When It Comes to Windows, You're Spoiled for Choice!
How do you choose the right window for your home? First determine your needs, tastes and budget and then choose from a wide array of styles. There's something for everyone!
- Look for the Energy Star label. It's a guarantee that the windows you are considering are energy efficient. Remember, up to 25% of your home's heat loss is through your windows, so choose them well!
- The Ug coefficient. The lower the rated Ug value of a window the more energy efficient it is. The thicker the glass is and the more panes it has (single, double or triple glazed with vacuum or Argon gas between the panes), the more energy efficient it is.
- A metallic oxide coat on the glass can also increase energy efficiency. But remember that the thicker and the more layers of glass a window has, the lower the luminosity, visual performance and solar factor (the free heat from the sun), and the heavier the window, necessitating well adapted frames.
Types of frames
- Wood. Beautiful and warm, wooden frames are easy to install and have good insulating properties. The downside is their need for frequent maintenance and initial cost.
- Aluminum. Robust, recyclable and low maintenance. Not cheap and aluminum is a poor insulator, so thermal breaks need to be integrated in the window.
- Fiberglass. Light, durable, insulating and resistant to humidity, UV rays, extreme temperature and insects. Easy maintenance. Big drawback is the limited choice of colours and styles.
- Vinyl (PVC). Resistant, insulating and low maintenance, but requires a lot of energy to manufacture and exposure to UV rays can cause colour to fade.
- Wood-Clad. Inside the house the wood offers an attractive and warm look while cladding provides a low-maintenance protection of aluminum, PVC or fiberglass to protect the wooden frames outside.
- Composite. Made of essentially the same material as modern car bumpers, composite frames require little maintenance, cost less than wood or vinyl, and are strong and energy efficient.
Style and installation
- Double-hung. Adaptable to many house styles. Easy to clean thanks to a pivoting latch and great ventilation potential when both sashes slide up or down to suit.
- Casement. Also suits many house styles. Window is hinged at the top and opens out from the bottom.
- Picture. Expansive beautiful glass structures will give any room a sense of vastness!