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What to Look for When Buying Windows

Home Window Buying Guide

Windows play a significant function in your home. Aesthetically, they play a role in the overall look of your home and help to improve its curb appeal. Technically, they play an important role in making your home energy efficient, provide important ventilation, and help to regulate the in-door temperature.

Investing in high quality and energy efficient windows is an important decision. Choosing windows for a new build or buying replacement windows for your home can also be a challenge for homeowners. There is a lot to know and there are many options to consider. It’s important to know what to look for to ensure you buy the right windows, given your needs, location, budget, and weather factors.

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Here are things to look for when buying windows:

  • Energy efficiency: This is perhaps the most important feature to look for when buying windows. Always look for the Energy Star seal and windows that use high quality sealing systems, low e missive coating, and vinyl frames for maximum efficiency and protection against the elements.
  • Security features: Windows are one of the most common entry points for thieves. Security features are particularly important for main level and basement windows. Always look for windows use strong and durable hardware components and latches, making them more difficult to infiltrate.
  • Weather resistance: Where you live plays a large role in the type of glass you should buy. In Canada, you need to choose windows that are designed to withstand the Canadian winter and provide you with maximize insulation against the cold in the winter and the heat during the summer.
  • Frame material: There is a wide range of materials that are used by window manufacturers for window frames. However, vinyl windows are proving to be the best option for window frames because of their durability, low maintenance, while being easy to clean.
  • Air Leakage: Air leakage is an important factor to consider when buying windows. All windows are tested for air leakage using a standardized test and they are assigned a rating of A1, A2, A3, with A3 being the highest rating.
  • Wind Resistance: Windows are tested for their ability to withstand wind resistance. They are assigned a rating from C1 to C5, with a C2 rating being the minimum for low rise homes in Canada.
  • Rain Resistance: Windows are tested for their ability to hold up against window driven rain during storms. They are assigned a rating from B1 to B7, with B1 being the minimum building code requirement in Canada.
  • Ease of Use: Ease of use is one factor that is often overlooked by homeowners. It’s important to choose windows that are easy to open and close, and clean, without issues with the window mechanisms, latches, and locks.
  • Warranty: All windows purchased should come with a comprehensive and transferable lifetime warranty. Even high quality windows can malfunction from time to time and a good warranty ensures you can have your window repaired or replaced if necessary.

Windows must be carefully selected based on the needs of your home. Always consider the above factors when shopping for windows.

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