windows and doors covered in blanket.

How to Winterize Your Windows & Doors

Winter is here, along with it is an increase in your heating expenses. Are you looking for ways to keep your home warm this winter without spending a fortune? Take the time to check your home's windows and doors – a good place to start is your home’s main entry points.

Find Drafts in Your Home

Drafts are a killer on your home’s energy bill. If your home has drafty windows and doors then you’ll see a substantial increase in your energy bill every month. As cool air sneaks into your home, your furnace will be working twice as hard to keep your house warm, which can significantly reduce the life of your furnace. How can you determine if your home has drafts? Take a candle and place it near a window or door. If you see the flame dancing or flickering, it's likely a draft is getting through the window or door. If this occurs, you’ll need to do some extra work to prepare your windows and doors for the winter.

Block Drafts

Your local hardware store will have draft snakes to place at the bottom of your windows and doors. Draft snakes are effective in preventing warm air from escaping and cold air from entering your home. If you’re on a budget, try this do-it-yourself option instead: Roll up several old towels and tie elastics at each end to keep them in their tube form. This is an inexpensive but temporary way to stop drafts. The best way to keep your house warmer and save on your energy bill in the long-term is to replace your drafty and leaking windows and doors with new ones.

Check Your Caulking

Caulking helps maintain a tight seal around your windows and doors. Using caulk is a huge defence against cold air entering your home and warm air escaping. Unfortunately, over time even the best caulking eventually develops cracks and gaps. Luckily, it’s easy to seal up cracked caulk or gaps around your window’s seal. Depending on the severity of the problem you might need to remove the old caulking and replace it with a new one. However, if the caulking is in adequate condition with minimal damage, you can simply patch up any problem spots.

Plastic Film is an Affordable Fix

Many homeowners place plastic films over their windows. During the winter months, this protects against the cold and helps to maintain warmer indoor temperatures. Clear plastic film is a more affordable option since it can be found at most local hardware stores. It’s held in place using double-sided tape and doesn’t block your outdoor view (although you won’t be able to open your windows). However, plastic film should be used with caution. Natural Resources Canada points out that some people are sensitive to the plastic used in heat-shrink film. To prevent damage plastic film may not be the best option for households with small children or pets. For safety reasons, it should be kept away from strong heat sources.

Take The Screens Off

It’s also a good idea to remove your screens at the beginning of the winter months. This ensures your screens are protected from harsh winter weather and make them last longer. Furthermore, having them on hand will make them easier to clean when spring arrives. Make sure you store your screens in a warm and dry space until winter ends.

Keep Warm, Winterize Your Home

Protect your windows and doors this winter. You’ll find it easier to keep your home warm and cozy with these simple tips – which you’ll appreciate when you need a break from the cold. Contact Thermo-Bilt to get started on winterizing your home!
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woman sitting on window reading a book.

How To Choose The Best Windows For Your Home

Considering almost every room in your home has windows, you probably rarely think about the design options that are available to you. Need a change in your home? Your windows and doors may be the perfect place to start.

Identify Your Needs

First, when deciding on the best windows for your home, it is important to identify your needs. Start off by asking yourself these questions:
  •    Do you need windows that provide a lot of natural light?
  •    Do you have a beautiful view you would like to take in?
  •    Do you live somewhere cold and therefore need windows that insulate well?
  •    Do you open your windows often to let fresh air in?
  •    Do you care about your windows being purely functional or would you like to add some aesthetic value to your home as well?
Your answers to these questions will help you determine the best windows and doors for your home.

Consider your options

Once you recognize your needs, it can be overwhelming to wade through the mass amounts of options that will be available to you. Follow the guide below for a breakdown of some popular types of windows.

Bay Windows

If you have a beautiful view outside your home that you want to take in from the comfort of your living room, a bay window is a great option. Their large size allows for a tremendous amount of visibility and natural light. Bay windows also help create a cozy space to snuggle up and read a book while basking in the sunlight.

Awning Windows

Awning windows are a must have for anyone who enjoys letting fresh air into their home or who does not have central air. Awning windows have cranks that easily turn to open and close the window on a hinge. Another function of the awning window is that because they usually open along the top edge, they create an awning that will keep rain from getting into your home in the case that you accidentally leave them open during a storm.  

