Tips for Window Replacement

Window replacement

Canadian winters are hard on the fuel bill and no other place in the home will give back more money in energy saving than window replacement. With the insulation value of an outside wall for a typical twenty year-old home at R-15, the fact that the windows are only at R-2 shows where most of the heat is escaping. This is why windows are rivaling both bathroom and kitchen remodeling as the most popular renovations.  However, there are other reasons that homeowners are looking for new replacement windows.

Reasons for Window Replacement in Canada

  1. Old Age

    People change out windows for many reasons but age is a prominent reason especially with wooden sashes. The temperatures in some areas of Canada can swing between minus forty-degrees and plus forty-degrees Celsius and this is not including the freeze-thaw cycle. These weather characteristics are hard on building materials especially wood which is porous and absorbs moisture. As the oils are leached out the wood shrinks and become brittle opening up air leaks between the wood and the glass. Not only that rot can set in exposing cavities where water can leak in and damage the walls under the exterior cladding like vinyl siding. This can go unnoticed for years.

    Another problem encountered with old windows is failure of the opening mechanisms. This includes the sliders on aluminum windows and window cranks. Corrosion, paint build-up and dirt can also affect the performance of the windows and prevent them from sealing properly.

  2. Preference and Style

    Many Canadian homes have aluminum windows or old-style, vinyl clad windows that do not go well new home designs especially of there has been major home redecorating on the inside. The plain aluminum can look corroded and, if polished, it shines. New white-vinyl windows look bold and clean and add a great look to both the interior and exterior of a home.

  3. Vista and View

    Many older homes were built with small windows to conserve energy and because windows were relatively expensive. New models of windows can be manufactured to fit almost any size of wall and this can bring more of the outside light and view into the home. Others had large, picture windows whose life expectancy was almost at an end or the seals were already compromised. This causes water vapour between the panes.

  4. Energy Savings

    With fuel oil skyrocketing and natural gas following close behind homeowners are beginning to look at their windows as energy-loss areas and are searching for ways to lower their heating bills. This is because glass is a natural conductor so that, with one-paned, glass windows, warmth from the inside of the home was easily drawn outside. With the advent of double-paned windows the heat loss slowed down but convection currents between the glass panes did nothing for the insulating quality. The reason for this was that the interior pane was warm and the exterior one cold and this created a way to vacuum out heat from the inside and transfuse it to the outside.

  5. Acoustic Qualities

    As most people live in metropolitan areas there are always offending sounds around the home like traffic or aircraft. A single pane of glass will cut down the sound quite well. When the panes are tripled the acoustic qualities of the window increase to almost the value of the wall.

New Replacement Windows Pay for Themselves

Home insulation is usually measured in r-values. This is a number that correlates to the amount of heat that is prevented to pass through a surface. The higher the r-value the better the insulating qualities. In the 1980's the r-value of the walls was around R-15 while the double-pane windows barely made R-2. With the cost of fuel rising every winter this is the cause of a lot of heat wastage. New technology in window manufacture has raised the r-value of windows considerably.

  1. Triple Pane Construction: By placing three panes in a window system the inside heat takes longer to penetrate the window keeping the room warmer and the furnace off longer. Windows with the interior pane made of plastic are more efficient because plastic is a thermal break and slows the conduction of heat.
  2. Low Emissive Coatings: In warm climates radiant foil is used in attics and under exterior cladding like vinyl siding to keep up to 97% of the heat out of the home. This can also be used to keep heat inside the home and so a transparent film is coated on the panes.
  3. Gas-Filled:  The convection current inside the windows are slowed by heavy, inert gas. Krypton and argon gas slow this cycle down keeping more heat inside the home.
  4. Thermal Break Sashes: Even though a wood frame is a decent material to prevent heat from going outside a vinyl window with a foam core is better. The rest of the frame is channeled with air spaces.

Get a Professional to Install Your Windows

To get the best results new windows should be installed by a professional.  In many cases the manufacture will not warranty the window unless a registered installer puts in their product. This is because there are so many procedures to make the window secure that missing one cold cause leaking within the walls or an unstable installation.

To find a professional window installer for your window replacements consult our Contractor Directory or simply post your project online at and one will contact you. 

Posted by: TrustedPros
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