Window Choice
Replacement Window Installation In Southern Ontario

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29
07
2013

Should You Go with Sliding Glass Doors?


Sliding Glass Doors

Sliding glass doors can add value and beauty to your home. Patio doors are likely the biggest piece of glass in your home. Glass technology has come a long way in the last decade. Sliding glass doors can be made secure, energy efficient and attractive. If you are considering installing sliding glass doors in your home, here is what you need to know.

Security

If you have old doors, sliding glass doors as replacements should be on the top of your list of home renovations. An old door is a security risk for intruders. Our sliding doors are made from tempered glass and have multi-point locking systems to help keep you safe.

Energy Efficient

Glass has the potential to let out a great deal of heat and let in the same amount of cold. If you are considering sliding glass doors, we typically use Cardinal Low E2 glass with argon gas, this meanssavings on your energy bill. Homes that have energy efficient glass stand to save up to 10% on your energy bill every year.

Beauty

Patio doors from Window Choice can be made to custom sizes, colours, grills, glazing and blinds. A variety of options is available to choose from. Virtually any patio door can be made to match any theme in your home.

Room with a View

Sliding glass patio doors are designed to accent what is outside your home. If you have a mountain view, a lake or another stunning panorama, why would you want to close that off? Take the beauty of nature, and add it to the aesthetic value of your home.

Open Concept

For a small room, sliding glass patio doors can make it seem larger. Sliding glass doors that lead outside turn a space that feels cramped into a space that feels wide open. In the warmer months, you can create a more inviting feel to the room by leaving the door open and letting the breeze blow through.

Sliding glass doors can give your home just what it needs. If you have not yet considered using sliding glass doors for your patio, you might want to bump it up on the list of home renovations. Not only will it improve the look of your home, but also it will provide you with better security for you and your family, and keep money in your wallet where it belongs.

If you would like to know more about what Window Choice sliding glass doors can do for you, visit our Patio Doors section and browse around. We know you will find something that fits.

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25
07
2013

What are double glazed windows and why are they important


Double glazed windowsDouble glazed windows are made out of two separate panes of glass, separated by a 1/2″ to 3/4″ of argon gas. These panes are permanently sealed in place in an airtight frame.

Why they are important

Glass is effective at conducting heat. You only need to put hot coffee in a water glass to know just how fast heat transfer can happen.

Double-glazed windows, instead of relying on glass for insulation, instead relies on argon gas.

Conduction versus Convection

Argon gas molecules, individually, are an excellent insulating material. It takes a lot of energy to heat up and cool down air. Air is called conduction-resistant.

The reason this might be surprising is that air in our atmosphere seems to change temperature rapidly. However, this only happens because of convection, or the mixing of air of different temperatures by air currents. Convection causes rooms of air to heat up quickly, even though each individual molecule is resistant to changing temperature.

The great thing about double glazed windows is that the argongas between the panes is too narrow for effective convection. Air currents don’t develop, and the air doesn’t mix. Even better, the airtight seal on a double glazed window prevents any indoors or outdoors air currents from causing the argon gas inside the pane to move or mix.

Instead, the argon gas becomes a still blanket that insulates the window against conduction. Engineers call this a dead air space.Dead air space is very insulating, and is actually the main method used in thermoses and travel mugs to keep drinks warm.

Other savings

The installation options of double glazed windows are also much better than traditional windows.

Traditional windows typically are made up of sliding panes of glass along rubber or plastic tracks in the window frame. These are never fully airtight. Air currents from both inside and outside the house can seep into the space between the panes, compromising the dead air space. Even worse, air from outside can actually get inside by seeping through the seals on both panes of glass.

By contrast, double glazed windows typically open via a crank mechanism, instead of a sliding mechanism. When closed, they can be locked with a lever to create a perfect seal.

Condensation

Condensation occurs on the inside of windows when the air outside is cold, and on the outside with the air outside is hot and humid. Both scenarios are bad, as condensation can damage your paint and drywall. However, both situations can be avoided by using double glazed windows. The argon gas sealed inside double glazed windows is de-humidified, so no condensation occurs inside the window itself. The extra insulation greatly slows the temperature changes, so neither pane of glass even has a radically different temperature from the air it is exposed to. This prevents condensation from developing either inside or outside your home.

Double glazed windows are the wave of the future. They only cost slightly more than traditional windows, but will save you literally thousands of dollars in energy savings and renovations.

