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We guarantee the best quality, energy efficient windows with top notch installation.

Quick Tip: Energy Efficient windows means money in your pocket

The cost to heat the average Canadian home is approximately $1200 per year. Of that, industry experts say about 25 per cent - or $300 - is caused by heat loss through standard, double-paned windows. By replacing drafty, old windows with energy-efficient ones, a homeowner can save almost 60 per cent of the money that almost literally goes out the window. That's an average saving of $180 per household.

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Energy Efficiency - How to recognize a good replacement window

When you plan to replace one of more of your home's windows, doing your own research can become confusing. There's so much technical information to absorb.

A certain type of homeowner likes to do some fact finding. Other consumers would prefer not to get into the technical terminology. That's where Window Wise, a national quality assurance program administered by SAWDAC, comes in. By hiring a Window Wise certified contractor, a homeowner can be confident of getting a good quality, energy efficient window and top-notch installation - without becoming an expert.

Here are some features of energy efficient windows for the curious:

High Energy Rating - The higher the number, the better the energy efficiency. Most average windows have an Energy Rating (ER) of 10. Windows approved for Window Wise installation have an ER of 21 or better for windows that open, and 26 for fixed ones, making them vastly superior to others on the market.

Coating - Low-E (low-emissivity) coating is a microscopically thin, metallic film on the window's glass that reflects radiant heat back to its source. Windows with Low-E glazing keep warm air in the house during the winter months and cool air inside in the summer, reducing both heating and air-conditioning costs.

Argon Gas - Typically used in tandem with Low-E coating, Argon is an inert, non-flammable, non-toxic gas that constitutes about one per cent of the air we breathe. When the space between the two panes of glass in a double-glazed window is filled with heavier Argon gas instead of air, it acts as a thermal blanket that stops the heat from escaping. An added benefit: because it filters out ultraviolet rays, Argon gas can prevent your draperies from fading.

R-value - The R-value measures the resistance of thermal transfer, or heat flow, through the window. The higher the R-value, the better. A typical R-value for the centre of a double-glazed window is R2. When Low-E and Argon gas are added, the R-value doubles to about 4, reducing the rate of heat loss by about 50 per cent.

It really boils down to just two things that the consumer should be looking for: a good quality, tightfitting window and a good (air filtration) rating of two or three.

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Home Renovation Tips: Energy efficient windows save you money

Windows can be responsible for high energy consumption, cold drafts, condensation and unnecessary heat loss. In fact, 20 to 30 per cent of the heat loss from your home can come from windows and the areas around them. So if you're planning a renovation project to replace your old windows, it's important to know how to get a high quality, airtight product and professional installation.

A proper installation and a quality window dramatically reduce the possibility of drafts, leaks or ill-fitted windows, which can save homeowners a great deal of money immediately and in the long term.

Consumers need to shop carefully because many contractors have not kept up with the latest developments in window technology. Here are some commonly asked questions and answers to help homeowners shop for replacement windows:

Q-1. Should I choose a window with a frame and sash made of wood, vinyl, fiberglass or metal?
Q-2. How do I know if a window is energy efficient.
Q-3. How can I recognize a good quality window?
Q-4. Are the windows certified by the CSA?
Q-5. Is the contractor certified by Window Wise?

A-1. Each material has its strengths and weaknesses. Good quality windows can be made from any of these materials, as long as they are designed properly. Vinyl windows make up most of the replacement window market because of their low maintenance needs, energy efficiency and competitive cost.

A-2. There are three ways to tell if a window is energy efficient: 1. It carries an Energy Star label. 2. It is approved by Window Wise. 3. If it has neither of the above ratings, it must have a good air filtration rating (A2 or A3), and it must have at least a double-glazed, sealed unit with low-emissivity (Low-E) glass.

A-3. Make sure the window you choose has been tested to the Canadian Standard Association's (CSA) A440 standard and has high ratings for air and water leakage, ability to withstand wind, and energy efficiency. Most manufacturers publish the air filtration (A), water penetration (B), strength/wind load (C) and energy efficiency (ER) ratings of their windows in their sales literature.

A-4. The difference between a window tested to the CSA standard and a window certified by CSA is that a certified window has been verified by CSA to comply with test results. CSA certifies windows by actually visiting manufacturing plants. A list of CSA- certified manufacturers can be found online by going to and clicking on the CSA logo.

A-5. Window Wise, a national quality assurance program administered by SAWDAC, trains and certifies contractors and window manufacturers and randomly inspects the installation of energy-efficient windows to ensure that its standards are met.

Energy efficient windows not only improve comfort and reduce energy loss, they also help to combat greenhouse gas, contributing to a healthier environment for all of us.

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A Common Household Problem: How to reduce condensation on your windows

Have you noticed condensation dripping down the insides of your windows in the winter? If so, you're not alone.

The most frequently asked questions we get from homeowners is 'What's causing the condensation on my windows?

Over the past 30 years, many improvements have been made in the way houses are sealed and insulated. As a result, there are fewer exchanges of inside and outside air. This increases the level of relative humidity inside our homes. During the winter months, high humidity levels in homes often cause water to condense on cold windowpanes.

It's just like when put you ice into a drink. After a few minutes you'll notice the outside of the glass is covered with water droplets. Condensation always forms on a cold surface. So the key is to warm up the inside of your windows. The colder the outside of the window gets, the less relative humidity you can have indoors and still have dry windows.

There are two things you can do to remedy a condensation problem:

1. Install new windows that are more energy efficient, will fit more tightly and have warmer glazing than your existing ones, or

2. Reduce the relative humidity inside your house by:

  • Allowing dryer outside air to enter through a slightly opened window, increasing ventilation.
  • Turning down your humidifier, if you have one.
  • Cutting down on the major sources of water vapor in the home: cooking, washing and bathing.
  • Buying a heat recovery ventilation unit.
To test the relative humidity in your home, buy an inexpensive humidity gauge at your local hardware store. A chart is available from SAWDAC to help you interpret the results, based on the temperature outside.

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Sill to Sash: A consumer's video guide to understanding windows and installation

Sil to Sash Video
Click on logo to view the video.

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