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FGIA: Armed with knowledge

July 15, 2021  By Angela Dickson, FGIA marketing and communications director

All manufacturers want the end user to have a positive experience with their products. When questions arise, it can be helpful to have a neutral, third-party resource to turn to for information. The Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance has several web pages that your dealers and customer service representatives may use, covering care and maintenance, air infiltration, condensation and even window safety. All of the information is geared toward homeowners and explains these topics in easy-to-understand terms.

Care and maintenance: Windows, doors and skylights enhance our view of the world. They also let in daylight and fresh air, as well as protect you from the elements. Proper care and maintenance help customers achieve optimal performance of these products. This online resource covers tips for cleaning both the glass and frames of windows, doors and skylights; the importance of keeping the drainage system clean and clear; understanding condensation due to humidity; and industry standards for colour retention. Of course, it is vital for customers to understand the manufacturer’s warranty and have windows installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions for best performance. A product is only as good as its installation. These tips are meant to supplement and support the manufacturer’s existing maintenance guidelines. 

Air infiltration: To some extent, every home needs to “breathe.” As everyone in our industry knows, it’s normal to feel some air coming into a home around windows, doors, skylights, electrical outlets, walls, floors or the roof. This air infiltration is the result of air pressure differences between the inside and outside of the home.The Residential Air Infiltration web page explains that all homes have some level of air infiltration and that differences in product types and the location and climate of a home impact this. It also notes that glass surface temperature, by itself, is not an indication of air infiltration. The page includes a link to FAQs that dig deeper into common questions from homeowners.

Indoor condensation: As an association of fenestration manufacturers, FGIA understands that windows, doors and skylights enhance the beauty and comfort of a home by providing views, ventilation and daylight. To maximize the enjoyment and realization of these attributes, homeowners should understand how condensation is formed and how it can be minimized.Condensation can be expected to form on glass given the right conditions. The higher the relative humidity, the warmer a surface temperature needs to be in order to avoid condensation. To reduce the likelihood of condensation, a chart is provided with recommended maximum percentages of indoor relative humidity based upon varying outdoor air temperatures. Tips are also included to manage indoor humidity. Ensure the home is properly ventilated. Use fans to remove excess moisture. Open curtains and blinds during daylight hours. Adjust the output of your home’s humidifier. Run a dehumidifier.

Window safety and fall prevention: Beyond the customer’s experience with the functionality of your products, safety must be the most important piece of information. Window Safety Week, recognized every year during the first full week in April, serves as a reminder of recognizing the importance of window safety and fall prevention year-round. This week is designed to heighten the awareness of what parents and caregivers should do to help keep their homes and families safer from the risk of accidental falls or injuries through windows.

In the spring, with the arrival of warmer weather, many homeowners begin to open windows for ventilation. However, open windows can be dangerous for young children who are not properly supervised. While the number of falls from windows is generally small compared with other recorded child injuries, a fall from a window can result in serious injury or even death. Simple tips are provided to help keep children safe. Anyone in the industry is welcome and encouraged to share these online resources with dealers, customers, sales teams, customer service representatives and beyond. Have a suggestion for a topic FGIA can address as a neutral, third-party resource? Do reach out.

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