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22
07
2013

Everything You Need to Know About Picture Windows


picture window

When choosing new windows for your home, the amount of choices can leave you a bit dizzy. We are here to make the decision a bit easier by giving you an in-depth look at picture windows.

What Are Picture Windows?

Simply enough, a picture window acts as a frame to the outside world. There is no glazing bars or any other feature that impede your view of the scenery outside the window. If you have a particularly impressive view, this is a great way to ‘frame’ it. It maximizes the area of the glass, so you get the largest possible view of your great outdoors.

View Versatile

Picture windows can come in a variety of styles. You can find windows that match your price, aesthetics, the architecture of your home, the weather conditions in the area you live in and more. Picture windows can lend a very modern look to a home, as well as let a great deal of light in. For individuals who would prefer glass that blocks some light, allows privacy or a more classic look, glass can be customized for various frosted patterns.

Their simple design allows them to be treated with various accessories that work. They can easily be fitted with blinds, curtains, awnings or any other add-on you can think of.

Very Efficient

Most of the picture windows you will find cannot be opened. While this may not be preferable, it makes them great for energy efficiency. There are no seams, which can let air out or in.  Most picture window models now come with Low-E glass and energy efficient ratings. With energy efficient glass, you stand to save at least 10% on your energy bill every year.

Security

Since most picture windows do not open, they are a lesser risk for unwanted intruders. Glass can be made to withstand a direct hit, heightening the chance that an intruder will think twice before a second attempt. There’s no worry of leaving the window open after you leave the house, and no anxiety over whether or not you’ve closed it.

Replacement

If you have older picture windows, you may want to consider upgrading. Older glass is less energy efficient than the newer stuff. Not only will you be saving a bundle on your energy bill, you will be helping the environment all year round.

The question you need to answer is ‘what do you want your windows to do for you?’ There are so many options available for picture windows;you will have no problem finding one that fits your home. Picture windows add aesthetics and value; they are an energy-smart choice for both your family and the environment.

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16
07
2013

How much can you save with new windows


Save with new windowsAnswering that question takes a lot of variables, a lot of calculations, and a little guesswork. If you just want a quick approximate answer, if you own a 2000 square foot Canadian home with gas heating and air conditions, upgrading from sliding windows to our Energy Star casement windows will save you at least $250 a year for at least the next 10 years.

If you want a more detailed breakdown customized to your house, here is the math behind it.

Work Out the Climate Situation

The climate data at Climate Weather Office shows how many days out of a given year your house needs to be heated, and by how much.

Looking at the data for Toronto, we can find that last winter Toronto experienced about six months of sustained low temperatures, from the end of October to the beginning of May. These temperatures tended to be within 5 and 10 degrees above zero, requiring about 15 degrees of heat. Using this, we can estimate something called “degree-days” as follows:

15 degrees of heat * 182 days = 2730 degree-days

Calculate Heat Lost Through Windows

Now, that you know temperatures, you can figure out how much heat you’re losing. Find out the R-value of your current windows using the following link.

Older windows usually have an R-value around 0.9.

Then, estimate the total area of your house. A 2000 Square foot house, with large windows on the front and back, usually has about 1000 sq. feet of windows.

Now, calculate your heat loss with the following formula:

heat loss/year in BTUs = 24*degree-days * window area ÷R-value

Using this formula we find that our typical house in Toronto loses 72 million BTUs through the windows each winter.

Calculate Cost of BTUs

You can calculate your heating costs per million BTUs using this form.

Natural gas through Enbridge in Toronto costs around 11 cents per cubic metre, or about 30 cents per Therm. Using Travis Industries’ calculator, we find that natural gas costs roughly $3.75 per million BTUs.

Put it All Together

$3.75 * 72 = $270. As a result, $270 is a lowball estimate of how much money escapes out a typical house’s windows each winter.

If you do the same calculation with 3/4″ double pane Energy Star Windows (R-value around 4.5), you get approximately $55, for an energy savings of $215 per year!

However, that’s a very conservative estimate. In actuality, the number will often be higher because old windows often let hot air slip out through their seals.This will vary from house to house, but we can very conservatively estimate the cost at $20 a year.

Also, we can do the calculation for air conditioning as well. Toronto gets about 2000 negative degree-days in the summer, meaning that with high-grade windows you will keep out 32 million BTUs each summer. Using the calculator here.We find that cooling these extra BTUs would cost $146 per year. However, most people allow their homes to be hot some days, so let’s cut that in half and say $70 per year.

