How to Choose the Right Patio Door

Patio doors are an important part of the interior and exterior of your home. They open a room up, giving a view to the outdoors, bring light indoors and add aesthetic curb appeal to enhance the value of your home. So, how do you choose the right patio door for your home?

Things to Consider

There are several things you should consider when you are choosing a patio door. These include what your other entrances look like, what room the patio door leads to, what view you have outside and how accessible the outdoor needs to be.

Here are some tips for selecting the perfect patio door for your home:

Tip #1: Think about furniture

Consider the furniture and wall space both inside and outside of where the door will go. This will allow you to determine whether an option such as French doors that need to swing wide open wide is an option, or if you will be restricted to sliding doors due to their more versatile functionality.

Tip #2: Consider your style preferences

Determine what style compliments the rest of your home. If your home has a modern

appearance, you may want to consider patio doors that have a clean appearance and do not draw extra attention. If your home is older, you may want to consider a classic look such as

French doors.

Tip #3: Determine accessibility and use

Think about how much you will use your patio door to enter and exit your home. Do you need it to be easily accessible? Do you want an option that opens up wide for carrying large items in and out?

Tip #4: Think durability

Always choose something durable. Patio doors are a big investment and you want them to last. Choose materials that are built to last and withstand harsh weather conditions and changes in temperature. If you have little kids or pets, consider the wear and tear they may cause to your patio door.

Tip #5: Maximize efficiency

Consider choosing an energy efficient patio door. These models of doors are designed to keep your home heating and cooling inside without escaping so that you can save money on utility bills. The type of glass you choose is a key part of your home’s energy efficiency!

What Are You Waiting For?

Spring is a perfect time to start improving the look and feel of your home and patio doors are the perfect way to refresh its look. Plus, new patio doors cause minimal renovation disruption and are a great long-term investment. There are many options of doors to choose from. Take a look at our gallery for inspiration.

The Thermo-Bilt Advantage

At Thermo-Bilt Windows and Doors we have a qualified team of professionals and a wide variety of patio doors to choose from to ensure your patio doors meet all your requirements and become a great tool to enhance your home. Contact us today to get started on planning and receive a free quote!

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Six Reasons to Choose Vinyl Windows

Comparing Vinyl Windows to Other Types

When talking about vinyl windows, vinyl refers to the material the framing is made out of that surrounds the glass. Vinyl windows were designed as an alternative solution to wooden windows. Wooden window frames have many common issues including rotting, high maintenance (like having to be periodically sanded and repainted) and a short lifespan. Vinyl doesn’t have these problematic issues. That’s why vinyl has joined aluminum and wooden frames as the most popular choices for window frames in Canada today.

Why Are Vinyl Windows a Good Choice?

1. Affordability

When considering the costs of different types of windows, vinyl windows are definitely the most affordable option. By most affordable, this means that you are getting the most value for the lowest cost. Vinyl windows are built to last, giving them a high return on investment for years to come.

2. Durability

Vinyl windows are recognized for being highly durable. As a result of their material makeup, they are able to withstand harsh weather and last for many years before they require repairs or replacement. Vinyl windows are a great choice for homeowners who don’t want to have to worry about constantly maintaining their window frames. Vinyl window frames are a low-maintenance option that’s built to last.

3. Energy Efficiency

Vinyl windows are highly energy efficient. This means that they are able to effectively insulate your house to ensure that your heating or cooling systems are not working harder than necessary. This means that an investment in vinyl windows is an investment in lower utility bills each month, which can save you significant amounts of money over time.

4. Lots of Options

Vinyl windows provide the option for many different styles, colours and shapes. This makes them versatile and able to suit a variety of home styles. Whether you’ve got a modern or a traditional home, vinyl windows are aesthetically appealing and will enhance your home’s curb appeal.

5. Enhanced Functionality and Low Maintenance

One of the selling points for vinyl windows is their functionality. Vinyl windows are easy to open, close and clean. This makes them a practical option for homeowners who enjoy low-maintenance windows.

