Introduction• If you’re buying a new home, renovating the one you have or looking for ways to save money, the subject of windows and doors has likely come up.• The concept of a window only being something to look through and a door being a way to get in and out is long gone.• Windows and doors are important parts of your home and a lot of consideration must be given to both, no matter what stage of the game you’re in.
Assessment• According to Natural Resources Canada, the first step to having great windows and doors is assessing your situation. It’s important to check for drafts, cracks, improper fit and signs of age when moving in to a home or trying to improve the energy efficiency of your own.• Once you have accurately assessed the situation, you’ll know where the inadequacies lie and you can go about fixing them.
Using the Sun• Since energy efficiency is such an important factor when choosing windows and doors, designing your home to take advantage of the sun is a wise choice.• As Natural Resources Canada points out, the energy you get from the sun is absolutely free, so why not take advantage of it.• The sun’s light and heat increases the brightness in your home and will cut down on heating bills. Of course, the positioning of your windows can also lead to excess heat coming in during the summer months, so it’s a balance.
Using the Sun• There has always been unwritten rules regarding window placement and heat gain or loss, but with new technology comes new thoughts and new rules.• Today, try to keep the ratio of window area to floor area in your home at around 1:10. This helps to prevent overheating from solar heating. Energy efficient doors also play an important role, especially if your home has patio doors in different locations.
Important Considerations• When it comes to selecting effective windows and doors for your home, Natural Resources Canada suggests making several important considerations. • Don’t use price alone as a guide for quality or performance. Most of the time, a cheaper unit will perform poorly, but sometimes they will outperform more expensive units. • High performance windows are quickly becoming the industry standard, so you may not notice a price differential between high performance and standard windows.
Important Considerations • Try to find the most energy efficient windows and doors possible to suit both your needs and your budget. Just because price isn’t everything doesn’t mean that budget isn’t an important factor. • Consider windows and doors as a long-term investment and act accordingly. Ask a lot of questions and take your time making a decision.
Window Benefits• Here are some of the homeowner benefits to using high performance, energy efficient windows in your house: • Reduced heating costs – energy efficient windows keep the warm air inside and the cold air out. • Reduced cooling costs - in the summer, the reverse is true, and the warm air stays out and the cool air stays inside. • Improved comfort – air leakage and drafts become a thing of the past with proper windows.
Window Benefits • Less exterior noise – the gas fills in high performance windows that are designed to prevent energy loss, also reduce the noise from the exterior to interior. • Increased daylight – since high performance windows help you regulate temperatures so well, they can be placed in spots that get more sunlight without worrying so much about solar gain. • More humidity with no condensation – high performance windows can keep the humidity levels higher in winter to prevent dry throats and static shocks, but without the condensation that can produce mold and other issues.
Door Benefits• Even though doors have less impact than windows concerning energy consumption, choosing the right ones still offers benefits. • Improved energy efficiency - Proper installation is important to reduce drafts and air leakage between the frames and the door. • Security – properly installed, heavier doors will enhance the security of the home. • Reduced heat flow – choosing the right type of door for your home will keep the heat flow into the house to a minimum.
Where to Buy?• When you’re ready to buy your windows and doors, it’s important to choose a supplier that will provide you with exactly what you need. Look for a supplier that: • Is up to date on the latest technology. • Offers advice about which windows and doors are best for you. • Visits your home to take measurements beforehand. • Offers references for you to contact. • Has a proven track record and a lot of window and door experience.