As a result, the lower estimate for our hypothetical Toronto house is $250 per year in savings. Try it out with your house! How much would you save?

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11
07
2013

How do you know it’s time to replace your windows


Replace your windows
There are many signs that your windows have outlived their usefulness. The big things to watch for are:

1. Your windows are outdated

Windows are the easiest way for heat to leave your house in the winter, and enter your house in the summer. Over the course of a year, any windows will cost you hundreds of dollars in energy, as compared to walls. However, in the last decade, new technologies have been developed that can prevent most of the high energy costs of windows.

Modern windows, typically sealed double-pane windows, have over twice the R-value of traditional windows. This means that they convey heat into and out of your house at less than half the rate. You can see a comparison of R-values of different window types on this contractor website.

In addition, new window installation systems, like casement awning windows, shut with airtight seals, preventing heat from crossing the window through air convection.

So what do R-values mean for your bottom line? It depends on your yearly weather patterns, energy usage rates, the size of your home, and the size of your windows.

2. Your windows are failing

Even if your windows are energy-efficient double-paned casement windows, they can still lose their insulating power over time.

You can check your windows by:

  • looking for hot or cold spots near the inside of windows;
  • wetting your finger and checking for small drafts near the edges of your windows;
  • holding a small flashlight against the exterior caulk seal, and checking to see if light makes it through

If any of these tests turn out positive, then your windows are failing and are letting more heat in and out than they have to.

3. Your windows are allowing condensation.

Windows that heat or cool rapidly build up moisture condensation, especially in humid climates. This can have terrible effects on your house. Interior condensation can seep into your window frame and compromise the seal. Exterior condensation can cause paint to peel. If you notice peeling paint or a warping window frame, you should immediately replace your windows before they cost you any more money.

4. You just do not like how your windows are performing.

There are a lot of personal aesthetic reasons that you might have for not liking your windows. They might let too much noise in, interfering with your sleep or enjoyment of your day-to-day life. Your windows also might not open or close easily and cause you stress and frustration. They could also let too much light in or cause glare.

All of these are perfectly valid reasons to replace your windows. Windows, like everything in your house, are there for your enjoyment. If you do not like your windows, why not replace them?

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02
07
2013

7 questions to ask your windows and doors company


Replacement windows and doorsThis non-exhaustive list of things you should ask a company before installing replacement windows and/or doors. Many of these questions often get overlooked.

1. How many panes of glass do I need? How many do you offer?

Single-paned windows are now a thing of the past. New windows usually have either two or three panes of glass.

However, whether a salesperson tries to upsell you from double glazed to triple glazed windows will tell you a lot about whether you can trust that salesman.

Double glazed windows, with two panes of glass, will suit most needs. If a salesperson says you need a triple glazed window, you should be very cautious of that salesperson. For the record, you only need a triple-glazed window if:

  • You live in an extremely cold climate, like Northern Ontario.
  • You are willing to spend more money than you will save on energy savings, because you want to reduce your carbon footprint.
  • You are extremely bothered by noise in your neighbourhood and will pay whatever it takes to get some peace and quiet.

Another reason why triple pane is usually a problem is that it greatly limits the sizes you can do in casements.

The weight is a huge issue for the consistent operation of the hardware and you may require more services than normal.

That’s it. The economics of triple glazing just don’t make sense at the moment, and salespeople should not keep trying to push them on you.

2. What kind of warranty do you offer?

We tend to think of our warranty as you break it…we fix it.

3. What makes your products better than the industry standard?

Windows and doors are improving all the time. This process is being driven by excellent companies who push the boundaries of modern technology. A good window company will be able to tell you how they produce a better product, for cheaper, than their competitors.

4. What is the R-value of your products?

The R-Value is the resistance of a given object to heat transfer. It is the most important statistic for energy efficiency. You can check out industry-standard R-Values for windows and doors at the following link.

5. Are you an authorized installer?

Window factories will usually only authorize some resellers as installers. This authorization means that a company has proven itself able to install windows effectively, safely, and on schedule.

6. What is included in installation charges?

Make sure that you’re not paying for any hidden costs, like disposal of old windows or modifications to your property.

7. Are you listed on the Better Business Bureau?

The BBB is a great way to find out if a company is fair, professional and competent. You can check out their ratings at http://www.bbb.org.

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