6. Safety

Since vinyl windows have a highly functional and practical design, they are also quite safe. Secure locking systems are able to be easily integrated into the design of these windows in order to keep you and your children safe in your home.

Ready to Make the Change?

Are you on the market for replacement windows? Look no further than Thermo-Bilt Windows and Doors.

At Thermo-Bilt, we specialize in everything to do with windows and doors. Our team of experienced window and door technicians are ready to help you make the switch to vinyl windows. Please take time to browse our window options and learn more about our business on our website.

When you are ready, we will be here to help! Contact us for more information and to receive a free quote for your project.

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Is Your Patio Door Ready for Spring and Summer?

Home exterior and entrance New Zealand

It may be hard to believe after the harsh winter we’ve had in Toronto and the GTA, but warm weather is on the way. It’s almost time to sit out on the patio, host barbecues in the backyard, and let a spring breeze freshen up the air in your home. Is your patio door ready for the warm weather?

How to Prepare Your Patio Door for Spring

You want to be sure your patio door will operate smoothly all summer. To do so, it’s best to clean it in the spring. Here’s how:

  • Remove all window dressings (like curtains)
  • Take the door out (check your user manual to find out how)
  • Clean the tracks at the base of the door, removing all dirt and debris
  • Check the sides and top of the door frame for dirt or damage
  • Place the door back
  • For screen doors, rub gently with a wet sponge
  • For glass doors, clean with glass cleaner
  • Check that the door slides open and closes smoothly

Does Your Patio Door Need to be Replaced?

While you are cleaning your patio door, you may see signs that the door needs repair or replacement. These signs include:

  • Rusting tracks or frame
  • Holes in the screen
  • Dents in the door, track, or frame
  • The door does not open fully or smoothly
  • Chipped or cracked glass
  • Drafts enter your home
  • Moisture between glass panes
  • Squeaks when being opened or closed

While you can get the glass or screen of your patio door fixed, it’s usually more cost-effective to simply replace it. You don’t want to spend a lot of money repairing your door only to have to replace it a year or two later.

Replacing your patio door before summer arrives will make your outdoor experience much more enjoyable. You won’t have to worry about fussing with the door every time you step in or out. You can even get a new screen that can allow a summer breeze into your home.

Your Patio Door Options

There are a lot of exciting options when it comes to patio doors.

1. Hinged Patio Door

A hinged patio door can pull forward just like a typical front door. They look lovely as double doors and make your yard feel grand. A hinged patio door needs a bit more space to open than a sliding door, but they’re more secure and often more traditionally styled. If your backyard needs a touch of elegance, a hinged patio door can create it for you.

2. Sliding Patio Door

This is the door most people envision as their patio door. Our sliding doors open so seamlessly you can operate them with your finger tip. Yet, they have tough security mechanisms that you’ll feel safe with.

Our sliding patio doors are available in may different styles and in many materials. Contact us to learn more about our sliding patio doors and hinged patio doors.

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How to Pick the Best Contractor for Your Window Installation

Successful window installation is key to ensure that your home stays energy-efficient. An improper seal will allow cold air to leave your home in the summer, and warm air to leave your home in the winter. Plus, you want to protect your investment by ensuring your windows will last as long as possible and that means getting them installed perfectly. Who can you trust to install your new windows?

There are a few ways to find the best contractor for your window installation.

1. Insurance

The first sign that a window contractor is serious and professional is that they have insurance and are happy to prove it to you. The more experienced the installer the less likely it is that they will make mistakes, and the less they’ll use their insurance. But it’s unwise to think that you don’t need insurance because you never use it. If an accident happens, you want your windows covered by your window contractor’s insurance.

2. Consultations & Quotes

The right window contractor will want you to be completely comfortable with your choice of windows. They’ll sit down with you for an initial consultation and ask questions to determine what is most important to you. Energy-efficiency? Security? A specific window style? Whatever you need from your windows, they will seek to find it for you.

