Questions to Ask When Buying New Windows May 1, 2013 Whether you’re replacing old windows or just upgrading your style, you will need new windows installed at some point when you own a home. With so many efficient and attractive styles to choose from, finding the perfect one won’t be a problem. There are, however, some questions you should ask as you shop: • Is this window energy efficient? • Do you need to replace the full window (glass and frame)? • Or just fit new glass into the existing frame? • What frame materials are best for your climate and location? To choose the most suitable energy-efficiency window for your home, factor in the orientation of your home (south-facing windows may require a different solar heat gain coefficient (SHGF) than east- or west-facing windows), the shading or reflective conditions around your home, and the HVAC system you have or intend to have. Long-term savings on energy bills could offset many of the initial costs; do the math before you go with the cheapest option. You may need to replace your HVAC system or equipment to get the full benefit of your energy-efficient windows, but it could pay dividends in the long run. Window styles and types also play a role in the appeal of your home. Letting a professional window specialist guide you through the buying process is a great way to ensure you get high quality windows that will add to your curb appeal. You can increase the value of your home with quality windows. Then there are the various features! What do you want in your windows? Some options include casement, awning, double hung, single hung, double tilt slide, single slider, double lift out, and single lift out. All windows include features such as heavy duty cams, lock and keeper, drainage, heavy duty rollers, screens, overlapping frame and other features that depend upon the type. Custom windows are available in unique patterns as well as bay windows and bow windows which expand a room outward. Colour options are available for window frames as well as glass finishes that can enhance the overall custom accent. Energy efficient windows replace the obsolete single pane windows, which is a major cause of energy loss in the winter. These windows are double or triple paned and are designed to either keep heat inside or outside depending on the time of year. In between the panes, argon or krypton gas is used for additional insulation. Plus, the panes facing the interior of the house will have special coating to reduce condensation and reduce UV and other radiations from the sun. Another type of coating is the EnerView Neat Glass, which is a self-cleaning coating that keeps the glass cleaner on the outside than normal glass. This way you won’t have to clean them by hand as much. Once you’ve made your choice, it’s time for installation. Are you planning to installing it yourself or hire a professional? Hiring a pro is recommended if you’re not experienced. Although anyone can install windows, a certified installer is recommended, especially those that are Window Wise certified. There are over 2,000 window manufacturers in Canada, but to date less than 30 are certified by Window Wise? Platinum Home Design & Renovations is one of those select few. Call us today for a free consultation and we’ll get you on your way to beautiful new windows with our unconditional 5 year guarantee.