Skylights

Skylights help you maximize your natural light intake during all hours of the day. Many people prefer adding skylights over additional windows because they allow extra light in without compromising wall space or privacy. That’s why they’re so popular in washrooms.

Entry Door Windows

Your front door is often the first thing people notice about your house so combining windows with your door is a great idea. Putting windows around your door can make the entry way look more visually appealing while also providing a clear view of the front yard, making it possible to see who is knocking on the door before you open it.

Energy Efficient Windows

No matter which design style you choose when it comes time to replace your old windows with a newer model, consider investing in energy efficient windows. There are many energy efficient options available now that will substantially reduce your utility bills each month. Speak with a professional today to start your journey to new windows and doors!
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Winter windows to keep home warm.

The Best Winter Windows to Keep Your Home Warm

In the winter, the quality of your windows will make a huge impact on your heating, comfort, and energy bill. Instead of wrapping yourself up in heavy quilts, or turning up the furnace until your bill increases, invest in winter windows to keep you warm throughout the cold season. Here are our top priorities you should keep in mind when planning your winter window replacement.

Window Energy Efficiency

Your winter replacement windows should have a good energy efficiency rating. According to Canadian Energy Star ratings, that means aiming for the lowest number possible. Furthermore, you should also invest in  R-rated windows, which are intended for single-family homes. After educating yourself on the vast ratings consider glazing and filling. At a minimum, you should invest in double-glazed windows. This two-layer protection keeps heat from escaping through your windows. Additionally, there are higher quality glazings available that function in different ways, which may benefit your home – depending on your needs. Modern windows are filled with inert gases ( argon or krypton) which increase their insulating properties. Those living in colder climates of Canada may prefer using krypton gas, it’s more expensive than argon,  but it’s insulating properties are better concentrated.

Protect Windows from Humidity

Your winter window replacements need to withstand humidity. The contrast between warm air inside and the cool exterior air drains your home of moisture, which leaves many people feeling dry and uncomfortable. Many homeowners choose to compensate with a humidifier as the most effective solution to dry, dull air. Unfortunately, if you have poor quality windows and frames it will react poorly to increased humidity. The window’s surface wears down and the frame can harbor mold. However, you don’t have to sacrifice your comfort. Instead, look for more energy efficient windows that can tolerate higher humidity levels without developing frost or wearing down the material. Furthermore, take fitted vinyl windows into consideration. They provide additional protection against humidity, such as accelerated mold growth which usually occurs on wooden surfaces.

Don’t Forget Cold Drafts

Older windows don't function as well as new windows; they allow drafts to seep through, significantly reducing your home’s energy efficiency making your home chilly in the winter. Do a quick test to check if your windows let in drafts before the weather gets too cold. Simply place a lit candle near the window and see if it flickers. If it does, small currents of air are moving in or out of your home. This means your window isn't sealed off properly and you'll need to replace the window. Don't worry, at Thermo-Bilt you can trust us to do the job. Our team of professionals install window replacements tightly and securely the first time. We can also apply industry grade weather stripping, to seal up your window and stop drafts from forming.

Cost Matters

Despite what others say, you don’t have to spend a fortune to obtain excellent quality windows. Our large collection of winter window products will meet your needs while considering your budget. We will personally walk you through each window and explain their function. Before making a decision, take advantage of our FREE quote on replacement windows. Contact us today for more information on the latest winter window replacements for your home!
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Energy efficient windows ratings.

Energy Efficient Windows: A Comprehensive Guide

How do you know which energy rating is the best? What do the ratings mean? In Canada, energy-efficient windows are rated based on their U-Factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, and air leakage grading. Generally, the common rule of thumb is the higher the number of the energy rating, the higher the efficiency of the window. You may also see a letter rating on the windows, which is the North American Fenestration Standard. This indicates which type of building a window is best for; R is for single-family residential buildings. LC is for low rise, CW is for mid-rise, and AW is for a high-rise. For the Canadian rating system, there is a lot of technical information included. Therefore, you'll want to make sure you do your research and look into it the best window that meets your needs. We've made it easy to understand. Simply follow our the rating explanations below:

What is U-Factor?

