explosion or fire, at least no reasonable, so you can make a much shorter list of 23 properties. The catalog of the most important features and functional properties of PVC windows, which, depending on the needs, the buyer should ask the seller, and these are:

  • Wind load resistance – test pressure / frame deflection
  • Watertightness – open windows
  • Dangerous substances
  • Air permeability
  • Heat permeability
  • Acoustic properties – sound insulation
  • Mechanical strength
  • Operational forces
  • Resistance to repeated opening and closing
  • Burglary resistance
  • Radiation related properties – solar radiation coefficient “g”
  • Radiation related properties – “Lt” light transmission
  • UPVC Windows

We will not explain here what the above-mentioned features of PVC windows relate to and what of them flows to the user, because all this has long been in the “Window Guide” on our website. Also, don’t be surprised how your question asked the seller about the levels of performance for his windows … will hang in the air. Few of them know that every window has them and that they are the subject of often obligatory research. Few realize that it is only thanks to them that it is possible to describe the value and durability of the product being sold, and in addition to prove it that this is the easiest way to indicate the significant differences between seemingly similar windows.

If instead of answering you once again hear that you have read the wrong readings, because the chambers, glass and fittings are important, then look at the table below. Behind the product standard mentioned earlier, we show in it whether and what components used in the production of windows affect the most important features (essential characteristics) and performance properties of your PVC windows and balcony doors.

If your seller is able to explain sensibly how and why the fittings affect the window’s resistance to wind load, and the profile is waterproof or mechanical, then you have come across a professional who is worth talking to. If his knowledge does not exceed the number of chambers … better toss a coin as the quoted forum member wanted to do, at least a shopping failure you will be able to throw on the eagle or tails.

Now you know what to ask salespeople. We ask not about the number of chambers, glass or hardware brand, but about the effect of their use, about specific window features as well as levels and classes of performance of PVC windows and balcony doors. Someone will say well, we know what to ask, but what level and class of performance is right for my house or apartment? We will try to answer this extremely important issue for assessing the value of the purchased window in the next article entitled “Home = dreams + requirements – recipe for the purchase of windows part 2”.


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