Clera Windows + Doors Blog

A buyer’s guide to replacement windows

Replacing home windows is a relatively simple upgrade that can yield big results for your house.

Older windows – such as the ones that have been around since you first moved in – can fall prey to a string of problems as a result of the aging process.

They can become worn, faded or just look out of date. They can physically change, bowing, warping and bending, deformities that can create pockets for air to get in. And older windows can develop leaks that letwater in when it’s raining, and also facilitate frost and condensation build-up.

Finally, aged windows can be a liability for your heating and cooling bills due to poor energy efficiency. A U.S. government department has estimated that energy loss from problematic windows can make up between 10 and 25 per cent of your heating and cooling bills!

Chances are, if your home’s windows date back more than 15 years, they’re likely experiencing a few or more of these problems. And while you can work around the edges to fix these problems by repairing poor-fitting frames and putting spray foam or caulking on gaps and voids, installing new, energy-efficient replacement windows is the best way todeal with faulty window problems.

Replacement windows from Clera Windows come in many shapes and sizes

Horizontal sliders or gliders

These windows have sashes – double panes of glass suspended in frames — that close and open when you slide them back and forth horizontally along a window frame track.

Double Hung

One of the most popular window types, double hung windows feature two sashes that overlap and can be moved up and down in the window frame. Sometimes, the upper sash – or glass pane – is fixed in place, leaving only the bottom sash to be opened.  These are called single hung windows.

Awning

Envision a casement (crank out) style of window turned on its side, so that the window opens to the outside, ‘hinged’ at the top.

Hopper

These open opposite to awning windows. Hopper windows open inwards from ‘hinged’ at the bottom. This type of window is named after traditional chute hoppers for coal furnaces, which open at the bottom.

Casement

These windows swing open outwards from the side of the frame, just like a door opens, normally using an interior-frame mounted mechanism. A common feature that makes these windows easy to recognize is the use of a crank handle positioned on the bottom of the window frame.

Bow or bay windows

This type of window is defined by their frame structure the juts out from a home’s exterior. Bay or bow windows can add a few more square meters to a room. The result is the illusion of a much bigger living space which was quite popular in homes in the late 1800s.

Fixed windows

As their name suggests, once installed these windows remain in place and cannot be opened. The upside of these windows is that they’re a great way to let light into a home, brightening rooms that may need a bit of sunlight.

Material types

Going along with the world of window types is a wide range of materials windows frames are made from, each with its own pros and cons.

Vinyl or PVC

Vinyl and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) windows are tough and unlike other materials, such as wood, don’t need constant painting. They’re a popular choice that don’t come at a high price and usually last for years. Some vinyl and PVC frames have insulated window cavities, aiding energy efficiency.

Energy efficiency

A big benefit of replacing your house’s windows is to make your home more energy efficient. When picking windows, look for the Energy Star label – this means the windows have been tested and meet or exceed minimum standards for energy efficiency. There are some energy-efficient features you can keep your eye out for, too.

Low-emissivity or low-E coatings

Windows with Low-E coatings have a glass coating that cuts down on heat transfer, keeping your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

Insulated windows

These windows have more than one pane of glass, resulting in a layer of insulation between the window panes. The sealed layer of gas or air between the panes reduces heat transfer.

Gas-filled windows

Some window makers produce insulated windows filled with inert gasses, instead of air. It’s important to remember that these gases, being inert, don’t react to other substances. A benefit of these windows is superior thermal resistance to air and better energy efficiency.

Comments

2 Comments

  • Charlene says:

    We live in an old house with lots of condensation and mold problems but I always thought it was because of the heating and the crappy fan above the stove. After reading this article I learned that it’s cause of the windows! I can’t believe I didn’t know that. I feel kinda dumb haha. I’m going to look into fixing them up, thanks.

  • Raphael L says:

    I had no idea there were so many different kinds of windows. I’m a new homeowner and I thought I knew everything about buying a home but there is so much to learn that I didn’t know about. Thanks for this article, I get it now and think I will have an easier time shopping when I need to get news ones.

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