Here’s the good news – we live in Manitoba. And because we live in Manitoba, our homes experience huge temperature swings. While we can adapt, shorts and flip flops in the Summer, bundled head to toe in the winter, our windows can’t. Which means the window technology being developed to deal with the changes in temperature, is truly cutting edge. Back in the 60’s and 70’s, window choices were limited, today choices are abundant; dual pane, triple pane, argon, low emissivity glass, vinyl, wood, fiberglass, metal clad wood and vinyl, brick moulds, the options go on and on.
Perhaps I can shed some light. Not all window glass is of the same quality. The same holds true for the window frame itself, whether its vinyl, wood or fiberglass. The construction of the window frame, the type of gaskets used to seal the frame to the glass and the hardware itself all need to be considered as these directly effect longevity and energy efficiency. Also, when it comes to energy efficiency, there’s a common misconception that the glass makes a window more energy efficient – it doesn’t. The air space between the glass is what makes a window more energy efficient. This is why a triple pane window having two air spaces is more energy efficient than a dual pane window – which has only one air space. Speaking of air, it’s not as energy efficient as argon, which is why argon is used to replace the air between the panes of glass. However, when purchasing a triple pane window, make sure argon is installed in both air spaces and not just one. Low emissivity glass, otherwise known as low e glass, reduces the amount of infrared and ultraviolet light that coms through the glass. This helps your home stay warmer in the Winter and cooler in the Summer. Plus it protects UV fading of any nearby furniture. The coating is basically invisible to the naked eye, and is applied to the inside of the glass, so it won’t scratch off. There have also been significant changes in Brick Moulds – that’s the part of the window you see from the outside which “frames” the window. Numerous brick mould options have been developed to make installation easier and to easily accept various exterior and interior wall finishes resulting in a professional, stylish final look.
If you’re replacing windows, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention moisture “problems” that can result. There’s a good chance the old windows you replaced were drafty, letting warm moist air in the winter escape from the home. The good news is the new windows – if installed properly – won’t be drafty, which will save you money on your heating bill. The bad news is now that the windows aren’t drafty, that warm moist air will now be collecting inside the home. And as soon as it gets really cold outside, the warm moist air will condense on the homes coldest surface – your windows! There’s no cause for alarm. This doesn’t means your windows aren’t working properly. What it means is that you need to reduce the amount of warm moist air in the home – which can be easily done.
Windows are a significant investment. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for – but not always. Its important you ask the right questions, or have a contractor that asks the right questions and fully explains the answers. Only then will the choices be clear.
Need help with replacing your windows or just have a question. Call emergency1 Property Rescue 204-727- help (4357)