Plavecsky's
by Jim Plavecsky
May 13th, 2014

Warmer in the Winter and Cooler in the Summer

It seems just like yesterday that we were all freezing from the effects of the polar vortex. Window salespeople were emphasizing to potential buyers how new energy-efficient windows can help keep you warmer in the winter and also save energy by lowering heating costs. Successful salespeople really hit upon the “creature comforts” stressing how windows can help reduce drafts and minimize condensation thereby reducing the tendency for mold to form on window surfaces. Homeowners are always interested in hearing about how products can provide a healthier living environment, and less mold formation in the house means less chance of allergic reactions. How ironic, then, that windows were being sold to help abate the effects of the cold, but it was so cold that in many instances the installer could not even make it out to the jobsite to install them!

Well now, all of a sudden, we have the air conditioning running! So, it is time to focus on the other great reason to buy more energy efficient windows—they keep us cooler in the summer. Have you ever sat next to a “not-so-energy-efficient” window on a hot summer day? Perhaps you were at grandma’s house on the enclosed sun porch sitting next to an old window, or in an old downtown restaurant sitting next to a single-pane window. The view may be beautiful but as you try to take in the view you find yourself baking. So, you end up asking the waitress to move you away from the window to more centralized location within the restaurant. What a shame! Being in the window industry, I get so upset whenever I see this happening. Windows are designed to do two things: keep us comfortable and connect us to a view. We cannot always control the view, but when a window no longer keeps us comfortable then it is time to be replaced.

There are many methods and tools available to sell comfort. A great demonstration in the showroom is to get a heat lamp with several different window samples and a solar transmission meter. Shine the heat lamp through each window sample and measure the solar transmission on the other side of the window. While you are at it, use a meter that also measures ultraviolet radiation so you can show the homeowner how much less their carpets or artwork are likely to fade with the new windows installed.

One of my favorite techniques involves the use of a thermal imaging camera. A heat lamp is used to project infrared radiation through two window sections that are mounted side by side—one is a thermally efficient window and the other one is a not-so thermally efficient design. I use a thermal camera which reacts, not to light but to infrared radiation which shows up as various colors each corresponding to a specific temperature band. This demo can show not only how much heat is being transmitted through the window but through which section of the window, whether it is the frame, the glass or the insulating glass spacer area. Not every sales manager is going to equip their salespeople with a $1,000 infrared camera, but EDTM sells a heat sheet which also provides a great visual demonstration of this effect.

Yes, many times we focus upon the wintertime benefits of the insulating properties that doors and windows provide, but the summertime benefits can be even bigger. In addition to thermal insulation benefits, don’t forget about the other major benefit that windows provide—they open! Show the consumer how they can really connect with nature on cool summer evenings. Open the windows, show them the screens, and show them how the vent locks may be used to allow for fresh air yet maintain security. Casement windows are oftentimes are the most exciting window to sell. They open out completely giving an excellent view of the outside while also enabling the homeowner to bring in maximum light and air. There is no better way to connect with nature while enjoying the comfort of one’s home!

So, now that spring has sprung and summer is just around the corner, let’s enjoy a great selling season in the window and door industry. It is true that we no longer have the tax incentives to talk about but there are a thousand other reasons to convince a homeowner to buy new windows and doors!

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