When you’ve made your selection the window contractor should provide you with a clear and honest quote. They should be happy to answer your questions about the cost and explain every line item.

Reputable window contractors aren’t looking to fool you into paying more than you’re comfortable with. They don’t like the hassle of asking their customers for payments either. They want you to be happy with the price, so you’ll pay them right away and business can conclude with both sides feeling that they’ve benefited.

What happens if the price is too high at the quote stage? Your window contractor should be happy to find solutions for you, including offering you more affordable windows that might still fit your needs. Whatever they do, they won’t pressure you into purchasing windows you’re unhappy with.

3. Window Selection

The best window contractors have been in business for a long time, so they have a lot of experience installing a wide range of window types. Plus, they should have a wide selection of windows for you to choose from, so you can find the style you want with the other features you need, like energy efficiency.

Thermo-Bilt has a wide selection of window styles including:

  • Casement
  • Single Hung
  • Double Hung
  • Awning
  • Single slider
  • Double slider
  • Bow windows
  • Bay windows

4. Courteous Installation

A contractor should make the window installation process as convenient for you as possible. They should be polite and professional to you and your family members. They should work quickly and leave your home as clean as it was when they arrived.

Thermo-Bilt is dedicated to providing the best window selection and installation service possible. Contact us and find out why we’re trusted window installation experts in Toronto and the GTA.

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Our Top 4 Components to Look for in a New Entry Door:

Colour, shape, glass or no glass? There’s a lot of choices involved in your front door. However, looks aren’t everything. You also have to consider the strength and security your front door can offer. Plus, ease of use. Let us walk you through everything you need to consider when choosing a new entry door.

Front Door Security

Your front door is the first entry point that thieves and other criminals will try to use to get into your home. To avoid being kicked in, front entry doors need secure frames that hold the door in place despite stress. Entryways that are custom-sized will need specially made doors in order to be secure. Front doors also need well-functioning deadbolts, whether operated by lock and key or a digital lock. Digital locks are especially convenient for security because they can alert you even if they are forced open.

Front Door Seal

The front door should seal properly against the floor of the home to keep hot air inside in the winter, and cool air inside in the summer. Wood is insulating, but it can expand and shrink during weather changes so it doesn’t maintain a tight seal. Fiberglass and steel doors are better choices. They can be filled with insulating foam. Steel can even seal magnetically, which helps keep the frame in place too.

Ease of Use

Your new entry door should operate smoothly, opening and closing with ease. This is also a good sign that the seal is still intact. It’s not just a broken seal or a misshaped door that can interfere with the easy use of a door, though. If you’ve put multiple locks on the door, this can make opening and closing it a hassle. Invest in a more secure door, with one good lock, and you can get better security without the inconvenience.

 Finishes and Colour

The last decisions you have to make about your front door are the most fun. What finish will the handle be, and what colour will the door itself be? For handles, Thermo-Bilt offers four styles of brass handles, including levers and knobs. They’re available in four different finishes, from sparkling gold to silver. The style of your door and its colour should work with the overall look of your home’s facade. Exact matching to your home’s siding or brick colour often looks a little too co-ordinated. Choose a matching neutral colour. Or, if your home is relatively neutral, a vibrant front door might just offer the pop you need. We have over twenty different paint colours, and can give your door a unique finish or texture, lending a high-end look to your front entryway. If you’re in need of a new entry door -- whether to upgrade security, the seal, or aesthetics, contact us at Thermo-Bilt for a free quote.
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3 Reasons to Replace Your Windows Before Listing Your Home

Replacing your windows is an investment that usually reaps its benefit over time. The normal thought behind a replacement is that after you’ve replaced your windows, your monthly utility bills will be lower, because new windows are much better insulators than old or damaged windows. So, at first glance, it may seem that replacing your windows before you sell your home isn’t worth the time and money. After all, you won’t be around to pay those lower utility bills. However, this isn’t the whole story. For many homeowners, window replacement might be just what they need to sell their home faster and for more money.

