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Information to help you make a more informed windows and doors purchase

Here are some the of frequently asked questions AL has received in the past. Click a question to go AL's answer.

 

What should I look for in a replacement window?

Focus your efforts on finding windows that have passed a series of tests by one or more independent certification organizations. The materials used to make the window must be of high quality and the method in which the windows are assembled should also be superior. To learn more about buying windows refer to our window buying guide.

 

How do awning and casement windows differ from a single-hung window?

Awning and casement windows open outwards where as a single-hung window has a sash that slides up and down and can open outwards for cleaning. For a complete description of the different window types click here.

 

What is a Low-E window?

Low-emissivity (Low-E) windows feature glass that has a thin coating of metal on the surface to prevent heat and UV rays from passing though the surface of the glass. The Low-E coating keeps the heat in your home during the winter and out during the warmer months. For more information about Low – E windows click here.

 

Why should I buy Low-E windows?

There are many reasons why you should consider using Low-E glass windows:

Reduce Heat Loss in winter
Low-E glass reduces radiant heat transfer and reflects interior heat back into the room, not outside.

Reduce Heat Gain in summer
Low-E glass reduces the flow of hot outside air into the cooler interior of your house in the summer.

Lower Utility Bills
Low-E glass helps reduce the amount of heating and cooling energy needed to keep a house at a comfortable temperature. That means furnace and air-conditioning systems work less and that can add up to significant energy savings.

Reduction of UV Rays
Low-E glass significantly reduces transmission of the sun's damaging ultraviolet rays, one of the leading causes of premature fading and degradation of fabrics, upholstery and carpeting.

Comfort
No one enjoys sitting near a cold, drafty window in winter. Low-E glass works to raise the inside glass surface temperature. This can help to minimize cold spots and keep you more comfortable.

 

Why is there condensation on the outside of my new energy efficient windows?

This did not happen with my old windows. Exterior condensation on your Low-E glass, Argon filled air space (LEA) windows occurs when the surface temperature of the outside pane of glass falls below the dew point of the air. This condensation usually occurs when there is a warm, humid day followed by quick cooling in the evening. The higher insulation value of the thermopane blocks the escape of the heat from inside of the home so the exterior pane remains cooler. As the sun warms the air, or a breeze blows, the condensation disappears. Consequently, the windows are performing as designed. Based on wind direction and shelter from buildings or trees, only some of your windows may have condensation on them.

 

What should I do to prepare my windows & doors for winter?

The doors and windows in your home can allow air leaks even when closed. Replacement with new Energy Star qualified windows and doors is advisable, but not always feasible. Before the cold weather arrives you should take steps to inspect and repair any caulking and weather stripping that has deteriorated. If the caulking has visible separation from the joint, remove the old caulking and re-apply, being sure to seal the entire joint. For aesthetic reasons, choose a product that is close to the colour of your house, or is paintable. If the weather strip around your doors or windows appears worn, replacement parts can be ordered from your window & door specialist. Weather stripping comes in a variety of styles depending on the application. Most are very easy to install with self-adhesives or fins that either fit into the window or door moulding or have a flange for screws. The door sweep, the vinyl or rubber fins on the bottom of the door, should make good contact with the threshold to keep out both cold drafts and rain. To reduce interior condensation on your windows during the home heating season, it is recommended that the relative humidity inside your home be between 30 and 50 per cent.

 

What is the difference between an insert window and a complete window?

An insert window has no exterior brick mould and is designed to sit in the existing wooden frame. It is used primarily in older homes to preserve window interior or exterior casings. Insert windows are less energy efficient but do provide some initial cost savings versus a complete window. A complete window includes the exterior brickmould. This option is most common as it is esthetically more pleasing and is more energy efficient. Complete windows are used when there is rot in the existing wooden frame.

 

What are your standard window sizes?

The beauty of vinyl windows is there are no standard sizes. All our windows are custom built to within 1/8” of your required dimensions.

 

What is Energy Star and what does it mean to me?

Energy Star is the international symbol of energy efficiency. With the Energy Star symbol, consumers can easily identify products that will help them reduce their energy consumption. To be Energy Star compliant, products must meet a set level of energy efficiency. By purchasing Energy Star products, you can be certain that you are choosing some of the most energy efficient products available. For more information on Energy Star click here.

 

What should I look for when considering buying an exterior door for my home?

Whether you are building or renovating your home, entry and exterior doors can make a definite statement about you and your home. To find some helpful hints and information you can use when considering which door is right for you, take a look at our entry door buying guide.

 

What should I look for in a windows and doors provider?

At Alweather, we’re confident that we have the right products and the best installation to meet your needs. Just as importantly, we care about your home during the installation as well as after. To this end we’ve created a list of important attributes that you should bear in mind when you pick your window and door provider. For a list of questions to ask potential suppliers and other helpful considerations, click here.

 

What grants are available to me for installing energy efficient windows & doors in my home?

In Nova Scotia, the EnerGuide for Homes program will pay up to a maximum of $1,500 for retrofits that improve the energy efficiency of your home, this includes $30 for each window and door replaced with an Energy Star product.

For more information about the program, the required energy evaluations and to apply, please see the Conserve Nova Scotia website here.

Homeowners participating in the EnerGuide for Homes program may also qualify for an interest free loan of up to $5,000 for retrofits.

In Nova Scotia, the PerformancePlus program provides rebates based on the EnerGuide rating of your newly constructed home. To apply for this program please visit the Conserve Nova Scotia website here.

In Prince Edward Island, the Office of Energy Efficiency offers a Windows & Door Grant program or an Energy Efficiency Loan Program for home owners replacing their windows and doors with Energy Star products. For more information visit their website here.

 

What does Cam Lock mean?

A Cam Lock is a lever-operated lock which is used to lock the sash into the window frame. We’ve created a glossary that will help you understand some of the common terms and definitions used in the window and doors industry. To view our glossary click here.