Overcoming Fall & Winter Air Infiltration with Sill Pad Air Dams

As fall and winter roll around, one of the most common questions we receive at Frank Lowe is in regards to air infiltration. It comes as no surprise with increased winds associated with the season. In climates where temperatures dip in the winter, air infiltration can be a substantial cause of heat loss as well as high energy bill contributors. 

Complaints of drafty windows can damage the end user's overall satisfaction with their remodeling project, new home, or building. As a fenestration professional or contractor, it's important for you to understand air infiltration, how it works, and simple ways to prevent them with the sill pad air dam. Let's take a closer look at air infiltrations and how a sill pad air dam can help. 

Air Infiltration Is About More than the Glass Product

Simply put, air infiltration is about more than the glass product. Most modern windows have glass coatings that do an excellent job at mitigating heat gain and loss. 

While Solar Heat Gain Coefficient ratings and U-Factor ratings are key, neither of these impact the window's ability to prevent air movement or infiltration. In the end, air filtration has almost nothing to do with the glass of the window. Instead, it's about how well the window is assembled, installed, and the components in and around the window. 

Certain Windows Perform Better 

The window products that perform best against air infiltration are those that are fixed. These windows are the best, most energy-efficient products. Here's how some of the most popular functional windows products perform against air infiltration. 

Casement Windows Perform the Best Against Air Infiltration?

The operating windows that perform best against air infiltration are casement windows. Depending on the design, the locking mechanism pulls the sash in tight, which helps create excellent compression of the weather stripping around the outside of the sash. This function allows casement windows to be the best window product for preventing air infiltration

Double-Hung Window Products Perform Second Best

Double-hung windows have become a very popular choice for modern farmhouse-style homes, traditional-style homes, and more. And the double-hung window is a close second behind the casement window in terms of air infiltration.

These windows, however, are less air-tight because they do not feature the locking mechanism. At the same time, double-hung windows have more linear feet of weather stripping and seams that are both more susceptible to air infiltration.

How Do Sliding Windows Perform Against Air Infiltration?

Sliding window products have the least optimum performance of the three. Sliding windows do not have the sill interlock or check rail engagement, which makes them much more susceptible to air infiltration. These windows, however, are the most economical option available. 

Understanding Air Infiltration Ratings 

The industry standard for rating air infiltration on a window is the ASTM E283 air infiltration test. This test determines the number of cubic feet of air that passes through the window on a minute basis compared to the size of the window. The ratings between operable windows can vary. 

If you are an installer, it's important to install the unit based on the manufacturer's info. When installed incorrectly, even the highest-performing window will underperform. At the same time, it's worth speaking to any other contractor, such as the painting contractor. 

Inform them on key issues like how oil-based finishes and stains used can prompt the weather stripping to prematurely harden. This, in itself, can reduce the window's ability to limit or prevent air infiltration. 

Can Caulking & Weatherstripping Help with Air Infiltration?

In short, yes. Caulking and weatherstripping are both simple techniques the homeowner can use to help with air infiltration. Caulking can be generally used for openings and cracks between stationary components in the home. 

Common uses for caulking include around window frames and around doors. On the other hand, weather stripping can be used to reduce air infiltration and seal components that move, such as operable windows and doors

These are both simple, DIY solutions that the homeowner or building owner may be able to use to quickly remedy air infiltration However if you are looking for a more long-term, professionally-engineered solution, Frank Lowe's sill pad air dam is the best solution.  

Need a More-Effective, Long-Term Fix? Sill Pad Air Dams Solve Air Infiltration Issues

Frank Lowe's sill pad air dam product is the best air infiltration solution for single-hung and double-hung windows available. Our sill pad air dam product is the perfect solution if your company receives calls from customers who are complaining about: 

  • Whistling noise
  • Air coming through the balance pocket
  • Dirt buildup collecting in the corners of the lock rail

In addition to solving these notorious window design problems, our sill pad air dam product is extremely versatile: 

  • Great for vinyl and aluminum windows
  • Leaves no adhesive or residue
  • Works on painted or unpainted (raw) windows

And regardless of the balance system in use, the sill pad air dam product will deliver the same excellent performance. Our sill pad air dam product with: 

  • Constant Force
  • Spiral
  • Block and Tackle
  • Works with all sill systems - sloped or pocket sills

Each pad is uniquely engineered with advanced foam technology that compresses and bounces back effortlessly. Because of this design, there is no need to adjust the lock rail. 

You can order our sill pad air dam product in white, black, with or without adhesive, and in virtually any size. As a leading custom manufacturer, we can die-cut and fabricate your sill pad air dam to meet the exact specifications of the applications. 

Contact Frank Lowe Today for Custom Sill Pad Air Dams 

At Frank Lowe, we offer an array of different sill pad air dams that are designed to mitigate winter and fall air infiltration. At the same time, we offer a full catalog of different fenestration parts and components. 

In fact, we have been a leader in the fenestration market for more than 60 years. We have consistently delivered end-to-end solutions designed to move your project from conception through completion. 

Contact Frank Lowe today for sill pad air dams and other fenestration components. Reach out to us today for a free quote.

About the Author Randy Cohen

Since 2002, Randy Cohen has served as the Senior Vice President of Frank Lowe — leading Sales and Marketing as well as a variety of Administrative operations. Randy has 25 years of experience with a background in sales & marketing, production and business management, serving both government agencies and private industry. He holds a B.A from Syracuse University and a Masters and Professional Diploma from Fordham University. Randy uses his unique set of experiences to help businesses and entities across all sectors explore, pursue, and create better solutions.

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