Not all window styles are the same. They have different functionalities, purposes, and energy ratings. Windows also vary in cost by style. Knowing which one is better suited for each room can help you maximize comfort and efficiency in the whole home. It can also help you budget the window replacement in the entire house, putting an accent on rooms that require the most efficiency and not overspending on windows in rooms that don’t.
We wanted to apply that logic and discuss how it relates to shopping for replacement windows in Edmonton.
What you need to know about replacement windows in Edmonton
How do you make sure that the money you spend is actually going towards a quality window replacement? A successful replacement hinges on good product, correct installation, and an extensive warranty package that will protect your investment in new windows.
One way to make sure of this, is to buy windows that meet and have been tested for your local climate zone. ENERGY STAR, which is a familiar organization to most Canadians, not only rates home appliances and electrics, but also different construction materials based on their energy efficiency performance. When it comes to windows in Canada, the organization has outlined three specific climate zones with unique performance requirements. As per ENERGY STAR, in order to be considered efficient in Edmonton, your new windows must have a minimum energy rating (ER) of 29. A window’s energy rating is derived by factoring in several performance metrics like resistance to heat loss, resistance to air and water infiltration, and heat gained from the Sun. ENERGY STAR also uses CSA (Canadian Standard Association) standards for window testing, relying on existing guidelines for quality control. Buying replacement windows that are ENERGY STAR rated and CSA certified is the best way to ensure you’re investing into quality product for your home.
You can see the list of CSA certified companies and their window performance ratings on the Canadian Standards Association website.
You can also check out the ENERGY STAR list of companies on the government of Canada Natural Resources website.
Two types of windows: crank vs. slider
Before we dive into talking about specific window styles, it is good to understand the main window types. At the very basic level windows can be classified as “operable” or “fixed”. This is quite straight forward: operable windows can be opened and closed, fixed windows cannot be opened. Fixed windows can come in a high or low frame profile so that they match the operable windows when used in a combination. This is where it gets a little trickier.
These windows are generally classified into two types: crank and slider. Crank windows, like awning or casement, literally crank away from the frame when they are opened. Casement and awning windows feature a high frame profile. These windows come with operational hardware, and the crank makes them easier to open and close. But the main benefit of casement or awning windows is their energy efficiency. These windows utilize compression seal technology around the frame. When the moving sash is closed, the compression seal fills the space between it and the frame, making the unit airtight and efficient. Because of the operational hardware and additional efficiency crank windows can cost 15-20% more than sliding windows.
Such windows, like sliders and hungs, operate by sliding parallel to the opening of the window. These windows have a low frame profile, meaning there is a slightly larger glass surface area compared to casements or awnings. More glass equals more natural light in your room. Sliding windows are not as efficient as cranks, because they can’t utilize compression seals. In sliders and hungs, the gap between sash and frame is filled with weatherstripping. Weatherstripping isn’t as efficient as compression seals and still allows for some heat loss and air infiltration. It is still possible to make sliding windows meet the local climate zone requirements, but they often require additional upgrades to maximize the efficiency. A big benefit of sliding windows is that they are cheaper than cranks.
Best window styles for Edmonton homes:
Casement windows are the top choice when it comes to energy efficiency. These windows are ideal for use in bedrooms, and common areas where you spend a lot of time. Casement windows are designed to fit vertical openings and can’t always be manufactured in very wide dimensions. That is why homeowners often resort to using them in a combination with a fixed window. This is a useful solution as the fixed part allows for unobstructed views and improved energy efficiency (fixed windows are more efficient than operable one), while the casement lets you ventilate your room whenever you want. Casement windows are also good for bedrooms because they can be manufactured with an egress hinge that allows the window to be used as a fire exit in the event of emergency.
You can check out this casement windows comparison offered by local window companies in Edmonton
Awning windows, like casements, are a type of crank windows. Unlike casements, these windows open from horizontally, from the bottom. What’s the benefit? The main advantage of awning windows, is that these windows can be left open in any weather. Why would you want that? Because certain areas in your home like bathrooms and kitchens generate more moisture than others. Extra moisture in the air can result in condensation on windows, mold growth, and rotting in the wood structure of your home. Not to mention the negative health benefits associated with these problems. Putting an awning window in the bathroom, shower, or kitchen can allow you to open the windows for a few minutes without worrying about the weather outside, or the elements ruining the insides of your home.
But awning windows don’t have to be just for those areas. Some clients in Edmonton like their unique look and end up getting them for their bedrooms. Just like casement windows, awnings are the top choice when it comes to energy efficiency and comfort.
In this post you can compare awning windows between different Edmonton companies.
Although not as efficient as crank windows, sliders still remain the go-to choice for a lot of homeowners in Edmonton. That’s because sliders are cheaper than casement and awning windows but still provide a reasonable level of energy efficiency. It is also possible to improve the efficiency of slider windows with additional upgrades like Low-e coatings. Sliders can be manufactured with one or two moving sashes, and often come with a tilt-in option for easy cleaning and maintenance. Slider windows can’t be manufactured in really big sizes, so homeowners looking for this option in living or dining rooms often resort to getting end-vent windows.
In this post you cancompare slider windows from different window companies in Edmonton