Few things influence the comfort level of your home like the windows. If your windows are old, rickety, single-pane jobs with wood frames and rotting casements you can expect to need sweaters inside during the coldest months and to pay up to a third more in energy costs than you actually need to. On the other hand, if the idea of freezing while you throw away money doesn’t appeal to you then it’s time to consider vinyl replacement windows for your home.
Choosing the Right Vinyl Windows for Your Home
Vinyl window frames are great for saving energy because they don’t conduct heat. Today’s vinyl windows are also composed in a nearly unibody fashion with virtually no chance for heat to escape through leaks in the casing, jams or apron. That leaves one component of the vinyl window for you to concern yourself with: the glass itself or glazing.
Types of Glazing You’ll Want to Consider:
- Insulated glazing – The most basic form of window insulation is the double or triple pane window. The layers of glass are spaced apart and hermetically sealed creating a layer of trapped air that helps prevent heat loss.
- Gas fills – Inert gases such as krypton and argon naturally resist the flow of heat. For this reason injecting this type of gas into the space between the type of double or triple-pane vinyl windows mentioned above can significantly improve their already impressive U-factor.
- Low-E glass – With low-E glass an ultra-thin metallic coating is applied to the surface of the glass which allows visible light to get through but prevents solar radiation from penetrating your home or business. With low-E windows in place it’s easier to keep your home within a comfortable range allowing you to save money on heating and air-conditioning.
- Tinted glass – Tinted windows also employ a special ultra-thin layer but in this case it acts to change the opacity of the window in order to keep more light out. There are different types of tinting available but they all do essentially the same job; acting as your home’s sunglasses.
- Spectral coatings – This specialty form of low-E coating can filter out more than half the heat that normally passes through your windows by targeting specific wavelengths of light. The effect can be tweaked to produce extremely precise aesthetic or climate results.
- Laminated glass – This type of glazing is created by sealing a layer of vinyl between two panes of glass. The resulting window resists shattering when impacted and is preferred by homeowners for whom safety and security are paramount issues. Laminated glass is also popular in places prone to hurricanes or other types of severe weather.
Remember, when shopping for vinyl windows with the right glazing for your home:
- A good place to start is with the U-factor. The U-factor indicates the ability of the glass to resist heat transfer. The lower the U-factor the better.
- Exterior walls facing different directions will likely require different glazing. In the icebox of Toronto you’ll likely want high solar-gain glazing for south facing windows and low solar-gain glazing for windows facing west.
- Another GTA-specific consideration will be warm-edge spacers. These will typically cost a bit more than normal spacers (and aren’t available from every window manufacturer) but will provide a better seal between the panes.
By taking the time to match the right glazing with your vinyl windows you can ensure maximum energy savings for your home. To learn more about glazing options for new vinyl replacement windows call Toronto Doors and Windows on 647-932-3667 and speak to one of our vinyl replacement window experts, or visit us at our St Clair Ave W location.