Modern, efficient windows change the way you feel about your home, inside and out. Inside, you'll notice more controlled temperatures, neither too hot nor too cold. Outside, you'll have a home that has enhanced curb appeal, with matching frames that coordinate with the rest of your paintwork.
How do you know it's time to replace your windows?
Leaking, damp, drafty windows?
Older windows made from wood need constant re-painting. Even so, over time, rain, snow and ice will eventually start to cause decay. The end result is windows that leak, both water and air, which can cause internal walls to be damp, cold and moldy. You may also find that older construction methods have compromised the seal between window and wall, again leading to drafts and moisture penetration.
Older metal framed windows with single pane glass can also be problematic. Unlike modern windows, there is no thermal barrier between the outside air and the inside air. Condensation forms on both glass and metal, leading to long-term problems around the windows.
The right windows in the wrong place?
The orientation of a home is often overlooked when planning for windows. North facing walls don't enjoy much sun, so perhaps they should have bigger windows to help heat and brighten rooms in winter? West facing walls have the opposite problem, with too much sun, causing overheating. East facing walls get morning sun, south facing gets midday sun: both need to be considered when installing new windows. Perhaps you have the right windows in the wrong place; or the wrong windows in the right place.
The advantages of vinyl windows
Greg Martineau installs Gienow or PlyGem vinyl windows. In Calgary's harsh climate, vinyl excels. It doesn't fade, crack, rot or warp. It doesn't need to be painted or stained. And the material is well-insulated.
You can buy vinyl windows as fixed casement, operable casement, slider, single hung, picture or awning. You can also personalize your vinyl windows with applied grills, giving the effect of smaller glass panes. Vinyl is almost always the most economical option, but comes in a limited number of colours. It is possible to increase colour choices by opting for aluminum-clad vinyl.
The advantages of aluminum-clad wood windows
Aluminum-clad wood windows give you the beauty of wood inside, with the resilience of aluminum outdoors. You have up to 12 exterior colours to choose from. Again, you can personalize with grills outside, and inside there's a broad range of hardware options, including brass, bronze, nickel and pewter effects.
Advances in glass technology
The most obvious advance in glass is moving from single pane to double or triple glazing. The air or gas between the panes insulates the room from hot, cold and noise.
Coatings applied to the glass offer significant benefits. Low-E coatings reflect heat to keep rooms cool. Other coatings reduce harmful UV radiation from entering through the windows. Coatings on the inside can also help trap heat inside your home. The correct combination of coatings is determined by the placement of windows and the orientation of your home.