U-Factor is always examined in energy ratings. It is the rate of heat transfer from the product's warm area to a cold area. Usually, you want your window to transfer this heat slowly, so you’re not losing heat to the outdoor environment. The lower the U-factor number, the more energy-efficient your windows will be.

What is the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient?

This ratio describes how much of the sun’s heat passes through a window, warming up the interior behind the window. The higher the number, the more solar heat the window provides. In a passive home, you would want a high solar heat gain coefficient to help the home stay warm in the winter.

Air Leakage

This factor is more straightforward. Air Leakage measures how much air leaks out of a window. For obvious reasons, you don’t want air to leak through your window, as it lets your heat (or air conditioning) escape into the environment. If your windows have high air leakage, it’s time to get them replaced.

What is R-value?

The R-value factor is not a concern under the energy rating, but it’s often used as an indication of energy efficiency in windows for industry experts. It measures how much resistance there is to heat transfer in the glass, or the amount of heat retained by the window. The higher the number the better the glass, indicating high heat has trouble passing through the window.

What is the difference between Argon and Krypton gas?

Energy efficient windows are filled with either argon or krypton, both are non-toxic gases to help insulate the panes. While argon is the cheaper gas, krypton is a better insulator. Sometimes the gases are blended so the windows can meet specific energy standards, while still being easy on your wallet.

What are Low E-coatings?

These glazings are applied onto the glass to block additional heat transfer. The three most common choices are Low-E 180 (a standard application), Double Low-E (which provides better efficiency), and Low-E 366 (which is meant for windows with intense sun exposure).

What is the ENERGY STAR® Certification Program?

Administered by Natural Resources Canada, this certification is meant to help consumers identify products which are energy efficient. Every year, ENERGY STAR® gives out accolades to the products with the best energy efficiency. Do you have more questions? We can answer all your inquiries about energy efficient windows – from glazing, ratings, and different window types to fit your home's needs. Contact us today for a FREE quote!
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winter windows for the cold season

Preparing Your Home’s Windows and Doors for Winter

Winter is right around the corner with its harsh winds, cold temperatures and winter storms. While it’s pretty to look at from a distance, you want to make sure you keep winter outside of your home. To keep the cold out, it is important to make sure you properly prepare the main entry points -  your windows and doors for the wrath of winter.

Check for drafts

It is important to check your windows and doors for drafts. If drafts are being let into your home, your energy bill can increase substantially every month, as your furnace will be working twice as hard to warm the cool air from entering your home. Unsure if your windows and doors are keeping the cold air out? If you have drafts take a candle and place it near any area you are worried about. If you see the flame dancing or flickering, it is likely because there is a draft coming through the window or door. This is a tell-tale sign that you should do some extra work to prepare your windows and doors for winter.

Caulk the windows

Caulking is the main line of protection used against cold air entering your home. The unfortunate reality is that even the best caulking can eventually form cracks or gaps. Having said this, it is an easy procedure to seal up these mishaps. You can either start from scratch and peel back the old caulking and replace it or you can simply patch up any problem areas.

Apply plastic film

Applying a plastic film to your windows can help insulate during cold weather. According to The Daily News Miner, insulating your windows with a plastic film can help retain up to 50% of the heat you generate inside, equivalent to adding an extra window pane! The plastic film is clear, allowing you to maintain a full view of the outdoors and is held in place using double-sided tape.

Use draft blockers

You can purchase effective draft snakes to place at the bottom of your windows and doors to prevent any warm air from escaping or cold air from entering your home. Hoping to save some money? Try a do-it-yourself option and roll up some old towels and tie elastics at each end to keep them in their tube form. This simple and inexpensive way to stop drafts will keep your house warmer and help you save on your energy bill.

