Educational Resources


Home Town Restyling offers high quality and durable vinyl windows from Sunrise Windows. These windows offer superior performance and efficiency along with numerous options to suite your style. Learn more about the materials, installation methods, performance, and efficiency of your windows below. Or contact your Home Town Restyling experts today!


Watch the informational video series: WINDOWS 101

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Five key things that matter to your window and door energy efficiency.

It’s not easy to decide which replacement window or door option is the right one for you. Certainly energy efficiency is key no matter what style you choose. But how can you make sure you ARE getting the most energy efficient windows or doors?

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Thermal Performance
A major reason you may be replacing your windows and doors is to get improved thermal performance and lower energy bills. You want to keep the heat from your furnace and cool from your air conditioner in your home where it belongs. Not insulating adequately and properly around the frame will allow drafts to enter into your home. Improper installation of your windows and doors can cause stress on the frame and sash, allowing energy loss around the frame and loss of the window seal. Once the seal is gone, your window will no longer be insulated and performing properly. To learn about thermal performance ratings, visit our NFRC ratings page.

Air Infiltration
Your windows and doors play a key role in keeping you safe and comfortable even on the breeziest day. Air infiltration causes cold drafts and temperature differences within a room, which frequently causes the thermostat to be set higher or lower, so that the average temperature is at the desired level. Sealing and properly insulating the perimeter of the frame will help keep stubborn drafts from sneaking in around the window. Also, ensuring the window closes and seals itself properly is an important step in the installation process. To learn about our air infiltration ratings, visit our AWS ratings page.

Wind Loads
No matter where you live, your home may be exposed to a variety of weather elements. You expect your new windows and doors to stand up to the challenge and protect you and your home. An improperly anchored window or door may move within the rough opening or become mis-aligned causing poor operation, or in severe cases, permanent damage. To learn about wind load (Design Pressure or Performance Grade ratings), visit our Air, Water, Structural Ratings page.

Water Damage
Although Sunrise windows and Sliding doors are made of vinyl, the rough opening of your wall is usually a 2×4 or 2×6 wood stud. When installing your windows, it is important to incorporate a water barrier and water drainage plane to ensure no water penetrates around the frame of the window. If water is able to get in around the window, it can cause damage to the wall structure, weakening the support and seal around the window. Once the seal around the window is broken, air and water have easy access into your home, and your windows will not be able to perform efficiently. To learn more, visit our Air, Water, Structural Ratings page.

Sound Control
While the window or door itself may be designed to help reduce outside noise, proper insulation around the perimeter of your window or door frame can help as well. A poorly balanced and anchored window or door may also squeak or groan from wind and air pressure, causing more noise issues. To learn more about sound control, visit our STC Ratings Section.

Installation is important to ensure your windows and doors can perform efficiently. Discuss the installation process with a Hometown Restyling expert so you can make the best decision for your home.


Latitude Glass: Beauty and Comfort for Where You Live

There are many things to consider when replacing your windows and doors, and the glass you select is an important choice. Glass affects the look of your home from the curb, how clear your view is from inside the house, the amount of light allowed into your home and how comfortable you feel throughout the year. It can help you save money on heating and cooling bills and protect your belongings from fading. The climate where you live must also be considered. With Latitude Glass, Sunrise offers a range of glass packages so you can get the look and feel that is best for you.

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Understanding Glass Performance

NFRC label sampleThe National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), a nonprofit organization, has defined labeling requirements for windows and doors. This information is provided to help you choose the best product for your home. Under the program, products are independently tested, certified and labeled, so you can be confident they will perform the way they are advertised. And as you will see, the ENERGY STAR program uses U-Factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient and Air Leakage to qualify products for certification.

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Window and Door 101

Putting in new windows or doors is a big investment, so here are a few key things we feel are important to understand prior to making your choices.

  • Be sure the products you choose are tested by the NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council). They are a third-party nonprofit that certifies window and door rating and labeling.
  • Consider the impact your existing windows/doors have on the beauty, value, and interior comfort of your home and what you want to achieve with replacement windows/doors.
  • Consider the following four things when you begin searching for replacement window/door options: energy efficiency, aesthetics, durability and maintenance. (See below in more detail)
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What return on investment can I expect with my window replacement project? This is a natural question when any homeowner decides to upgrade their home with new, energy efficient windows. Some of the factors to consider are re-sale value, energy savings, aesthetics, comfort, convenience, security, and noise reduction. Averages for re-sale value and energy savings are easy to find, others are more subjective. And you wonder where your home fits into the “average”?

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Homeowners typically consider replacing windows because they are unsatisfied with their current windows. Understanding why windows fail is essential to choosing the best window and installation type to meet expectations. It can be the difference between being “satisfied” or “absolutely ecstatic” with a window project.

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Why choose vinyl?
  • Vinyl windows reduce energy costs by keeping heat in during Iowa’s frigid winter months and out during the scorching summer months.
  • Vinyl windows are nearly 100 percent scratch-free, and the only required maintenance is to wash them, which manufacturers have made increasingly easier over the years.
  • Vinyl is less expensive than other window materials, but this doesn’t mean vinyl windows are low quality. Vinyl is durable because it doesn’t rot, rust or corrode.
  • Vinyl windows have many color, size, and style options. They can also be custom-made.
  • Vinyl is versatile, so you can get almost any sort of window available on the market, from patio doors and bay windows, to casement windows and double hung.
Signs It’s Time For Window Replacement
  • High Utility Bills – One indicator that your windows are damaged is an unusually high power bill. A cracked window will often prevent your home from being properly insulated, so your HVAC has to work harder to maintain the internal temperate.
  • Excess Window Condensation – If you often see condensation between the window panes, it may mean the frame, glass, or seal is damaged. It could also indicate that the glazing on your windows is fading.
  • Water Damage – Extreme weather can result in water damage for aging windows. If you see any mold or chipping, it may be time for a window replacement as these cannot be repaired.