If cold, drafty, or frozen windows were an issue last winter, now’s an ideal time for replacement planning. As you comparison shop …
1. Look at the frame material
Wood -A good insulator. As an organic product, wood window frames do require periodic maintenance.
Vinyl – Is thermally-efficient and insulates well but can warp in weather extremes and even discolour.
Metal – Aluminum window frames are more costly than vinyl but cost less than wood. Aluminum is
strong, durable, and requires little maintenance. But the actual frames are a poor insulator.
2. Evaluate the A, B, C ratings.
A) Air Tightness – Rated A 1, A2 or A3 to reflect increasing levels of air tightness. Sliders tend to be “leakier” than casement windows.
B) Water Leakage – Resistance to wind-driven rain is rated from B1 to B7. The higher the number, the more resistance to wind-driven rain penetration.
C) Wind Resistance – Ratings range from C1 to a high of C5. CMHC advises a minimum of a C2 rated window.
3. Consider the glass
Glazing – Triple-glazed windows help reduce noise transfer from outside and tend to be better insulators than double-glazed windows.
Low-Emissivity (Low-E) windows enhance energy efficiency using a thin coating of metal oxide on the inside windowpane that filters UV rays and as well, blocks interior heat from escaping through the glass.
When getting quotations for new windows, be sure that it includes brick-to-brick installation. Otherwise, the new windows may be set into the existing window frames – less glass and less light.