Attracting Homeowners

If your windows are old, discoloured, broken, or have cracks in their seals, homeowners will notice. You can try to use curtains to mask the condition of your windows, but most people will pull them back to check the condition of the window frame. Plus, some window problems can’t be hidden. Windows panes that look foggy or streaked even when clean indicate that the internal seal has broken, and that spells bad news for buyers. They know such a window will have to be replaced in order to keep the home energy efficient. As with most renovations, homeowners are reluctant to do the work themselves. You can ease a homeowner’s mind by performing those renovations before they take possession. Plus, a clever real estate agent can help you communicate the value of your new windows to potential home buyers in your listings. You can request a higher asking price for your home when you list more things as “brand new” in your listing.

More Light and Great Views

Replacing your windows before you move has other benefits that can help your home look much better in photos or during an open house. Windows let in light and, if you have great views, potential buyers will notice. Few people realize that several window replacements may have actually shrunk the size of their windows, as the full frame from the last window isn’t fully removed. By getting what’s called a complete replacement, you can actually increase the size of your windows! The old frames get removed, and there’s more glass. While the actual condition of your windows may be somewhere in the middle of a home buyer’s list, the amount of light in the home and the views are usually near the top. Plus, the amount of sunlight coming in the windows can drastically change the quality of the photos you take of your home. Homes that have great pictures get much more interest from buyers.

Increased Home Value

Replacing your windows can increase the value of your home. Of course, using renovations to increase your home value is never a guarantee. If you’re not sure if a renovation will be worth it, contact a real estate agent in your area. They can tell you about the condition of windows in the homes you’ll be competing with, and how much more you can ask for your home when it has new windows. If you’re ready to replace your windows, but need to put your home on the market soon, Thermo-Bilt can accommodate short schedules. Reach out to us for a window replacement.
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Beautiful high tech windows in a modern room

Are Smart Windows the Way of the Future?

For starters, when you put the word ‘smart’ in front of anything nowadays, you can expect it is certainly the way of the future.  Just like smartphones and smart TVs, smart windows have capabilities far greater than the existing type, it just keeps getting better and smarter.  It’s functionality is pretty much effortless and it is designed to predict human preferences with the slightest touch of temperature.   What is a Smart Window? Smart windows is sometimes called dynamic glass or switchable glass. The technology has been around for almost 20 years and you may be familiar with them in the form of transitional lenses for eyeglasses. However, on a larger scale smart window replacements are made of glass that generally changes from translucent to transparent.  The glass on smart windows can be electronically tuned to selectively block heat, light or glare by quickly changing from clear to tinted. There are several types of smart window technologies that are currently being developed and tested such as,  electrochromic, photochromic, thermochromic, polymer dispersed liquid crystal, and more.  To keep things simple, we’ll stick with considering only the way smart window replacements function compared to traditional window types.  For now, smart windows are activated with an electronic switch, but it won’t be surprising if some type of voice activation is introduced soon! Here are some of the benefits of smart windows:
  • It would eliminate the need for  blinds and shades.  SInce the smart glass can selectively change to provide tint, there would be no need to purchase curtains or custom blinds for your home.
  • Smart windows preserve daytime and nighttime views
  • People can enjoy shading on-demand.  
  • Minimize glare in the room, particularly while watching daytime TV in a room with large windows.
  • They could generate huge savings on heating and cooling costs
  • Maximize daylighting
  • Protecting the colour on fabric furnishings from fading
  • Provides the same level of privacy as completely closed curtain or blinds would
All the benefits seem too good to be true so, what's keeping smart windows from becoming mainstream?  The cost. Currently the market for smart glass is finding it’s way into commercial buildings however, residential smart glass is expected to cost about two or three times as much as conventional glass.  However, similar to other advances in technology, the cost is likely to drop with further research and development into the product.  Remember when you couldn’t get a flat screen TV for under $1000? Now, you could buy one anywhere from $200 and up.   When the cost of smart windows  reaches an affordable rate for the average homeowner, surely, smart windows would be a popular choice when considering window replacements, not to mention it would be a really good investment into the value of the home. For more information on affordable quality window replacements for your home, contact Thermo-Bilt windows and door replacement experts in Toronto at 416-756-0798 or online.  Get a free quote and consultation with no obligation.
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Beautiful windows in an empty room