Take your screens off

Your screens can get damaged from the snow that collects on them during the winter months. It is best to take your screens off and store them in a warm and dry space until springtime. This will ultimately protect your screens from weather damage and allow them to last longer. Winter is beautiful and you will want to look at it through your windows or head out your front door to experience it, but make sure you also remember to protect your windows and doors this winter. Contact Thermo-Bilt to keep your house as cozy as possible for when you need a break from the cold.
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Vinyl windows improve home make room bigger

Top 4 Ways Vinyl Windows Improve Your Home

If you are looking to upgrade your home, opting for vinyl windows can greatly improve the overall appearance of your living space, in addition to the countless benefits they provide. Windows are a central feature of any home or building, so it’s important to take care in making a decision before undergoing a replacement. From their exceptional durability to their insulating capabilities, and of course, their striking appearance, vinyl windows can drastically improve your home. Here are the top 4 ways vinyl windows improve your home:

Enhances Visual Appeal

Vinyl windows can have a dramatic impact on the aesthetic appeal of your living space. They are highly customizable and come in a variety of colours, styles, and textures so you can find something to suit your home and your personal tastes. Windows play a key role in the look of a particular room so upgrading to a quality vinyl windows can really enhance an area while adding a contemporary or classic fair to complement existing elements of your home.

Boosts Your Home’s Durability

Vinyl windows are highly durable. They require hardly any maintenance so you can rest assured they won’t be contributing to your seemingly endless list of property maintenance to-do’s. As well, vinyl is far less porous than wood which makes it harder for dust and dirt to get trapped, so an occasional wipe down with soap and water is sufficient to keep your windows looking like new. Unlike wood which requires a significant amount of preservation and maintenance, vinyl windows are not susceptible to rotting.

Increases Your Energy-Efficiency

One of the most significant advantages of vinyl windows is their insulating capabilities. In comparison to other materials like aluminium, vinyl is better able to keep heat from escaping during the winter months while preventing hot air from entering during the summer. When paired with a double-paned glass, their effectiveness is heightened even more so. In addition to helping the environment, you will also experience a significant reduction in energy costs when it comes to heating and cooling your home.

Increases the Value of Your Home

Renovations and investments such as vinyl windows can significantly heighten your curb appeal and raise your home’s value. They give your home a clean and fresh appearance as old window panes tend to lose their clarity over time. If you are considering selling your home in the future, vinyl windows are highly regarded by prospective buyers due to their minimal maintenance and attractiveness. Also, they are a fairly economical choice in comparison with other materials such as solid wood and fibreglass which can be expensive to install and maintain. Vinyl windows are top quality and can save you money in the long run due to their low upkeep, which is also well-regarded by buyers. If you are looking to upgrade your home, vinyl windows are an excellent choice. To find out more about their benefits or to get a free quote, call us at 416-756-0798.
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professional window installation

7 Reasons to Hire Professional Window Installation

Like many things around the home, you may consider repairing or maintaining your windows over the years. However, before starting your own DIY project there are some risks associated without proper knowledge. Ensure you're aware of window products, installation process, and code regulations. But don’t let that deter you from installing new windows. Installing new windows helps establish a home's visual character, let in light and air, and frame views from inside. We’ve developed a list of the top seven reasons why you should consider hiring an expert for your home’s  window installation.

Consultations

Hiring a professional for window installation means that you can consult with an expert. Discuss your desired results with an expert and they may reveal options you had never previously considered. At Thermo-Bilt Windows this consultation is built into our window installation process.

Pre-existing Issues

Sometimes before installing a window you need to resolve other related issues. You don’t want to invest in energy efficient windows only to have a draft because of cracks you didn’t notice along the outer walls. Professional window installers often have a familiarity with construction, and can more readily identify structural issues. This protects your new windows from potential damage, and ensures you get the energy conservation that you paid for.

Equipment

Window installation requires specific tools; if you don’t have them you’ll run into difficulty that can affect your window’s function. However, Window installation companies have the necessary high quality, and up-to-date equipment they need to get the job done right.

Time

Having work done on your home can be a real inconvenience. A professional has had a lot more practice than you, and will most likely be able to complete a window installation job much more quickly.

Safety

Unless you work in construction or similar industries, you may not be aware of the safety procedures that professionals use. When you consider all that could go wrong with an enormous plate of glass you can imagine why window installation experts have prepared for potential dangers and are well insured.

