What To Look For In New Replacement Windows For My Home?
Do you notice that your windows aren’t opening as closing as easily as they used to? Are your frames showing signs of damage and decay? Are your heating and cooling bills starting to go up? Do your rooms feel drafty in the winter or overly warm in the summer even when the heat or air conditioning is on?
These could all be signs that you need a new window installation.
Windows generally need to be replaced every 15-20 years so, if you are a Montreal homeowner, you may never have had to get new windows. If you did, it was probably so long ago that you don’t remember what you had to look for.
And with updated technology, it’s always a good idea to learn about your options before making a major purchase.
The process of learning about windows and finding the best ones to buy might seem a bit stressful to you, but never fear. This article will review the different characteristics of windows so you can make a purchasing decision that is right for you.
The frame is a very important part of your window. It plays a primary role in your window’s appearance, energy efficiency and durability. Here are some of the different window frame materials you can choose from.
Vinyl: Vinyl is an inexpensive choice in window frames, but just because it is budget friendly, that doesn’t mean it’s cheap. A well-constructed vinyl frame will be excellent for minimizing air leakage making it an energy efficient choice. However, there isn’t a lot of color choice in vinyl frames and some homeowners don’t find it to be the most attractive option.
Wood: Wood frames offer the best insulation of all types of frames, but they also require the most upkeep. They are prone to rot and therefore might not be the best choice if you live in a rainy or humid climate. However, if you go with a wood frame that is made from a high-quality cut and species, it will withstand the test of time.
Aluminum: Aluminum frames are prone to heat transfer and loss, so they are not the most energy efficient choice. However, they hold up well in rainy climates and their strength makes them a good option for homeowners in areas that are prone to tropical storms and hurricanes.
Wood Clad: Wood clad windows seem to offer the best of both worlds since they have a low maintenance exterior (usually aluminum or vinyl) and an energy efficient wood interior. However, they are still prone to rotting which can lead to water intrusion.
To avoid this, window installation should include waterproof rubber membranes around the cladding and a standalone flashing assembly called a sill pan. A sill pan will drain the water that gathers around the sills and jambs and minimize moisture intrusion.
Composite: Composite frames are made from scrap wood shavings and plastic resins. They are designed to mimic the look of wood but they don’t require nearly as much maintenance. They are often made from recycled plastics making them an eco-friendly choice.
Fiberglass: Fiberglass frames are a type of composite frame. They are made from glass fibers and polyester resins. They are more expensive than other types of frames but the fact that they are the strongest and most durable type of window on the market makes them worth the investment. They are also extremely energy efficient, can be repainted several times and won’t warp and twist like other frames do.
Another thing you will want to consider when buying a window is the type of glass you use. Here are some things to look out for:
Number of Panes: Older windows were generally single pane, but homeowners found that these offered minimal energy efficiency and were not great in protecting the home from noise and other outdoor elements.
Double pane windows are ideal in offering protection without sacrificing other features a window should provide.
While triple pane windows offer more energy efficiency, they also cost more and reduce the window’s visibility and light transmittance.
Argon Filled: When looking for a window, be sure to choose one that is argon filled. This slows the transfer of heat through the window without producing condensation.
Low E: Low-E stands for low emissivity. Low-E windows reflect, absorb and emit radiant energy to working more efficiently inside your home.
Energy Star Rated: The most efficient windows will be a part of the Energy Star Program. These windows will have stickers that display ratings by the National Fenestration Rating Council.
In order to qualify for the Energy Star program, the windows must meet standards for the following metrics:
- U-value: U-value measures a window’s resistance to heat loss.
- Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC): This is a measure of how much heat enters the home through the glass.
In general, the lower the number the better.
UV Protection: UV protection is an optional feature that can make new windows even more efficient. It is a tint used on windows that is undetectable to the eye, but it works to preserve paint and textiles and keep the house cooler. If you live in a hot climate, you can save a significant amount of money using a UV tint.
Once you find the windows you like, you must find the right contactor to install them. If windows are not properly installed, they will not perform effectively.
It is best to interview a contractor in advance to determine how much experience they have with window installation Montreal, but there are some methods of installation that should definitely raise a red flags.
Beware of contactors that use a lot of sealants and foams to get the window to fit well. These are not waterproof, and they can lead to problems down the road. Pre-installation waterproofing is a better option.
Flashing and caulking should be done with an eye to detail to keep water leakage and other possible issues minimal.
The design you choose for your new windows may be a matter of personal taste, but there are certain designs that are inherently more efficient than others. Here are the most popular designs and what you can expect from them.
Double-Hung Windows: Double hung windows have a bottom window that slides up to open the unit. They are generally energy efficient but the space between the windows can cause air leakage.
Casement Windows: These types of windows have a crank that is turned to allow the window to swing outwards to open. They seal tightly to provide maximum energy efficiency, but their hinges and seals often require maintenance over time.
Picture Windows: These are windows that don’t open at all. To be sure your picture windows provide maximum energy efficiency, choose ones with gas filled interiors and a high-quality glass type.
Another energy efficient feature is the transom. These are horizontal beams or bars used to separate the bottom part of the window from the top part.
Transom windows were originally created to improve air circulation before the times of air conditioning. Today, you rarely see transom windows that open, but it is available in some designs and can be an environmentally friendly benefit for homeowners as it still serves as away to cool the house without using excess energy.
Transom windows can feature designs like half-moon or sunbursts, but these do not open. A transom window that opens on the top is not only more environmentally friendly, but it requires a deep casing that provides more depth and, some say, a more appealing look.
Finding the Right Contractors for Your Window Installation
If you are a Montreal homeowner who is looking to get new windows installed in your home, Factory Direct Montreal is highly recommended.
Factory Direct Montreal will work with you from the beginning helping you to find the windows that are right for your home. They will follow up with affordable prices, stress free installation and fantastic service. They offer free estimates, easy financing and a 25-year warranty.
There is a lot to consider when you are buying new windows for your home. Hopefully this article has provided you with useful information that can help you in the decision-making process. We wish you the best of luck in finding windows you will be happy with. Contact us.