How New Windows Can Improve Home Security

Style and efficiency are typically the main things people consider when planning on replacing their windows in their home.  Well, how about safety and security?  Making the decision to replace your windows is an important decision. When making this decision, you should not only consider the energy efficiency, style, and design of the windows but also the level of security it provides.  You should inspect the windows and doors in your home often to ensure they are not showing any signs of damage to the window itself, the casing, or the frame,  Any signs of damage to the window, the casing, or the frame could mean your home is vulnerable to unwanted guests and is probably not as energy efficient as you need it to be. Did you know that windows are the weakest point of entry in the home?  When you’re ready to consider replacement windows, you should contact a windows and door replacement expert for your inquiries.  They can help you choose a highly secure window type without distracting from their appearance at all.  With the right information, securing your home with replacement windows doesn’t have to be a big budget project. Lock Mechanism One of the first things you should ask about is the lock mechanism and how it works.  The lock should be quite easy to function and most importantly it should provide you with complete peace of mind that it’s going to do a great job of keeping out intruders.   Reinforced Glass Burglars tend to choose the path of least resistance.  You can install an invisible security window film that makes them a lot more difficult to break.  
  • Tempered glass is one of the best ways to reinforce your windows because it is much more durable than traditional glass.  It’s a little more expensive than traditional glass however, it does provide added security and is the least expensive option for reinforced glass.  
  • Laminated glass is another great option.  It consists of a layer of vinyl between two sheets of regular glass.  To break through this type of reinforced window, the intruder would have to strike the window multiple time in the same spot, also creating a lot of noise and disruption.  The intruder is likely to run off or get caught before they could even penetrate the window enough to create an opening.
Casement Windows Casement windows function with a crank on the inside of the window.  They open and close similar to the motion of a door.  These types of windows are considered the most secure type of window because, with no way to turn the crank from the outside.  If a casement window is closed tightly and locked, it’s pretty much impossible for an intruder to enter through this type window.  No added hardware or external lock is needed to make this window any more secure that how it’s already built. Double-Hung Windows This is a classic style window, it slides vertically up and down.  This type of window has two operable sashes which allows you the option of opening the upper sash for ventilation.  Typically this would be the preferred window type for families with small children because it is the safest and most convenient for ventilating air into the room by opening only the upper window, the part that is unreachable for children.  When the lock is engaged, it holds both sashes in place so they cannot move.   For more information on replacement windows to improve home security, contact Thermo-Bilt windows and door replacement experts in Toronto at 416-756-0798 or online.  Get a free quote and consultation with no obligation.
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Beautiful white bow window fitted in a bright living room from the inside looking out

