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Replacing replacement windows a countertrend in home maintenance

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Replacing replacement windows a countertrend in home maintenance

For homeowners, the trend is to replace old windows with new, modern, dual-pane, wood or vinyl frame, replacement windows. However, what is trendy isn’t always best for you.

Replacement windows are fine if a new look and some energy savings is the goal, but will do little if reducing outside noise to get peace and quiet indoors is the real problem.

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The challenge is that replacement windows are not really designed to reduce noise, and the vast majority of exterior noise enters through windows, not walls. So, when life is crazy and you want to create a cosy sanctuary at home to soothe your jangled nerves, it often makes more sense to improve your existing windows than replace them.

That’s why a cost-effective countertrend is developing to keep existing windows and enhance function by placing a soundproof, matching inner window inside the existing windows. This method can stop up to 95 per cent of outside noise, while enhancing energy savings and safety. It not only provides extra thermal insulation, but also a virtually shatterproof barrier that deters intruders.

Because no window replacement is required, the installation process can take as little as one hour per window, which minimizes home disruption. A similar technique, which installs a functional, matching patio door inside or outside of an existing one, also provides comparable benefits for patio doors.

Keep the noise out

From screeching traffic and blaring car or train horns to barking dogs and roaring leaf blowers, dual-pane windows will not keep out the noise because they are not designed to do so. The problem with a typical dual-pane window is that they act like a drum and reverberate in response to external noise vibrations. The result is that the noise as sound vibrations transfers right through the panes. On top of this, the seals of most dual-pane windows degrade within a few years, which allows even more outside noise to pass through.

Some replacement window companies tout single-pane acrylic windows as soundproofing. However, the typical 3/4-in. thick acrylic panes lack sufficient mass to stop much noise. Acoustic testing has demonstrated that a single-pane acrylic window must be at least 3/8 in. thick before it provides a good acoustic soundproofing value.

SoundproofWindows inside home

An even more effective solution incorporates recording studio soundproofing technology to block up to 95 per cent of external noise penetration, which can make unwanted noise sound like it is at least two football fields farther away.

This approach first dampens sound vibrations with an inner window of laminated glass installed behind the existing window. The lamination acts like a finger placed on a vibrating wine glass to deaden the sound vibrations when struck. An inner layer of tough polyvinyl, similar to that used in car windshields, further dampens sound vibrations.

Next, air space of two to four inches between the existing window and the Soundproof Window also significantly improves noise reduction because it isolates the window frame from external sound vibrations.

Finally, spring-loaded seals in the second window frame put a constant squeeze on the glass panels. This prevents sound leaks and helps to stop noise from vibrating through the glass. The spring-loaded seals are designed to stay acoustically sound for decades.

Energy efficiency

Typical windows and glass patio doors are notorious causes of home heating and cooling loss. They transfer heat/cold by thermal conduction through the panes and glass surface, so additional heating or cooling is required to keep everyone comfortable.

Air leakage through window and patio door seals that crack over time also worsens the problem. While single-pane windows transfer the most heating/cooling, even dual-pane windows may be insufficient to keep homes sufficiently warm in winter/cool in summer without raising utility costs.

As a solution, adding an inner insulating window to existing windows, and a second sliding patio door that can be installed inside or outside of the existing door, however, can dramatically improve thermal efficiency.

In fact, this approach provides an additional layer of insulation with better insulation values than the best double-pane windows, and substantially improves insulation values for dual-pane windows as well. The second sliding patio door has even greater insulation value due to its greater surface area. This can reduce heat loss by 77 per cent or more for single-paned windows, and heating/cooling bills by up to 30 per cent, while stopping air infiltration for further energy savings and greater comfort.

Improve security

Another important side benefit to this soundproofing approach is security enhancement, since its construction helps to deter burglary/breaking and entering through typical windows or sliding glass doors.

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While standard windows or tempered glass sliding doors can be shattered by a sharp blow, the laminated glass used in such soundproofing offers significant break in protection because it is shatter-resistant and tends to remain intact even after repeated blows. Such laminated glass is actually a major component of most bulletproof glass.

The bottom line

If you want to change the curbside appearance of your home, you still might consider replacement windows.

But if stopping outside noise from driving you crazy during the day or keeping you up at night is important, or cutting your energy bill, or improving home security are your priorities, then you may want to add an inner window or patio door instead

As an added plus, the cost can often be less, depending on window size or the noise reduction sought. Also, installation can take a fraction of the time of replacement windows, and can even be done as a DIY project for additional savings.

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Available in Ontario through Arc Acoustics 

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6 simple steps to replacing your home windows

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6 simple steps to replacing your home windows

Some homeowners compare selecting windows for the entire house at once, with choosing their wardrobe for the next 10 years in a random day in September, except that the first process is more stressful. Why? Because windows are used for more than 10 years. Most of the homeowners keep them forever.

It’s overwhelming to choose windows and doors because they can become a source of energy loss. In Canada’s climate, you can lose even 35 per cent energy through windows and doors, and this leads to high energy bills. Canadian homeowners should choose high-efficient models because they can boost a house’s energy efficiency and save on energy bills. Energy-efficient windows are 40 per cent more efficient than traditional models.

Here are a few guidelines that make home windows replacement simple.

Decide what window style suits your home’s style

Windows do more than saving energy, they influence the aesthetics of a home. Carefully select the appearance of the windows because they must blend with the style of the property.

The architecture of the building usually influences the style of the windows and doors. If you match the style of the windows with the one of the house, they will complement its design no matter its age.

Colonial buildings often feature double-hung windows. Most homeowners prefer them because they open and close with two operating sashes. Double-hung windows are easy to clean and suit various architectures, so they’re a safe option for a homeowner who doesn’t like to experiment.

