How to Choose Replacement Windows?

Looking for some new windows? Got confused when you faced the large number of materials, styles and ratings? Do not worry because we got your back. Here is some extremely important and helpful information for choosing the right products for your window replacement project:

Consider Personal Preferences

There isn’t an ideal window suitable for everyone. Each home has its own characteristics and of course a homeowner with personal preferences. A commonly practiced and efficient advice is to write down your preferences on a piece of paper and then orient your choices based on it.

Decide whether your home needs more natural light or privacy. Take in mind energy efficiency and ventilation. What rooms have high humidity? Should I improve ventilation in the bathroom? What kind of climate do I live in? Is my room facing North? Do I need better lightning in the kitchen? Ask yourself these questions and do not hesitate to schedule a free consultation since expert advice can only lead to good things.

Choose a Window Style

There are tons of window types out there, each suitable for different environments and aesthetics. The common choice for homeowners in Canada are the double-hung windows. There provide excellent ventilation, are kid friendly and work great for traditionally styled homes. However, rooms with high humidity like kitchens and bathrooms require windows with top quality ventilation. These windows are casement, awning and hopper.

If you prefer natural light and aesthetics above everything else then bay windows are a great choice for you. They create additional living space and are amazing for adding aesthetic value and natural light. Sliding windows are best for small spaces since they don’t disrupt neither the interior or exterior. Think of improving breeze and light in the kitchen with adding skylight windows which are placed on ceilings.

Choose a Frame & Glass Material

The energy efficiency isn’t influenced by the window type, so whatever you choose; remember to also mind the framing material and the glass. The most efficient frame materials on the market today are vinyl and fiberglass. They are amazing insulators, require little to none maintenance and have larger lifespans. Wood is also a great insulator, but it is vulnerable to rot and termites, resulting in a shorter life span and frequent clean-ups or maintenance.

When it comes to the glass, everything depends on the climate you live in. Single pane windows aren’t recommended at all, but still work great for some environments. If you live in a cold and rainy area though, always choose double or triple pane windows. There are specific energy ratings for window glass and they are mentioned in the next paragraph.

Consider Energy Ratings

Homeowners can get confused when surrounded by tons of different materials and designs. To take off this burden of buyer’s backs, experts invented the Energy Rating system. There are certain must’s for quality windows. They must be durable, practical and energy efficient. If your new windows don’t have high energy ratings, your electrical bill and comfort will suffer the consequences. The ratings you should look for are:

  • U and R Value for Glass – The most important ratings for glass are U and R value. The first one stands for resistance to heat loss, while the second represents a window’s ability to retain and absorb heat. The ideal window should have low U and high R values.
  • Air Leakage– represents the amount of air leakage through a window. The lower number for this rating, the better for your home and bill.
  • VT and SHGC– The first stands for visual transmittance, while the second is an acronym for solar heat gain coefficient. If both are high, you’ll have a window transmitting more natural light and solar heat at the same time. High ratings of VT and SHGC are recommended for rooms facing North.
  • ENERGY STAR– If a window gets high enough points when passing efficiency tests, it will get an ENERGY STAR. This mark is basically a guarantee that your products will act in the most efficient way. These stars are also given to other products such as water heaters, doors, dryers, washing machines and even kettles.