(NC) Sooner or later every home needs new windows, and it's important to choose well. With many manufacturers and installers out there, you need to make an informed decision. Here are some tips to help you out:
Choose proven windows.
Every window company says they make great windows, but how do you know for sure? That's why the Canadian Standards Association and two American Standard writing organizations have developed a harmonized North American standard for window performance — North American Fenestration Standard. NAFS is a rigourous testing scheme that determines how well a window will perform in the real world. Performance ratings are awarded to specific models of windows, not to companies. Be sure to ask for a window with a NAFS certification and performance rating that is appropriate for your location and application.
Choose an experienced installer.
The installation of your windows has a big impact on how well they work. Poor installation can even lead to significant damage to your home due to water leakage. That's why you need to hire an installer who knows what they're doing and provides a proper contract and warranty. Proper installation will also protect your new windows from warping and becoming difficult to open.
Expect tighter window performance.
Less air leakage and lower heating costs are key benefits of new windows. But less air leakage can mean higher indoor humidity levels in winter. This sometimes means more window condensation during cold weather, not less. If your current windows are leaky, you may have more reason to mechanically ventilate your home after new windows go in.
Find more information at www.getitinwriting.ca. It's Canada's best free and unbiased source of information on how to hire a contractor the smart and safe way.
Learn about mechanical ventilation at www.venmar.ca
Learn about home ispections a www.electrospec.ca
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Gil Strachan is a professional home inspector, representing Electrospec Home Inspection Services in east-central Ontario since 1994.
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