Material Removal and Cleaning

After we’ve finished with your window installation, Thermo-Bilt Windows will properly dispose of you old windows, along with packaging and associated garbage from your new windows. We make sure to clean the workspace so it looks the same as when we arrived. Enough work goes into DIY window installation even before the clean up. In a way, hiring a professional saves you from two big tasks, not just one.

Insurance Disputes

If flooding, or a storm damages your windows, insurance companies may try to deny your claim based on a DIY window installation. Some insurance companies have been known to argue that a DIY job was done improperly, and therefore is not covered by insurance. When you hire a professional it is much harder for an insurance company to claim that the windows were not installed correctly. In that respect, a professional window installation can ensure that you get the compensation owed to you. Even if you have lots of DIY experience you can still benefit from hiring an expert in window installation. At Thermo-Bilt, we are window installation professionals who can provide more insight, more reliable results, all in a timely and convenient fashion. Contact us today for a FREE quote on new replacement windows in your home.
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replacement windows toronto

How To Choose Replacement Windows

So you decided to replace your windows! Thermo-Bilt Windows has almost two decades of experience with replacement windows in Toronto. Before every job our experts will meet with you to discuss the best windows for your home and design. Prior to our initial conversation, in order to work together to find the best window replacement Toronto has to offer we ensure that your needs and concerns are covered.

Climate Controlled Windows

Make sure your window replacement matches the climate in Toronto. Specific windows fair better than others in the cold, and choosing the right style will keep your home warm and energy efficient.  

Performance, Not Price

Not all windows are created equal, and not all windows are good value for money. Some windows will outperform others that cost more, so when considering window replacement in Toronto it’s important to research products in different price ranges.

Consider Why You Are Replacing Your Windows

The windows you choose will be largely determined by why you need (or want) to replace them. For Torontonians, window replacement might be different depending on whether you’re replacing windows in an old home or a new home. In any case, your window replacement in Toronto will be a balance between aesthetic and efficiency. So it’s good to have an idea of what your primary concern will be, and how that will change your budget.

Are You Going for a New Look?

You can use a necessary window replacement as an opportunity to invest in your home. Window replacement is a chance to make your home competitive in Toronto’s housing market by upgrading to a more unique and desirable style.

Choosing a Window Style

This of course depends on the existing windows in your home, the style of your neighbourhood, and most importantly your personal preference. Here is a quick guide to a few window replacement options Toronto homeowners may consider:
  • Sliding windows require little maintenance, and are a more affordable option. Their ability to add some ventilation to a room makes them a window replacement for Toronto summers
  • Casement windows offer an unobstructed view and contemporary style. They are taller than they are wide and open like doors, so they provide excellent ventilation
  • Double Hung windows have a more traditional look and slide up and down. Modern versions of this style replace the old pulley system with a spring mounted mechanism
  • Bay windows fit well in modern and older homes, adding space and light to any room, while providing a great view. Bay windows can also give you space to lounge, eat breakfast, or read a book
  • Bow windows are very similar to bay windows, but have four panels instead of three. They too offer more space and great views.
When choosing window replacement in Toronto, it’s important to consider the aesthetic of your home and your neighbourhood. At Thermo-Bilt, we give you the opportunity to make your home more energy efficient which will add value as a long term real estate investment. Contact us today for a FREE quote!
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fiberglass doors a good investment

6 Reasons to Invest in Fiberglass Doors

If you’re on the market for a new or replacement door for your home – look no further! Whether you’re looking for something durable, aesthetically pleasing,  or both, going with fibreglass guarantees you practicality and beauty all in one. Our experts have outlined the top 6 reasons why fiberglass doors are the best investment for your home:

Fiberglass Doors are reliable and durable

Fiberglass doors have been used by building contractors since the 1990's. They've become more increasingly popular among homeowners over the last twenty years. They are a much more practical choice than their wooden counterpart as they are not susceptible to water damage, rotting, or cracking. Fiberglass is comparable to steel in terms of strength and durability. So if you are an extensive traveler you can have some peace of mind about your home’s security knowing that a fiberglass door is sturdy and resistant to physical force. Plus, they are better at resisting extreme climates than wood and steel – a must for our harsh Canadian winters!

