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How to Save on Your Energy Bill with Energy-Efficient Windows: An Interview with Andrea Dixon of Integrity Construction, Inc.

By Andrea Dixon

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

Our company is a family owned and operated business that has over 30 years experience. Our philosophy is that we give the homeowners a product that we strongly believe in and that the quality well surpasses the price tag.

What are some of the services your company provides?

We provide remodeling projects to residential homeowners. This includes custom-built replacement windows, doors, kitchens, bathrooms, and siding.

Are these new windows expensive?

It depends on how you look at it. By putting in a cheap $200 window, the customer should expect that there is a reason the window is so cheap. First, a so-called "lifetime" warranty is a misconception. The word "lifetime" does not mean that homeowner is covered forever. They are covered for the period of time, or the average "lifetime," of that product, which for a regular vinyl window is 7 years.

Also, that window will definitely have service issues because they are made with cheap materials and old technology. Customers can expect if their windows break, they may have to drive the window to the factory that made it, or ship it there at their own cost to get the window fixed and/or pay the company who installed the windows a service fee to fix the window.

Our windows are also triple pane and have great energy efficiency ratings, so the customer should see some reduction in heating and cooling costs as well. Also, some big-name windows spend a lot on advertising and pass that cost along to the consumers but we rely on word-of-mouth and referrals so we are able to keep our costs lower than many windows that are actually lower quality.

Can you briefly touch on how new windows cuts down on one's energy bill?

Most new windows will not cut down on homeowner's energy bills because of the construction of the window itself. Double pane windows in our opinion are a waste of money because they just don't make enough of a difference. And many homeowners that replaced their old single pane windows at some point with double pane were not satisfied because they did not see the savings on their heat bills.

Also, with government influence, due to the stricter qualifications of Energy Star and a push for windows to now be triple pane, many window factories that do not manufacture triple pane windows are not improving their technologies and equipment due to cost, so windows which were intended to be manufactured as double are now receiving an extra pane of glass and therefore the structural integrity is just not there.

Our windows from the beginning have been manufactured as a triple-pane window and the factory is always updating their technology to make the window even better. Many homeowners think that all windows are created equal, and that's just not true. What determines true energy-efficiency comes down to the structure and components of the frame, the way the gas (ours is a patented blend of 10 different gasses instead of just using Argon or Krypton) is injected in between the panes of glass, the way the Low E coating is applied and how many coats are applied, and right down to every detail that is used to manufacture the windows.

An added benefit of a window that is insulated as well as ours is that noise from outside is greatly reduced so it not only saves a lot on energy bills, but if a homeowner is located near railroad tracks or a busy highway, they love how we have now made their life a little quieter.

Can you enumerate the other major advantages of using these energy-efficient windows?

There are many benefits, one of which is the sound proofing that I discussed in the previous question but also security and low maintenance. We offer Quad-IV locks which are kind of like a deadbolt on a door. We deadbolt our doors at night to protect our families, but most homeowners rely on a very flimsy lock on their windows. With our locks, our windows cannot be broken into by prying open the locks.

Aside from that, many burglars will break the glass on your window to get access but the way our window is constructed, the glass is very resistant to cracks and if someone attempts to break the glass, there will be a very loud "popping" noise when the gas escapes, kind of like when a light bulb blows but on a much larger scale. That usually will deter criminals because they don't want to call attention to themselves and there is another pane of glass to break.

We also have a coating on our windows that reduces streaks for easy clean (especially if you are like me and cannot clean a window without getting streaks!) and you can wipe off your dog's nose prints or kid's fingerprints with a wet paper towel. To demonstrate this to the homeowners, we use butter and smear it on the window and even with something like butter that is oily or greasy, a wet paper towel will clean it right off.

What is the best way for people to reach you or your company?

The best way is by phone by calling our toll-free number 1-800-598-9119 or by visiting www.homesolutionsofpa.com and using the contact form on there or by sending an email to homesolutionsofpa@gmail.com.

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About The Author

Andrea Dixon is the office manager at Integrity Construction, Inc.

Phone: 1-800-598-9119

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