How to Tell it is Time to Replace your Home’s Windows

Not sure if it is time to invest in replacement windows? Maybe your reasons are aesthetic. Upgrading an old look can have you falling in love with your house again. Replacement windows can also add to the value of your home. It may be easy to tell if your windows look old, but you may feel less confident about understanding the functional reasons for installing replacement windows. If so, look for these clues around your home to help you determine whether or not you should make the switch to new windows. Visible Damage The first indication you may need replacement windows is that your current windows are not looking their best. Over time water may warp your window’s frames or cause the wood to rot. You may also find cracks in the window’s seals. These issues can have a serious impact on the functionality of your windows. If the seal is cracked then your window’s functionality will be diminished, driving up your heating bills in winter and cooling bills in summer. Warped frames make opening and closing your windows frustrating and complicated. In some cases, even unsafe. Windows often function as an emergency exit. The absolute last thing you want in a fire or flood is to be trapped by a faulty window. At a certain point investing in replacement windows becomes a matter of investing in the safety of your home. Your window’s locks are another safety concern. It is easier to get a good night’s sleep if you are confident your windows are structurally sound with working locks. Repair Bills Repairs can be a hassle and over time the costs associated with repair – tools, parts and labour – can add up to more than a set of replacement windows. This is especially true with older windows. Depending on the age of your windows, replacement parts may become harder and harder to find. You may have to throw in the towel and opt for new windows instead. Draft Broken windows will let in a draft, making heating and cooling your home more difficult and expensive. Finding a draft isn’t always as obvious as you may think. Whistling is a good indicator that your window is not insulating well. If you don’t hear whistling but still suspect a window is letting in a draft, light a candle and hold it in front of the suspected area. A draft will cause the flame to flicker. Installing draft reducing replacement windows saves you money on your energy bill and keeps you comfortable. Fading If you notice fabrics, (like your curtains, your couch) or artwork around your home looking less vibrant then your windows might be the culprit. Different types of windows block different amounts of the sun’s harmful UV rays. Single-pane glass does the poorest job of stopping these rays and if you notice severe damage to your belongings this could be the reason. Older houses also tend to have single pane glass. When researching replacement windows consider where you keep valuable furniture and heirlooms. With these tips you’ll be better equipped to make a decision about whether it’s time for a window repair or to install replacement windows.
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Condensation on the inside of two newly fitted casement windows

Why is there Condensation in My Home’s Window?

Foggy windows obscure your view and if left unchecked, the condensation build up can spoil more than that. Excessive condensation can lead to structural damage. The window’s frame and sill can warp and begin functioning poorly. You could even be so unlucky as to develop a problem with mold and mildew. It may be especially frustrating if this happens after installing replacement windows throughout your home. Ironically, condensation on the inside of your windows is a good sign. Condensation occurs when warm air meets a cold surface, moisture from the warm air becomes liquid again. Your replacement windows reduce drafts and so indoor air retains more moisture. As humidity increases, so does condensation. This type of condensation is actually not a problem with your windows – but an issue with the ventilation in your home. Instead, when it comes to your windows what is more concerning is finding moisture between window panes. A double paned window holds a layer of gas between the two panes of glass. Condensation occurs when the window’s seal has broken, air has been allowed in and it condenses on the interior of the window’s two panes. This is when you window has failed and you should consider replacement windows. How does this happen? Your windows work harder for you than you know. That gas in between the window panes expands and contracts as it heats up during the day and cools down at night. This temperature fluctuation creates pressure and that pressure is one factor in causing the window’s seal to break. Windows on the sunnier side of the home experience wider temperature swings and therefore, experience more stress. How can I tell if the seal is broken? Seeing the moisture build up is not the only way to detect a broken seal. There is another visible sign that the moisture causes. It leaves calcium on the glass in the form of a white film. This film usually indicates a broken seal and is particularly unsightly. Issues with a broken window seal may be harder to detect on windows located in the shade. Condensation usually occurs after the window has been heated by direct sunlight. Why do I need replacement windows? The condensation obscures your view, which is reason enough to replace your windows. For some, the view is the best part of their home. Replacement windows add value to your home by replacing the irritating condensation and unpleasant calcium build-up that may spoil one of your property’s best selling-points. Water droplets carve grooves into your window through a process known as riverbedding. The water follows narrow paths and over time erodes the glass to create visible grooves in your window. If you see this happening, then you should replace your windows right away. Condensation between your window panes or riverbedding are signs that your windows are not functioning as they should. Your windows should insulate your home and provide a barrier to cold air, but a broken seal prevents your windows from performing this task effectively. Installing replacement windows will keep your home running efficiently and affordably.
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Beautiful white sliding windows fitted in a living room from the outside looking in