They are aesthetically pleasing

Many people are under the misconception that fiberglass doors cannot possibly look as beautiful or luxurious as wooden ones. Technology has advanced over the years & fiberglass can now adapt & imitate other materials. In fact, your door can be stained or coated to look just like wood – you won’t be able to tell the difference!

Affordable and long lasting

Although the upfront cost of a fiberglass door is more expensive than steel, they are a much more worthwhile investment. These doors last longer and are more resistant to harsh weather conditions. In comparison to wooden doors, fiberglass are more affordable and durable. So it ends up being more cost-effective in the long run.

Fiberglass Doors are low-maintenance

Fiberglass doors generally require very little maintenance; scuffs or marks can be removed by simply wiping the door’s surface with soap and water. Unlike wooden doors which are difficult to redecorate, a fiberglass door can be refinished or repainted relatively easily. Steel is susceptible to rusting and chipping in extreme heat or cold, whereas fiberglass does not. This minimizes the need for constant upkeep and repair.

They are highly customizable

Fiberglass doors are extremely versatile; they can be made in a number of different colours and designs to suit your personal tastes. You can choose from a variety of traditional, contemporary, and Victorian styles. There are wood finishes and paint finishes to pick from along with options to add windows, panels, columns, and other designs or detailing. 

A good choice for the environmentally

As a result of their improved temperature regulation, fibreglass doors are better at regulating the temperature inside your home compared to wood. Thermo-Bilt doors have a polyurethane foam core to provide insulation that’s seven times better than a wood door. Most importantly, fiberglass is a synthetic man-made material which means no need to chop down any trees! Visit Thermo-Bilt Windows & Doors to get a free quote, or give us a call at 416-756-0798 to find out how we can build a beautiful and practical fibreglass door for your home.
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slider windows

Slider Windows: Popular Choice for Homebuyers in Greater Toronto Area

If you’re looking for a great combination between quality and affordability, then slider windows are certainly the type of window for you! Aside from operational ease, slider windows feature a smart design that can adapt to virtually any space. Especially useful in smaller spaces that won’t suit a window that projects from the exterior of the home. It’s these features that have made slider windows a popular choice for home buyers in Toronto and the surrounding areas.

Living in Toronto

When you live in a city like Toronto, amongst all it’s beauty, you’ll want to showcase the view of the city from your home. Slider windows provide an unobstructed view when you’re looking out; it also allows natural light to flow through the room, making smaller areas appear more spacious and bright. For the most part, people who live in Toronto homes have very unique architecture and design features, including smaller living spaces. Brand new windows make a world of a difference in any living space.  

Why Replace Your Windows?

When you install brand new replacement windows, it's a smart investment because it adds value to your home. It also saves you money on your energy bills over the long term. But windows shouldn't be something you want to constantly fuss about or maintain often. Believe it or not – it happens. A bad window installation job done can end up being a nightmare due to maintenance, repairs, and poor ventilation. Slider windows provide more functionality, less maintenance, and are overall aesthetically pleasing to any home. As opposed to a conventional window, you'll find its less upkeep to maintain and more cost-effective. Another benefit is the ability to clean the exterior side of the windows from the inside. This can save you money from having to hire professional cleaners to do it for you. We recommend reading our window cleaning tips, so you can safely clean your windows at home.

Choose The Experts

When you choose Thermo-Bilt Windows & Doors for your replacement windows, you can expect your new windows to be constructed with 100% pure high-quality PVC. Which is made to be extremely safe and durable for any environment. Slider windows are great for any home’s living room or bedrooms. Designed with maximum efficiency in mind, and its ability to fit into tight spaces, is what makes these great. Whether you’re debating between a single or double slider window, our custom design experts can walk you through all the style options to help you make your design ideas come to life. Our knowledgeable staff are highly trained and experienced with installing slider windows on many unique homes in Toronto. We provide homeowners a clear view and a brighter living space. Be amazed at how brand new shiny windows can instantly transform your house into a modern home. Contact Thermo-bilt Windows & Doors to find out if our great products are right for your home. Get a free quote today!
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