Speciality shaped windows from window manufacturers like Panes work great for modern buildings. Homeowners who want to add extra character to their buildings choose geometric or speciality shaped windows.

You can upgrade all models with decorations to add them a touch of uniqueness.

Select the material of the frame

The material of the frame determines the type of maintenance the windows need over time, so you need to decide which one you prefer before choosing the style of the windows.

If you want high-quality windows that require little maintenance, opt for vinyl windows. They’re the best option for a homeowner who is afraid that termites will damage the windows. Vinyl windows don’t rot, peel or warp, so they are durable and could last a lifetime.

The best part about window frames is that you can customizxe them as you want because they come in a great range of colours that can match any interior and exterior.

Wood windows are another option for a newly-built house. Buy they require high upkeep, so you’ll spend a lot of time maintaining and cleaning them.

Clad windows are a combination of a wood frame and another material. Often, manufacturers apply a cladding of fibreglass, vinyl or aluminium to the exterior frame to boost its durability. Some window providers sell fibreglass windows because they are less prone to expanding and contracting than clad windows. The drawback is that the homeowner has to protect the frames with hard finish paint.

Choose the glass package

The glass package directly impacts the amount of energy you save. Don’t try to save money by picking low-cost windows because they’re usually low quality and don’t have the needed tech to keep your energy bills low.

For a glass package to be efficient, it has to include some essential components.

  • Low-E glazing. Low-E is an invisible coating applied on the outside or inside of a window. The manufacturer decides where they want to apply it according to the model of windows they produce. Low-E reduces heat transfer in the building. During summer, it reflects the sunlight outside to maintain the house’s interior cool, and during winter, it allows the light to enter the house to boost warmth.
  • Argon gas. Manufacturers place an invisible and odourless gas, denser than the air between the panes of the windows to improve their thermal efficiency.
  • Dual and triple pane glass. You can find on the market dual and triple pane windows. The dual-pane windows are the traditional choice. The triple-pane glass adds an extra layer of glass to increase energy efficiency and sound-blocking features.
  • Krypton gas. Window producers fill the space between panes with invisible, odourless gas, denser than the air and argon gas to obtain high-efficient windows.

The perfect window is the result of the combination of the above components. Don’t install windows without these technologies because they’ll fail to insulate your house and lower energy bills.

If you want something special customize the windows

You build the house of your dreams, so you probably have a clear image of how you want it to look. If the windows you find on the market, don’t match the ones you pictured in your mind, collaborate with a manufacturer that encourages clients to customize windows.

For some people, buying windows from big box stores sounds convenient because they usually get better offers for standard products. But if this isn’t an option for you, work with a professional willing to personalize them. Reliable window companies engineer their products one at a time, and this guarantees that the product you receive has a precise fit inside the walls of the house.

Work only with expert contractors because the smallest mismeasurement can lead to high energy loss. This is something common for pre-made windows. The best way to prevent the problem is to choose custom windows.

Hire a reputable window company

It’s overwhelming to choose the window provider because there are countless companies you can work with. Hire an established company because you trust your house’s efficiency with them. Ask family and friends for recommendations, check online reviews, and make a list with reputable companies that operate in your region. The Internet is the best resource to find out the quality of services local window companies provide. You can find reviews on social media pages like Facebook, and even contact former clients to find out how satisfied they were with the products they received.

Hire a company that aims to improve the lives of the homeowners with energy-efficient products because they strive to provide high-quality windows.

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Replacement windows – the ultimate guide

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Replacement windows – the ultimate guide

Windows come in a variety of styles to suit different personalities and tastes. A replacement window is basically one that replaces an existing window.

Replacement windows are installed in different ways, depending on the condition of the windows and techniques to be applied. For a full-frame installation, the old window is completely removed, together with its frame. The new replacement window is then firmly fixed in its place, while an insert installation is used to replace older wood windows whose frames are still in good condition. Its disadvantage, however, is that it reduces the size of the window considerably. The other technique that can be used involves replacing only the window sashes, while reusing the existing frame. For these procedures, measurement is key, for both the old window and the replacement window.

People replace their windows for various reasons. However, there are valid and more concrete reasons to look at while making this decision. To determine if you should replace your windows, you need to observe the following:

1. To ensure security, check that the windows are strong so that they can’t be easily broken into. The wood should not be damaged – chipped, warped, peeled off or rotten.

2. Sound has to be adequately regulated. There shouldn’t be too much noise getting into the house.

3. The windows should not lead to a rise in energy consumption. Get windows that will help you save energy.

4. The general condition and normal functioning has to be correct. The windows shouldn’t be difficult to open or close properly. They shouldn’t be faded and should be able to withstand bad weather.

There’s a lot more to explore, even with creativity, as you work to keep your home warm and cosy. You don’t have to keep a window looking lifeless.

Enjoy your unique style by getting a window that complements your entire home.

A variety of materials is used to design the windows, from vinyl to aluminum or wood. These materials have unique advantages and disadvantages.

Modern timber is used most and widely preferred among consumers. It’s simple, easy to customize and source. Disadvantages, however, include the occasional rotting, warping, peeling off and fading.

Aluminum is light but strong and durable, and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. It also boasts a variety of finishes and can withstand poor weather conditions.

Vinyl windows come in a variety of colours and do not require a lot of maintenance. They’re strong and durable, warm in winters and consume less energy, and help reduce noise. Unfortunately, sometimes this material may sag due to its light weight. It’s also not easily customized with colours.

Since window replacements vary in structure and design, the cost also varies proportionally. For instance, to replace a small wooden window, the cost ranges between $150 and $200 and can even be as high as $400 to $600, depending on the material and size of the window.

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