What You Need to Know About Windows
Buying replacement windows is no simple task, and your best bet is to find a company that you trust to help take care of your family and your home, which for many people is their single largest asset they own. There are many different types of windows, materials to choose from, options, and so on, and making the right choices can save you thousands of dollars and make sure you end up with the right type of windows to meet your needs.
Do You Actually Need to Replace Your Windows?
The first question we ask ourselves when we visit a new client is whether they actually need replacement windows, or whether we can simply repair or retrofit their existing windows.
We’ve built our business on building trusting relationships with our customers, so we’ll only recommend replacing windows that actually need to be replaced. And if some windows need to be replaced straight away while others can wait, we’ll include those suggestions in any recommendations we make.
Anatomy of a Window
Before you buy replacement windows, take a few minutes to understand the different parts of a window, and which ones are most important when choosing the right ones for your home.
Here are the most important parts of residential windows:
- Frame – this is the outer structure of the window. The horizontal portion of the frame is called the sill and the vertical part is called the jamb.
- Sash – the moveable part of the window that opens and closes. The horizontal part of the sash is called the rail and the vertical part is called the stile.
- Glass – the most important part of a replacement window. Most windows today are double insulated, which means that there are two panes of glass seperated by a thin layer of gas. The glass usually has a coating, which helps with thermal insulation and affects how the window handles sunlight.
- Grilles – decorative pieces that give the window some design. Grilles that are mounted between the panes of glass make the window easier to clean because there’s only one window to clean, not multiple panes.
Things You Should Know Different Types of Windows
Here are a few things you should consider when deciding what types of windows to buy for your home.
Understanding Window Numbers and Ratings
If you dig deep into how efficient your windows are, you’re likely to bump into some terms that you might not be familiar with. Here are a few that you should have an idea about:
- U-Factor: How well insulated a window is and how well it will keep the summer heat out and the winter warmth in. The lower the U-factor the better, with 0.30 being the highest U-factor you should allow.
- Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC): How much heat from the sun’s light the window lets in. Solar heat isn’t good in the summer, but is good in the winter, so getting the right SHGC is a balancing act.
- Visible Transmittance (VT): How much visible light the window allows through. Different glass coatings permit different amounts of light to travel through the glass.
- Air Leakage: How much air a window lets through. Generally, you want a low air leakage rating, ideally between 0.1 – 0.3.
- Condensation Resistance (CR): Nobody wants condensation on their windows, and some windows are better at resisting the formation of condensation than others. CR is a number between 1 – 100, and the higher the number the better windows are in resisting condensation.
Energy Savings & Environmental Impact
New windows will likely have a significant impact on heating and cooling your home. It is estimated that a Energy Star rated windows can deliver a 7 – 15% savings on your heating and cooling costs. This is because of the latest materials, superior design and manufacturing processes. Vinyl windows provide the best value for a material that will last a long time, is easy to maintain, and provides heat insulation. Our suppliers use state-of-the-art equipment and processes to ensure that your new windows will stand up to the low temperatures and strong windows of the southern Ontario climate.
And not only will you see a decrease in your heating and cooling costs, but vinyl windows are also the most environmentally friendly choice. Vinyl windows last longer compared to other types of materials, and because the vinyl and glass can be recycled you can be sure that they won’t be filling up a landfill and polluting our planet for future generations.
How a window is installed is almost as important as the construction of the window itself. Even the best windows won’t perform well if they’re poorly installed.
Don’t let just anyone install your windows. We demand our installers be professional craftsmen specially trained in installing windows properly. Insist on the best when it comes to who is going to install your new windows!
What Our Customers Say …
Be Sure to Understand What Types of Windows You’re Buying Before You Buy!
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Showroom visits outside of regular hours by appointment only.