This past year, Ontarians have heard a lot of about hydro bills and the high cost of energy, much of it due to some costly mistakes made in the past, time of use prices, an expensive oversupply of power, and paying more than market rates for green energy because of overly generous contracts offered several years ago. With an election around the corner, politicians with their eye on Queen’s Park are going to be eager to tell you more about how they will reduce your hydro bills, but take their words with a grain of salt. Energy is going to cost more in the future and if you really want to see savings, you need to start conserving.
Your old, drafty windows are the perfect place to start; not only will they help cut down on your energy use, they also make a big visual impact on your home. You can improve your curb appeal, bring more light into your home, and make your home more comfortable by cutting out drafts and heat loss, as well as reducing overheating on those days when the sun comes beaming down into your kitchen.
Replacement windows in Kitchener are easy to find from local companies like Golden Windows, which offer a number of options when it comes to energy performance, grilles, and frames, for better looking, better performing windows:
Wood frames offer a traditional look and colour as well as excellent insulating properties, but wood will expand and contract with the changing temperatures outside, meaning you are likely to need extra maintenance down the road.
Aluminum frames also respond very rapidly to temperature changes, and do not have the same insulating properties as wood, but they do have the added benefit of being very low-maintenance overall. Aluminum makes the most sense when combined with a wood clad for aesthetics, available from Kitchener window company Golden Windows.
Vinyl frames are also low-maintenance, and have built-in UV stabilizers to prevent sunlight from breaking down the material. The hollow cavity within a vinyl frame can be filled with additional insulation, giving your home added protection against drafts and heat loss.
In cooler climates, you need to pay attention to certain ratings in order to maximize your window’s benefits. You want to have a U-Value of 0.35 or lower in order to reduce the heat transfer to the outside, and a high VT, or visible transmittance, to boost the amount of sunlight coming into your home. All of those ratings are not just good for your pocketbook, they also help the environment by reducing the amount of energy needed to heat and light your home.
Another thing to consider when you buy replacement windows in Kitchener is a Low-E (Low Emissivity) coating that reduces heat transfer (U-Value) in all seasons, keeping your home cool in summer and warm in winter. Durable, high-quality windows and doors are a valuable asset for any home and help you enjoy beautiful new windows even as your monthly energy costs go down. In time, the right energy-efficient replacements for your old drafty windows will pay for themselves.