3 Things to Know When Looking for the Best Window Replacement Companies

When planning home renovations, windows are an important factor, especially if you’re renovating with energy efficiency in mind. There are a number of different models on the market that can help to properly insulate your house, cut down on drafts as well as outside noise. When choosing new windows for your home, because of all the choices out there, it’s best to approach your decision with basic things in mind. You want to get the right windows for your home that will do what you need them to for the best price. Are your current windows old? Are the frames rotting away? Then you may want to pay special attention to the material of your new windows and pick something with a little less upkeep that will last a long time. Vinyl windows are a good option because of their durability. If you’re more concerned with energy efficiency, then you’ll want to look into the different types of window coating which help improve your insulation. Whatever your needs, here are some things you should know when looking to replace your windows at the best price per window. 1. Price Doesn't Necessarily Indicate Performance Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to spend more to get more. You can pay less for top quality windows. Depending on the type of window you’re looking for, you may find that you don’t need to spend top dollar to get what you need. You’d be surprised at some of the great quality windows that are affordable. The best option is to look at consumer reports and see which windows tested the best - it isn’t always the most expensive. 2. Match your windows to your climate Climate is an important consideration. Living in Canada, you’re not going to want to choose a window that has poor insulation or doesn’t seal up tightly since we spend the majority of our year in the cold. 3. Energy Efficiency When looking for windows consider the Energy Star rating. There are two numbers that are important specifically to choosing a window with our climate in mind. The first is the U factor, which is usually between 0.20 to 1.20. The lower the number the better the window is at keeping heat in. The second number is the solar heat gain coefficient which is between 0 and 1, and indicates how efficient the window is at keeping out heat from the sun. The higher the number, the better the window is at letting heat in, which is better for people who live in colder climates. 4, Don't Overpay on Options When looking at options, it’s best to choose based on what will bring the best value. Upgrades can easily add 50 per cent or more to your base cost. For instance, Low-E coatings improve efficiency, but adding triple glaze probably isn’t necessary as well, unless you live in extremely cold climates. There are also options that will help make cleaning your windows easier, let more light in, etc. Choose the options that you really need to save yourself money by opting out of the rest. There are a lot of window choices and options out there. Consider what elements are most important to you when making your choice. Whether it’s energy efficiency, a low price per window or noise and UV filtration, do some research before choosing the right windows for your home.
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The anatomy of a window explained with lines pointing to the part of the window

The Anatomy of a Replacement Window

Choosing to replace your windows is an important first step towards improving your home. You’ll need to consider the type of window installation, the best type of Energy Star rating for your needs and of course which type of window material you’d like to use. All these decisions will come down to the goals for your home when replacing your windows. To make smart choices you’ll need to do your research first and understand the anatomy of windows and the elements of a window installation. Let’s break it down and look at what each part of the window does so you have the knowledge you need to choose the right window for your home. Window Frames The window frame is one of the most important elements of a window, it’s like the window’s skeleton. Frames provides the structure for the rest of the window. If your current frame is still solid you may not have to replace it, however, if your current frame is starting to rot than you will definitely need to replace the window frame as well as the window itself. Cladding is a protective covering placed over the frame of the window and comes in several different materials. It’s important to know about each type of cladding:
  • Fiberglass is a very low maintenance frame material that is cost effective and can be made to match your home’s architectural style.
  • Vinyl is one of the most energy efficient types of window frames because of its tight fit and ability to trap air. Vinyl also require less maintenance than wood since it is UV resistant and usually costs less than wood.
  • Aluminum is an effective material for your window frame because it is long lasting, durable, low maintenance and usually the least expensive material.
Instead of cladding you can also use wood for the covering around your window frame. Wood can’t be beat for its natural beauty. When the right wood is used you get a very solid frame full of details you can’t find in other materials. Wood does tend to be more expensive and requires regular maintenance since it’s vulnerable to sun, rain and rot. Sash The sash is the part of the window that moves. In some window models the sash tilts, allowing for easier cleaning. Insulated Glass This is also known as double glazing or in some cases, triple glazing. The space in between the glass panes is filled with either air or an insulating gas such as argon. Despite the name, Consumer Reports suggests that insulated glass isn’t the most cost effective way to insulate your windows. You’re better off making them airtight over paying extra for insulated glass. Low-E Coating Low-E coating stands for low emissivity glass and refers to the coating of the glass pane with a layer of material that minimizes the amount of ultraviolet and infrared light passing through the window. Glass by nature is not a very good insulator, manufacturers coat the glass with a Low-E coating to improve its ability to insulate. Grilles Grilles are the decorative patterns placed on glass and they come in many different styles. When considering purchasing new windows it’s important to understand the different parts of a window so that you can make an informed decision during your window installation. Contact the experts at Thermo Bilt to learn more about choosing the right windows for your home.  
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Beautiful ceiling to wall window-panes illuminating a spacious living room

