What are AAMA Certified Vinyl Windows?

What are AAMA Certified Vinyl Windows?

Finding the best quality windows can be a challenge, especially if you’re looking for vinyl windows. As the most popular choice for window frame material, there are tons of options available and while having many options is great for the wallet it may not be as great for your home. In this post, we’ll tell you about the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and introduce you to manufacturers of AAMA certified vinyl windows. 

Use the links below to jump ahead:

Best AAMA Certification

The AAMA is the leading trade association for residential and commercial businesses. Part of their mission is to work to improve the product, material, and component performance standards for the window industry. 

The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) and the AAMA provide the most trusted certifications for new and replacement windows. If your windows are certified by the AAMA or the NFRC, you know that you are purchasing one of the best quality windows available.

Two of the certifications provided by the AAMA are the Gold Label and the Silver Label. The best AAMA certification is the Gold Label. 

The AAMA Gold Label

AAMA sets the standard for quality testing of materials used to make windows and how they are assembled. The Gold Label is the short-cut for identifying high-performance products.

Gold Label products meet the AAMA’s standards for: 

  • Air Leakage
  • Water Penetration
  • Wind and Forced Entry Resistance
  • Durability
  • Thermal Window Performance

Additionally, Gold Label products are independently tested in an AAMA official laboratory. The individual products that arrive in your home aren’t individually tested but samples of those products are tested. Only a proper installation can ensure that the window will meet the performance levels reported in their test. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you contract a reliable and experienced professional to install your windows. 

The Value of AAMA Certification

We’ll talk about the certification process for vinyl windows in the section below, but first, let’s talk a little bit about what makes the AAMA certification so valuable

The AAMA’s certification, particularly the gold label, is an unbiased certification that relies on special testing and surprise inspections of the facilities where the products are manufactured.

Once a manufacturer’s window is certified they must allow the AAMA to perform unannounced inspections of the window’s assembly line. This ensures that the process for manufacturing the window is always consistent and creates windows to the same quality as the sample that was tested. This level of transparency benefits the consumer or, in other words, you– the homeowner. 

Rigorous testing verifies the quality of the window as a whole and its individual components and production line. This level of testing differentiates high-quality products across various measurements. 

AAMA Vinyl Window Certification Process

The AAMA certification program is independently administered to promote the highest quality standards without bias. A Gold Label rating indicates the following:

  • A sample of the product underwent testing per the performance-based material-neutral requirements of the AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440-11↗ industry-standard or its predecessors
  • Tests were performed at an independent AAMA-accredited testing lab and 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 based on the products performance class designation
    • Component performance verification to AAMA specifications
  • An independent third-party validator, through two unannounced plant inspections each year, has continually monitored the product production for compliance and quality assurance procedures
  • The manufacturer used the required certified profiles and verified components where performance standards for those particular parts and materials exist

Additional AAMA Certifications

More certifications are available from the AAMA in addition to the Gold Label. Window manufacturers can submit products specifically for thermal performance testing. The certification process that tests only for energy-efficiency provides a Silver Label for certifiable products. 

An Insulating Glass (IG) Certification is also available through AAMA’s Gold Label administrator. 

Learn more about AAMA’s certification programs directly from the source: AAMA Certification Programs↗

AAMA Certified Vinyl Windows

Vinyl windows were first introduced in North America in the 1950s. Over the years, vinyl has become the most popular window frame material chosen by homeowners and new construction builders. Today, the majority of vinyl material is used by the construction industry. 

According to the AAMA/WDMA U.S. Statistical Review and Forecast↗, vinyl windows account for 67% of all residential windows sold in the U.S. In our own business vinyl windows are the most popular choice for homeowners. 

Benefits of Vinyl Windows

  • Energy-efficient
  • Low-maintenance
  • Low-cost

In addition to meeting the AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S. 2/A440-05 criteria, the structural and glass-retaining vinyl profiles have to be certified as compliant to AAMA 303-05- “Voluntary Specification for Poly (Vinyl Chloride) (PVC) Exterior Profiles”.

Requirements include:

  • Impact Resistance
  • Dimensional Stability
  • Heat Resistance
  • Weight Tolerance
  • Color Fastness

For more information download the free Quick Reference Guide to Vinyl Window Certification↗ from the AAMA website (now FGIA). 

List

Below is a list of manufacturers who have submitted products to the AAMA for certification. If you know the specifications of a particular product you can check AAMA’s database to confirm the product is certified. For homeowners purchasing a new window can also confirm via the database by asking your window dealer for the necessary information. 

Another way to tell is by checking your window products for authentic labels once they arrive at your property or the location where you are picking them up. One of the reasons the AAMA provides the database is because they have found companies that create similar labels to mislead consumers. The list below is directly from the AAMA’s database and screened for window manufacturers who submitted vinyl window products. 

Manufacturers Who Offer AAMA Certified Vinyl Windows

For the full list visit the AAMA’s database↗ or open this PDF of Certified Vinyl Window Manufacturers↗ in a new tab.


Our Customer’s Choose

NT WINDOW

Additional Manufacturers on AAMA’s List

  • ANLIN INDUSTRIES
  • BUILDERS FIRSTSOURCE SOUTH TEXAS, L.P.
  • CHAMPION WINDOW MANUFACTURING LLC
  • DON YOUNG COMPANY, INC.
  • ELEVATE WINDOWS & DOORS, LLC
  • GENTEK BUILDING PRODUCTS
  • HAYFIELD WINDOW & DOOR CO.
  • INTERNATIONAL WINDOW
  • JELD-WEN WINDOWS & DOORS-WINDOW DIVISION
  • KATERRA, INC.
  • LEGACY VINYL WINDOWS
  • MI WINDOWS AND DOORS, LLC
  • MILGARD MFG., INC.
  • NT WINDOW
  • PARADIGM WINDOW SOLUTIONS
  • SIMONTON WINDOWS
  • THERMO-TECH WINDOWS & DOORS
  • UNITED WINDOW & DOOR MFG.
  • VINYL WINDOW DESIGNS LTD.
  • WIN-DOR, INC.

Professional certifications are the signatures of a quality product. When you start your search for windows, begin with some of the manufacturers listed above. Get some pricing bids from a few companies to get an idea of how much each will charge before you make your final choice.

Homeowners in Northern Texas can start their search at Brennan Enterprises. Learn more about our company and our vinyl window selection by exploring our website.

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     -Bobby

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