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Choosing Energy-Efficient Doors

When choosing a door for your home your initial thoughts probably turn to size, colour, and how many windows or panels you’d like. One very important aspect of choosing a door is, unfortunately, not often at the forefront of our minds; its energy efficiency. A door presents an opportunity for warm air to leak out and colder air to leak in (or the very opposite during our air-conditioned summer months). You probably already pay enough for heating or cooling bills; your door can be a great team member when it comes to reducing those bills and keeping your home at ideal temperatures. Not sure what makes a door great when it comes to energy efficiency? We’ve got a few tips to help you along the way.

 

The Energy Star

This is probably the easiest way to ensure that the door you’re buying is rated well for energy efficiency. Look for the telltale Energy Star logo, which is a sure sign that your door meets or exceeds industry standards in this category. The Energy Star program takes into account many factors when coming up with a doors rating; the insulating properties, the glass’s energy performance, and whether or not the glass has multiple panes or includes a glazed coating. (A glazed coating is one way that a manufacturer can help the glass panels reduce heat loss or heat gain).

What is The Best Door Material?

We all know that doors come in all shapes and sizes and that they can be made of a variety of materials. Usually we choose a door based on its curb appeal, and certainly, that should be an aspect of determining which door works best for your home. Here are some of the most common types of doors available and some pros and cons of each.

Wood

For a traditional look, you can’t go wrong with a classic wooden door. These are distinctive, and will definitely add beauty to your doorstep, no matter which type of hardwood it’s made of. On the plus side, most wooden doors now are pumped up with a good weather stripping system, but on their own, wooden doors aren’t wonderful at insulating, making them less efficient overall than other options.

 

Fibreglass

A fibreglass door sports a great insulated core and can come in a wide variety of finishes, meaning that your personal style and decor can certainly be achieved. They are also durable and can stand up well against all types of inclement weather.

 

 

Steel

For home security certainly, a steel door comes at the top of the list of options. They are good insulators, are financially feasible compared to some other options, and are made of a strong material that will last for years to come.

No matter what material you ultimately choose, the installation process is also part of the big picture when it comes to energy efficiency. If you’ve purchased a good quality door, chances are the weather stripping system will live up to the elements, and some doors even sport other features to keep the weather at bay. Adjustable thresholds and water channels help your door serve its purpose, and having your door installed by a professional will mean less chance of having a door hung that is not quite plumb and level.

 

All credit goes to Northern Windows and Doors

How to Tell It’s Time to Replace Your Windows

Making the decision to replace your windows can be a confusing and difficult journey.  Luckily our friendly and knowledgeable sales representatives can help you with any questions, design choices, and financing options.

If you’re going to take on the task of replacing your windows, the smart choice is to update them as well to energy efficient windows.

Here are some helpful tips on how to shop for windows:

What is the science behind windows?  Check out this simple explanation.

Give us a call today for your free estimate!

Call us! 780-468-4899 or toll-free 1-877-618-9831

 

Custom Window Design

Custom windows are an exquisite way to add stylistic flair.

From squares to circles and arches to keyholes, windows come in all shapes and sizes. A beautifully shaped window can be a work of art and can be designed to match a certain historical style.

Windows don’t need to be huge to make a big impression.

When choosing custom detail, pay attention to your home’s architecture. Some window arrangements and custom touches make specific architectural statements.

Maximize light and views with custom-made windows that create a dramatic focal point.

Contact us today to get a FREE ESTIMATE!   Our sales representatives will walk you through all of your energy efficiency needs, your design choices and financing/payment options.  Northern Windows and Doors is here to help you!

 

 

How to pick your Energy-Efficient Windows

So you’ve made the decision to install energy-efficient windows in your home. That’s great news! Now all you have to do is decide which type of window is good for you. Feeling stumped? We’ve made this excellent guide to help you choose the best energy-efficient windows for your home.

Should I buy new windows or upgrade the existing ones?

This all depends on how old and wasteful your current windows are. Improving existing installations seem more cost-effective, but they may not be as efficient as replacing them altogether. That means that your improvements may end up costing more in energy waste in the long run. The best way to be sure you’ll get the most benefits is to go with new, modern windows specially made for energy conservation.

How do I choose the right design?

Understanding energy ratings and your home climate will make this choice a lot easier. Pick a design that fits with the architectural style of your home, but also consider the weather, temperature changes, and other environmental factors. Today’s window manufacturers create designs to fit all kinds of climates, from arid deserts to chilly sub-arctic climes. Do your research and when in doubt consult a professional.

Which operating type is right for me?

This depends on what kind of use you want to get out of your windows. If you do not plan to open them at all, consider designs with fixed panes. For windows you want to open, you have several options:

  • Awning and Hopper: These panels either swing up or down at an angle. They are suitable for areas that do not get a lot of severe weather or heavy winds.
  • Casement: Much like awning or hopper styles, these panes swing out on a hinge either to the left or right. Good for mild climates, but can become damaged if left open when a hard wind blows through.
  • Hanging: The panes slide either up or down. Some, called double-hanging, allow for both panes to be slid.
  • Sliding: These panes slide to the left or the right. Like hanging varieties, some double-sliding options allow for either pane to slide to the side.

Do the types of materials matter for installation?

Energy efficient windows can be installed in all house types, though the materials of both your house and the windows make a difference in how they are installed. Some types are designed to work better with homes made of wood while others can be fitted in stone or plaster. Window installers account for existing structures as well as manufacturer recommendation. Some windows need to be sealed or weather-stripped after installation. Others have these measures built in.

Before attempting to install windows yourself, make sure to consider all the existing materials and set-up guidelines. When in doubt, trust a professional window installer instead. Do not risk doing damage to your home or new windows with guesswork. You’ll save yourself a lot of time, stress, and money in the long run.