5 Reasons to Upgrade Your Home’s Windows This Season

Replacing your home’s windows might sound like a big task, but this one upgrade will save you money on your hydro bill, reduce outside noise and add value to your home in more ways than one. Is there any other upgrade that can give you so much? Save money on energy bills One thing’s for certain, your hydro bills aren’t getting any smaller, if anything, they seem to be rising no matter what you do to try to reduce your consumption. Switching to LEDs, reducing phantom power (power used by appliances that are off but still plugged in), even running cold water cycles and doing laundry during off peak hours are great ways to reduce energy consumption. But you’ll get more bang for your buck through hydro bill savings when you upgrade your windows. Window companies have found that air leaks account for 25 per cent of heating costs.  Eliminating these leaks will not only keep your home warmer and more comfortable, it will also help reduce your bi-monthly hydro bill. Stop Drafts You know all about drafts if you’ve ever lived in an older home. As soon as the cold hits you suddenly find yourself steering clear of your windows and doors. Old leaky windows not only rob you of your comfort in winter, they rob you of hard earned cash as well. As mentioned, air leaks account for up to one quarter of your home’s energy loss. That’s a lot of wasted energy! And the worst part is air leaks aren’t the easiest things to fix. You may not always find exactly where the air leak is. The best solution is simply to replace your windows, not only will you eliminate the drafts, but over time your savings will pay for the windows themselves. Make Your Home Quieter Do you live on a busy street? Can you hear the highway in the distance? Ever wonder if there’s an easy way to fix that? Over time, as your house shifts, your windows may slip out of place, leaving tiny gaps that allow sound in. A great way to fix this issue is by replacing your windows and making sure they are tightfitting when they are installed so there are no gaps. If you live in an older house and have single pane windows, adding a double pane with laminated glass can drastically reduce outside noise. New Style Windows Easier to Clean Than Old Windows Old windows usually aren’t just one pane, they’re several. Squeegees? Forget about it! They’re usually too big to fit your windows, meaning you have to wash the whole thing by hand, which can be time consuming, especially if you’re planning to do the outside as well. If you are planning to upgrade your windows, there are newer technologies out there that allow your windows to stay cleaner longer by harnessing the power of the sun’s UV rays. Look for coated glass options. Make Your Home More Attractive Nothing adds to the aesthetic of your home like replacing your windows. Not only does it freshen the face of your home, but it adds value and makes it more attractive to potential buyers as well. Wood frames, which is what most older homes use, may eventually rot no matter how much love you give them. Talk to window companies in your area about the benefits of replacing your windows. Most will offer a free quote. Shop around, then come to the experts at Thermo Bilt Windows, who can help you choose a window that will meet your needs, save you energy and keep your home insulated and warm for years to come.  
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