Buy Certified Wood Windows
Certified divers, financial planners, life underwriters, kitchen designers, and so on and so on... It just makes good sense that wood windows should join the club! Thank goodness! Shopping for wood windows you can quickly confound the most organized and logical person.
The National Wood Window and Door Association's (NWWDA) Hallmark Certification program is not a walk through the park. First the manufacturers have to go the extra mile and build a quality product. They have to test it themselves to assure they meet the minimum standards. Unannounced periodic inspections by the testing labs are a reality. In other words, the certification program is real. The net result is that you can purchase a window that has proven performance.
Watch out when you go window shopping. There is a bountiful supply of polished sales people who can sometimes speak with a forked tongue. They may downplay the importance of certification. They may make excuses that the testing is too expensive. Don't believe them.
The windows you are about to purchase are one of the most important aspects of your home. They are the weakest link in the energy chain that connects your interior comfort from the extremes of weather just inches away. The NWWDA Hallmark certification program and other certification programs like the National Fenestration Rating Council's (NFRC) thermal performance standards help you to quickly segregate the winners from the losers. If you can't find the proper labels with the best performance values, then keep shopping.
Did you know that several wood window manufacturers also treat the wood used in the windows with a special water repellent preservative? This is a great feature for windows that might not get the long term care and attention they deserve once they are installed. The NWWDA also has a very stringent test for these products as well. Those manufacturers who currently incorporate a certified water repellent preservative in their windows are:
Some other manufacturers may include a water repellent but it may be a lower quality product. Or for some reason, they decide not to subject their windows or the water repellent to the NWWDA for testing. If you want piece of mind, then I suggest you go with one of the listed companies.
Be aware that the list can grow and shrink depending upon who decides to join and abandon the program. If a manufacturer or salesperson says they are certified in one way or another, then make them prove it to you in writing. If they don't do this or produce promises that evaporate into thin air, then walk. The proof should be a copy of the letter they received from the certifying body like AAMA or the NFRC.