What to Consider in a Replacement Window - February 28th 2010
Upgrading windows throughout your your home is an investment that not only improves the street appeal but also makes it more energy efficient. If you are feeling drafts from old windows, retrofitting older windows with new Energy Star-rated windows will noticeably improve the comfort levesl of your home. When choosing windows there are a few items to consider.
Where to begin:
Finding the right company that will manufacture and install your new windows. Check for warranties which cover both manufacturing and installation defects and make sure you compare apples to apples. Some companies manufacture, sell and install, while others will rely on separate warranties from manufacturers, distributors and installers. Check who holds the warranty and check that the warranty is tranferable. Don't be shy to ask for area references and be sure you are comfortable with whoever you choose to work on your home. Also consider where the windows are manuafactured.
For installations specifically, ensure that any contractor coming to work in your home has WCB coverage and third party liability insurance, otherwise you, the homeowner, may be responsible if someone was hurt on the job.
Install Energy efficient windows, Consider Energy Star rated Low E squared with argon gas. Low-emissivity windows (known as low-E) use an almost invisible metal coating to reduce heat loss, reflect outside heat in summer and block ultraviolet light which fades draperies, carpets and furniture. Best of all: two low-E panes with an insulating gas like argon between them gives an R-value of 4.17.
See if your supplier also provides a "house-as-a-system" approach to energy efficiency, being able to provide you with a full detailed list of your home's overall energy efficiency performance including insulation levels, ventilation, draft proofing and controls, and recommendations for other areas of home savings. This added value service will also enhance the performance of your new windows.
Buying energy efficient windows does not mean sacrificing style. All styles and sizes of windows can be more efficient, and it's not just the glass. The casings, the installation and even the mechanisms can help increase efficiency. It's a very important decision, choosing the right windows for your home. Whether building or remodeling, the right windows will not only enhance the beauty of your home, they will also save you a considerable sum on your heating costs. Take the time to clearly examine the advantages, including the quality, minimizing condensation and mold problems commonly associated with poorly constructed and installed windows.
Check your new windows for premium locking systems. Technological advancements are helping to create window systems where the windows can't be removed from the outside, and offer better locking systems for both alarmed and unalarmed homes. Safety glass can be used on main floors or sidelights of entry doors for extra security.
Glass Assembly - Are all units are double sealed using foam and a proven secondary seal?
Hardware - is it durable hardware to ensure you years of smooth maintenance free operation and enjoyment?
Welding - is the frame fused for strength and durability and will it eliminate water leakage on corner locations?
Screens - are all screens are spring mounted into the frame for a secure fit and ease of removal?
The Energy Star label:
Energy Star is the international symbol of energy efficiency. It helps consumers quickly and easily identify home appliances and energy-using equipment that saves energy. The Energy Star label identifies products as high efficiency performers in their category.
Energy efficient windows can help keep heat in during the winter, and keep heat out during the summer. With UV protection they can also minimize sun damage to the skin and eyes of the home's residents, as well as minimize furniture and carpet fading.
Anywhere you have glass or windows in your home, you can replace them with energy efficient products. If you have French or sliding doors, you may want to consider upgrading them at the same time.
If you live in the Lower Mainland, please call Shell Busey's Home Service Referral Network for a referral to upgrade your windows, or please call Shell Busey's Home Services Referral Office at 604-542-2236 or toll-free 1-800-266-8806.