AAMA Certification Windows Explained

AAMA Certification Windows Explained

Windows with AAMA certifications meet high standards of quality and performance. Window manufacturers take extra care in the craftsmanship of their windows to meet the standards set by the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA)↗. The AAMA sets all of the performance standards for the window industry. 

Read on to learn more about the AAMA and the product certifications they offer. 

What is AAMA?

The AAMA is the leading trade organization for window manufacturers and professionals. Since 1936, the AAMA has been an advocate in our industry, leading efforts to address the technical needs of product manufacturers, suppliers, and test labs as well as working to improve the product, material, and component standards for the industry. 

AAMA has offered third-party product certification for over 40 years. Standards set by the AAMA are often referenced in national and state building codes. The AAMA works with the following organizations on regional and national codes:

  • International Code Council (ICC)
  • International Residential Code (IRC)
  • International Building Code (IBC)
  • International Green Construction Code (IgCC)
  • International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)

As of January 1, 2020, the AAMA and the Insulating Glass Manufacturing Alliance (IGMA) have unified to create the Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance (FGIA). The FGIA is designed to provide better standards for glass, window, door, and skylight technology in order to improve home and building performance. 

Why Does the AAMA Matter to Homeowners?

Most homeowners won’t have anything to do with the AAMA but understanding that the AAMA provides leading certifications in the industry is valuable. Gold label and Silver label certifications tell you that the manufacturer that made your window is confident in the quality and performance of their windows. Certifications show that the products are backed by a trusted organization that provides third-party testing for the products. Most importantly, “the stringent AAMA Certification Program procedures assure … customers that the products selected, when installed properly, match the quality of the sample product tested” (aamanet.org↗).

Additionally, the AAMA provides several resources to homeowners including guides, brochures, and access to electronic publications. 

Learn more about AAMA’s Gold and Silver label certifications below and download this PDF for more details on The AAMA Authorized Label↗.

AAMA Gold Label Certification

Certification Requirements 

The AAMA Gold Label indicates that a sample of a product underwent independent and unbiased testing per the criteria set by AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440-11↗. In short, the sample product tested meets stringent standards for air leakage, water leakage, and structural strength.

Gold Label Windows

  • Meet an air leakage standard of 0.30 cubic feet per minute or lower when wind speeds are at 25 mph. The lower the AL is the less air infiltration is allowed through the window. 
  • Windows must resist water infiltration up to 32 mph. Windows that allow water infiltration at speeds under 33 mph fail. 
  • Structural strength is tested by measuring the amount of wind pressure the window can resist before it breaks. Gold Label windows withstand at least 94 mph wind pressure. 
  • Are tested and rated by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC)↗.

From the AAMA

Certified products met the following criteria:

  • Prescribed maximum levels of air leakage through the assembly
  • No water penetration through the assembly at a specified simulated wind speed
  • Prescribed levels of structural resistance to wind and other dynamic pressures
  • Life cycle durability requirements as applicable
  • Component performance verification to AAMA specifications

A Gold Label also means:

  • An independent third-party validator continually monitors the product production for compliance and quality assurance procedures through two unannounced plant inspections each year. 
  • And the manufacturer used the required certified profiles and verified components where performance standards for particular parts and materials exist.

AAMA Silver Label Certification

Windows with an AAMA Silver Certification Label have been certified for thermal performance without certifying for air, water, and structural performance. 

This is an optional certification that can also be performed in addition to the Gold Label Certification. As energy-efficiency becomes more important, this certification provides a credential for thermal performance and condensation resistance two very valuable factors for homeowners. 

What is tested?

  • Weatherstripping
  • Air infiltration
  • Thermal transmittance
  • Glazing
  • Insulation

Manufacturers can certify thermal performance through the AAMA or through the NFRC. 

High-quality products often come with high price tags, Gold Label windows aren’t for everyone but understanding what they are can come in handy when shopping for new or replacement windows. 

Find out if the products you’re interested in are AAMA Certified by reaching out to a window professional. You can also verify certifications by using the AAMA’s Certified Product Directory↗.

North Texas homeowners interested in replacement windows can contact our team at Brennan Enterprises to learn more about window options

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