Friday, April 22, 2011

Gain National and International Recognition by Donating Windows

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) is pleased to direct its members’ attention to a unique opportunity for gaining national and international recognition while promoting sustainable building and improving the lives of others.

As a member of the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council (SBIC), NFRC supports this organization’s mission to serve the public as an advocate of designing sustainable facilities, which improve energy efficiency and provide a healthier, safer environment for occupants.
SBIC is currently involved with two sustainable building initiatives that are requesting product donations from fenestration manufacturers in return for recognition.

One project is being undertaken by the
Fuller Center, which seeks to build 50 new homes in North Korea during 2011. The second project involves the New York City Department of Design and Construction seeking both energy-efficient and fire-rated fenestration products.

Taking part in one or both of these projects is a great way to broaden your outreach while displaying your commitment to sustainable building and using energy more efficiently while serving others. The recognition you can gain by participating may be outweighed only by your satisfaction.

Please contact SBIC’s Executive Director,
Bud DeFlaviis, to get involved.
Please contact NFRC's Communications & Marketing Manager, Tom Herron, with any questions.

Monday, April 18, 2011

NFRC Calls on Participants to Complete BVP Survey

As an approved Certification Body for the ENERGY STAR ® Windows program, the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) is required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to introduce a blind verification program to the NFRC Product Certification Program.

NFRC's Board of Directors recently approved the development of NFRC's Blind Verification Program (BVP) to meet this requirement, and NFRC has been collaborating with other organizations to develop its scope. Implementing the BVP requires NFRC staff to act as consumers, blindly purchasing its participants’ fenestration products without their knowledge.

In order to design this purchasing process, NFRC requests your participation in a survey, which should take no more than 10 minutes. The survey is designed to gather information about the process of purchasing your company's products.

Access the survey here.

The survey will remain open until COB on Monday, May 9, 2011.

NFRC appreciates your participation. If you have any questions, please contact Stacy Germann or Scott Hanlon at the NFRC office: 301-589-1776.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

NFRC Exhibiting at Greenbuilding Focus Conference in Charlotte Next Week

The National Fenestration Rating Council’s (NFRC) Communications and Marketing Manager, Tom Herron, will be exhibiting at the Greenbuilding Focus conference and Expo at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina on Wednesday, April 20 and Thursday, April 21.

According to the Greenbuilding Focus Website, over the course of the two days, the world's top professional experts, leading researchers and most respected educators will gather to engage and educate regional built environment professionals, government representatives, investors, and entrepreneurs.

Additionally, the event will feature 20 CEU accredited practical, case-study based presentations and breakout sessions, an exhibition of over 100 green building products and services, an interactive demonstration stage, networking opportunities and special events.

The exhibit hall will be open on Wednesday, April 20 from 8:00 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. and on Thursday, April 21 from 8:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

If you are attending the show, be sure to visit NFRC at booth 412. We will be glad to answer all your questions about our programs and activities.

Please contact NFRC's Communications & Marketing Manager, Tom Herron, with any questions.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Guest Columnist Dowd Discusses Window Warranties

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) welcomes the following guest posting from Dean Dowd at member company, CalFinder.

While NFRC is
concerned primarily with energy performance rating and certification programs for fenestration products, we also recognize that our audience may have questions about window warranties.

Because this topic falls outside the purview of NFRC's work, we are pleased to provide a forum where subject matter experts can offer NFRC's audience peripheral insight.

By Dean Dowd

The Real Importance of Window Warranties

Replacing your home windows brings a number of benefits: it saves heating and cooling costs year round, increases your home’s value, and enhances the property’s aesthetic beauty. And most window purchases come with at least a 10-year warranty (better ones generally come with a limited or even all-inclusive lifetime warranty), sometimes with the option to extend.

There’s still much you need to know about window warranties, though. In this post, we’ll break down the warranty information you need to know before making a purchase. Be sure to bookmark this page as a reference, should you need it in the future.

Do I Need a Warranty on My New Windows?

In short, yes. Even the best windows crack, chip, malfunction, and suffer other incidents, especially due to inclement weather and subpar installation or manufacturing. Mechanical parts and hardware, such as locks, balances, and vent stoppers, are sometimes defective. Even the insulation (the “dead space” between window panes) can suffer from moisture and soot buildup. In technical lingo, this is usually referred to as material obstruction.

All of that, plus many more issues are typically covered under a manufacturer’s warranty. Issues that are caused by someone or something not related to the manufacturer or supplier are generally not covered. Warranties are also transferable to new owners usually within a certain time frame with a written request to the manufacturer or supplier.

Warranty Stipulations and What to Ask

Before buying any windows, diligently and carefully read through a prospective warranty. Reread as many times as it takes. If there are any questions still unanswered, call to find out. In addition, read the following tips for guidance:

Make certain that the warranty is transferable, especially if you plan on moving in the future. If you move and your warranty is not transferable, it will become void.

If an extended warranty is available but not standard, make sure that the company is a reputable one with solid financial backing, lest they file for bankruptcy and/or default on their obligations down the road.

Determine if the warranty will be serviced by the manufacturer or the supplier. Is the contact person or organization (in case of warranty claim) one you can trust?

Buy a non-prorated, minimal 10-year warranty anytime you buy windows that are insulated (in case of warranty issues down the road).

Be aware that many, if not most manufacturer warranties cover only incidents that are caused, in some way, by the workmanship quality and/or installation of the window.
Contracts should explicitly state what parts and labor are covered, which are not, and for how long. Different aspects of windows (seals, trim paint, sash, etc.) are often covered for different lengths of time.

The Cardinal Rule

Don’t make the common mistake of being lured into a “lifetime warranty” that might sound great initially, but actually covers far less, for a far shorter duration. Good questions to ask include:

Does “lifetime” mean the window’s lifetime or your home’s?

Does it guarantee the materials and insulation, or just the materials?

Does this “lifetime warranty” include quick, responsive action (upstanding companies will usually offer 24/7 service) from the warranty company, especially in times of emergency?

Keep these tips in mind when comparing replacement window warranties. The last thing you want is to purchase expensive new windows with subpar coverage, as repairs will surely be pricey down the road.

Other readers may like to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to post them in our comments section.

NFRC is always interested in contributions from guest bloggers.Contact Tom Herron if you would like to contribute content to this blog.

Monday, April 4, 2011

NFRC Chairman Praises Members' Passion, Commitment

By Steve Strawn, Chairman

One thing that stood out to me during our committee week meeting was the unwavering passion NFRC members have for improving the methods we use to communicate product performance to the consuming public.

This was evident throughout the proceedings as we discussed the upcoming requirements to use the full CPD number on the NFRC temporary label but were most noticeable during the discussions regarding the Board’s direction for the development of an attachments product label.

Much of this discussion focused on the necessity for a label that is beneficial for manufacturers, is meaningful for consumers, and meets NFRC’s mission to provide fair, accurate, and credible ratings for fenestration products.

Meeting attendees expressed a wide range of opinions on how this balance might be achieved, providing unique insight and carefully considering the topic from multiple points of view. All the while, NFRC remains committed to finding an approach that will be fair to everyone.

With each new perspective that emerged, we should be reminded that this kind of lively interaction forms the very foundation that makes our consensus-based process work.

Welcoming all points of view, evaluating ideas critically, and finding solutions that we can all benefit from is what NFRC is all about.

I’m convinced the kind of passion and commitment exhibited during our meeting will ultimately result in the development of an attachments product label that works for everyone.