Frequently Asked Questions
What is Low-E glass?
Low-E stands for low-emissivity. Emissivity is a measure of how much a glass surface transfers radiant heat.LoE 366 (Cardinal)
LoE 366 – Is recommended when cooling costs outweigh heating costs in your energy usage, or where summer discomfort from heat build-up should be an important concern. This is the best glass for most applications in a southern climate. It has a very high reflection rate of the radiant outside heat to prevent heat gain in summer and in winter it still retains radiant once you turn on your furnace! LoE 366 has a lower Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) in order to minimize Solar Heat Gain that results in extra work for your air conditioning unit.LOF (Libby Owens Ford) / Pilkington Energy Advantage
LOF – Pilkington Energy Advantage Low-E is the best glass for most applications in a northern climate. It has a very high retention rate of the heat in your home in winter and prevents heat gain in summer. Energy Advantage Glass has a higher Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) than Low-E glass designed for southern climates. It provides free winter heat for your home. Since as much as 95% of your energy expense for heating and cooling combined is for heating, this glass is more cost effective than other glass without a high SHGC.
What is Argon Gas?
An odorless, colorless, tasteless, invisible, non-toxic gas used to replace the air inside the sealed units to reduce thermal transfer. It is six times heavier than air. Since argon gas is denser than air and is not in continuous motion like air, the transference of energy (heat and cold) is greatly reduced. In short argon gas provides extra insulation.
Why should I choose Vinyl over other materials used for windows?
We all know that wood windows require many hours of maintenance, and the end result is always flaking paint or rotting sills: Wood windows do not have an internal drainage system, meaning the water has to pass over the frames to drain. Fibreglass windows do have an internal drainage system but the corners of the frame are screwed and caulked together. This means that through expansion and contraction the corners will open up, resulting in air and especially water leakage. Aluminum Windows have the same corner leak problems as Fiberglass, as well as being colder. Vinyl is the most durable product with very little maintenance. All corners are welded together, leaving no chance of leakage. However, not all windows are the same! Look carefully at a cross section of a vinyl window frame. Count the number of chambers, and note the thickness of the chamber walls. Multi-chamber construction is crucial; the frame must be able to properly support the glass. Also, the more chambers in an extrusion the better the insulation value. Avoid vinyl windows that require added steel or wood to the interior of the extrusion. This is usually an indication of a weak extrusion.
Each company assures us that they do quality work. How do I know the job will be done right?
Written references are ok, but they can’t show you the kind of workmanship that will be performed, nor can they guarantee that your installer is the same as the installer in a written reference. If at all possible talk with a previous customer. Windows must be installed squarely to ensure proper performance, an easy way to check this is to open 1 sash (on either a horizontal or vertical sliding window) then slide it slowly toward the main frame until there is a slight gap between the two. If this gap is uniform it indicates the window has been installed squarely, if the gap is wide at one side and small at the other, the window is improperly installed. Look at the mouldings that were installed with the windows, are the miters tight? On the exterior, look at any aluminum capping that has been done, are the joints tight and fastened with screws? Is the caulking neat?. Ask if this person’s home was protected using drop sheets. Was the property left clean? Did the installer demonstrate how to operate your new windows?
What are the benefits of Low-E & Argon?
Low-e glass improves the insulating value of a window roughly as much as adding an additional pane of glass does. Low-e glass combined with argon gas boosts energy efficiency by nearly 100% over clear glass. Like all gases, argon gas will leak from the window over time, however since it is non-toxic it is safe. Studies suggest a 10% loss over the course of 20 years, but that will reduce the U-value of the window by only a few percent.
Once I’ve signed a contract, how soon can my new window or door be installed?
While we do our best to complete our installation within your ideal time frame, we are committed to providing realistic time estimates and will keep you in the loop as to manufacturing and installation schedules. Once you’ve signed a contract, we will send a recheck person to your home to get the exact dimensions of the windows or doors you have ordered. Then we place your order with the manufacturer. We always provide customers with an estimated date of installation, typically 6-8 weeks, and confirm this date a week or so before we are due to arrive. Our busiest times of year are usually late spring and fall and our quietest time of year is late winter. If you have the flexibility to order your windows or doors in January or February, installation will happen more quickly.
Will replacement windows really pay for themselves?
If you select high-quality energy-efficient windows, and just as importantly install them properly, your windows will “payback” your investment in savings that you will realize with lower cooling and heating bills. Well-built windows developed with the last technology have been proven to lower home energy consumption.
Do you charge a fee for an in-home estimate?
We welcome the chance to provide you with an in-home estimate and there is never any cost or obligation on your part.
Are your products Energy Star Rated?
All of our products are Energy Star Rated.
How can I tell if I need new windows?
Here are some sure signs that your old windows need to be replaced:Difficult to open or close
Drafty, with air leaking through or around the window
Excessive condensation on the inside of the window panes
Windows rattle in the wind
Paint chipping or peeling
High utility bills
House is always -too hot in summer or too cold in winter