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The Vinyl Replacement Windows Buyer's Guide

Manufacturer Profile:
Pella Windows


Pella is the second largest manufacturer of windows, patio doors, entry doors and storm doors in the United States. The company offers replacement windows in fiberglass, wood and vinyl. The vinyl windows line is available at Lowe’s under the “ThermaStar” brand. Other Pella vinyl windows brands include “Centera” and “Encompass”.


Pella offers a full range of residential and commercial products for new construction, remodeling and replacement projects. They have replacement windows to fit various styles and budgets. Pella has numerous American manufacturing locations, with facilities in eight states.

Energy Efficiency

Pella outlines a number of features in their windows that increase their energy efficiency:

  • Multiple panes of glass - Two or three panes of glass means more layers of protection between the weather and your home.
  • Low-emissivity (Low-E) glass coatings. These special coatings on the glass reflect heat energy. In the winter, it reflects heat back into the room, keeping your home warmer. Low-E coatings also block the sun’s harmful UV rays, helping to prevent fade damage to your carpet, furniture and window treatments. In the summer, Low-E glass reflects heat away from your home, keeping it cooler.
  • Argon. Pella inserts it between the panes of glass to provide extra insulation.

Pella also claims their innovative methods provide additional energy efficiency, such as combining glass and thermal breaks in different ways to increase separation between inside and outside the home. They also offer “snap-in between-the-glass” shades and blinds.


Pella says its windows meet or exceed Energy Star guidelines in every U.S. state. The company offers a proprietary “InsulShield Energy PerformanceGlass Collection.” Pella also states that some of its products “significantly” exceed U.S. Energy Star guidelines. Finally, their products reportedly feature some of the lowest U-Factors available.

Manufacturing Process

Pella boasts of its cutting-edge facilities that test its products under harsh conditions – sun, salt air, rain, humidity, wind, rain and extreme temperatures. These labs also look for infiltration by air/water as well as product structural strength. Factory assembly is also something Pella prides itself on; claiming that this type of assembly ensures a tight seal and “leaves little room for error” during the installation process. Pella states that is it constantly looking to improve upon their products and manufacturing processes to ensure the highest-quality windows and doors.


Pella offers warranties on their windows, but there are limitations. Regarding vinyl replacement windows, generally speaking, the warranties for products installed in an owner-occupied residence is not transferable, while products installed in a non-owner-occupied home may be transferable.

Company History

According to Pella, in 1925, Pete and Lucille Kuyper from the small Dutch community of Pella, Iowa, invested in a new invention — a window screen that rolled up and down like a shade. The couple went on to found a company “based on the principles of traditional American values, integrity and the desire to enrich the homes and lives of others.” Today, Pella Corporation is still owned by the Kuyper family and professionally managed. The company states that it has been awarded more than 100 product and design patents, including on the industry standard the tilt-wash double-hung window. They have 12 manufacturing facilities with 8,200 employees. Pella has more than 200 window and door showrooms across the country.

Note: is not affiliated with or endorsed by Pella Corporation.


Buyer's Guide Contents
Why Vinyl Windows
New Construction vs. Retrofit Windows
Getting Estimates
Vinyl Window Features
Exterior Appearance
Energy Efficiency Ratings
Building Codes, Permits and Fire Codes
Installation Process
Life with Our New Vinyl Windows
Window Rebates & Credits
2011 Federal Tax Credit
Atlanta, GA Rebate
Georgia Power Rebate
Long Beach, CA Rebate
Virginia State Rebate
Window Manufacturers
Before and After Photos
Vinyl Windows
Vinyl Patio Doors

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