Energy Efficient Doors

As homeowners, we’re always looking for ways to save money and keep our houses looking great. The best thing about upgrading to energy efficient doors is they accomplish both of these, and they’re good for the environment too! If you’re considering replacing your exterior doors, here is some helpful info to help you decide on the energy-saving route.

Reasons to Upgrade

  • You want to have better insulation. That standard wood door might look nice, but it can be one of the biggest energy wasters in your home. Wood expands and contracts in changing temperatures and conducts cold in winter and heat in summer. This is especially true of older doors that may not be insulated or have old weather-stripping.
  • You want to save money. Energy wasting doors actually cost more than you may think. An energy efficient door can save you up to 15% on energy bills by keeping all that conditioned air in your home and keeping the elements out.
  • You want to keep your home looking good. The sun blasts out UV rays that can fade and damage photos, curtains, and other nice things in your home. A door (and windows!) with a special coating over the glass can protect your valuables from harsh light.
  • You want to reduce your carbon footprint. Saving energy doesn’t just cuts costs and keep your home’s climate controlled, it’s also great for the environment. One-quarter of your carbon dioxide output comes from home energy use. The more energy you save, the more your carbon footprint shrinks!

How to Choose a Door

Once you’ve decided to upgrade your exterior doors, the next step is picking a door. There are a lot of varieties to choose from. Here are just a few options to suit your needs:

  • Steel with polyurethane insulation – Great for those who don’t want a lot of hassle. The steel skin often includes a magnetic strip that, when installed correctly, creates a tight seal meaning you will need no more weather-stripping.
  • Wood – A newer wood door rated for energy efficiency is better than an old one. New models are typically better insulated and have better weather-stripping, but they can still conduct unwanted temperatures.
  • Fiberglass – Has an insulated core and also numerous styles, including ones made to look like real wood. These are perfect for those who want the energy-saving properties of steel doors but the nicer aesthetics of wood.

Installing a Door

It’s important to install your new door correctly. Damaging it can drastically reduce its efficiency, as can installing it unevenly. Refer to a more detailed guide or consider hiring a professional if you’re unsure that you can do it yourself. That being said, a typical door installation includes the following steps:

  • Removing the exterior and interior trim.
  • Removing the old door.
  • Preparing the doorway; making sure it is level, the right size, and watertight.
  • Installing a solid foundation/support beam.
  • Installing the door and making adjustments.
  • Installing the trim and hardware.

Your Windows vs. Tornadoes

Environment Canada is responsible for warning the public when conditions exist that may produce tornadoes. It does this through radio, television, newspapers, its internet site, as well as through its weather phone lines.

Edmonton Tornado – July 31, 1987

Fact or Fiction?

Should you keep your windows and doors open or closed during a tornado?

The short answer?  CLOSE THEM!

The long answer? If tornado winds get inside your home or garage, it becomes much easier for the tornado to remove the roof and even the walls. When Environment Canada issues a tornado watch [or threatening weather approaches], make sure to close all windows and doors, including garage doors.

Since your doors and windows are the average home’s biggest risks when it comes to high winds, you should focus on securing them first. Experts recommend installing storm doors and thick window panes with superior impact resistance. These panes have the added bonus of delivering year-round energy savings. Seal all drafts and cracks around windows and doors with weather-stripping or foam insulation.

 

Tornado facts

  • Canada gets more tornadoes than any other country with the exception of the United States.
  • Tornadoes are rotating columns of high winds.
  • Sometimes they move quickly (up to 70 km/hour) and leave a long, wide path of destruction. At other times the tornado is small, touching down here and there.
  • Large or small, they can uproot trees, flip cars and demolish houses.
  • Tornadoes usually hit in the afternoon and early evening, but they have been known to strike at night too.

Tornado prone areas in Canada as published to the National Building Code, 2011, based on research from Environment Canada. Source: Adapted from Sills et al., 2012.

Warning signs of a potential tornado

  • Severe thunderstorms, with frequent thunder and lightning
  • An extremely dark sky, sometimes highlighted by green or yellow clouds
  • A rumbling sound or a whistling sound.
  • A funnel cloud at the rear base of a thundercloud, often behind a curtain of heavy rain or hail.

 

Another thing you should do in order to prepare for a tornado.  Create an emergency preparedness kit.

According to Environment Canada this kit should include:

  • Water – two litres of water per person per day (include small bottles)
  • Food that won’t spoil, such as canned food, energy bars and dried foods (replace once a year)
  • Manual can opener
  • Wind-up or battery-powered flashlight (and extra batteries)
  • Wind-up or battery powered radio (and extra batteries)
  • First aid kit
  • Extra keys for your car and house
  • Cash, travellers’ cheques and change
  • Important family documents such as identification, insurance and bank records
  • Emergency Plan – include a copy in your kit as well as contact information

Consider these additional emergency kit supplies:

  • Two additional litres of water per person per day for cooking and cleaning
  • Candles and matches or lighter (place in sturdy containers and do not burn unattended)
  • Change of clothing and footwear for each household member
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each household member
  • Toiletries and personal hygiene items
  • Prepaid phone card, mobile phone charger
  • Pet food and supplies
  • Infant formula, baby food, and supplies
  • Activities for children like books, puzzles or toys
  • Prescription medications, medical equipment
  • Utensils, plates and cups
  • Household chlorine bleach or water purifying tablets
  • Basic tools (hammer, pliers, wrench, screwdrivers, work globes, pocket knife)
  • Small fuel-operated stove and fuel
  • Whistle (to attract attention)
  • Duct tape

June 2, 2017 – Three Hills tornado

 

Stay safe out there!