The technology of keeping Old Man Winter at bay
Glengarry Windows and Doors has a new address but the pace remains the same at the Alexandria business, which moved to County Road 45 in July.
“We are always busy...very, very busy,” says owner Yves Gauthier.
“We are selling a lot of doors, windows, and solariums.” Plus, sales of Traeger wood-fired grills and smokers have been “phenomenal,” adds Mr. Gauthier, who is described as being the area’s leading authority in barbecues.
“There are a lot of renovations going on,” adds Mr. Gauthier, who is also a funeral director at Glengarry Funeral Home.
Saving energy is one of the prime reasons home owners are eager to have new doors and windows installed.
All windows and doors that are sold by Glengarry Windows and Doors are made in Canada.
Made in Alexandria
Some of the more popular windows are made in Alexandria, at KP Windows, formerly known as Farley Windows.
KP windows feature three state-of-the-art technologies, employing naturally clean glass and air sealing technology.
The result is a window that insulates efficiently, and is easier to maintain.
Mr. Gauthier stresses that home owners ought to be aware of the importance of trusting installation to professionals. Cutting corners does not cut it, he says.
“Skilled labour is not cheap and cheap labour is not skilled.”
Natural Resources Canada offers advice to people who are in the market for new doors and windows.
Know your climate zone and ask for products that are certified for it. Save even more on energy costs by buying a product certified for a colder zone than where you live.
Look for the ENERGY STAR certified models.
On the eastern and northern sides of your house, install windows with higher insulation values to reduce heat loss.
Learn more about factors affecting energy efficiency, including radiation, conduction, convection and air leakage.
Factors affecting energy efficiency
All fenestration products experience some heat loss.
Radiation -- heat energy is absorbed by the glass and radiates toward the cooler side.
Conduction -- heat energy moves through solid materials that make up the frame, sash or spacer bars.
Convection -- heat energy is transferred to the air between and around the glass.
Air leakage -- heat is transferred to air moving through seals or gaps in the frame.
Windows can also gain passive solar energy through the glass to help offset energy costs during the heating season. This balance is reflected in the energy-performance ratings.
Product type and air leakage
Windows and skylights that do not open are more air-tight than ones that do. Hinged windows (casements, awnings, hoppers, tilt-turns) are more air-tight than sliders. Hinged doors are usually more air-tight than sliding doors because they have compression seals -- a soft, elastic material fills the gap between sash and frame.
Windows, doors and skylights are available in a wide variety of materials, including aluminum, steel, fibreglass, vinyl and wood. Frames and sashes made from vinyl or fibreglass have multiple interior chambers which can be foam-filled to increase efficiency. Vinyl can also be formed as one solid piece with very small air pockets.
Frames and sashes made from metal tend to be less energy efficient because metal conducts heat more readily but this material is often used in fenestration products installed in high-rise and commercial buildings to meet building and fire codes.
Glazing is the term for the transparent material, usually glass, used in a window, door or skylight.
Usually the glazing is contained in something called an insulating glass (IG) unit which consists of at least two panes of glass separated by a spacer bar and sealed around the edges to make them airtight.
The more glazing layers, the better. For example, triple glazed products have three layers of glass and are up to 50 per cent more efficient than double glazed products. A thin layer of polyester film may be used to replace one pane of glass and reduce the overall weight.
Low-E glass has a fine metal coating designed to reduce heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer by up to 30 per cent. Tinted glass will reduce summer cooling costs but may increase heating costs in the longer heating season.
IG units are typically filled with an inert gas such as argon or krypton to reduce heat trans- fer through the glass.
The spacer bar may be made of foam, plastic, glass or stainless steel to reduce heat loss.
The spacer bar has a desiccant in it that absorbs moisture after the unit is sealed to prevent fogging.
Some windows have metal or plastic grilles inside the IG unit to give the artistic effect of many individual panes of glass. These popular features also reduce the amount of solar heat entering the home.
Vacuum IG units, which have no air or inert gas inside, transfer significantly less heat than standard gas-filled units.
Aerogel glazing uses a highly insulating, low-density silicabased solid between the glass panes. This aerogel eliminates the need for low-E glass and inert gas fills.
Electrochromic glazing (sometimes called “smart” glazing, switchable glazing or active glazing) can be darkened with the flick of a switch to reduce the amount of solar heat and light passing through the glass.
As the Ontario government shuts down a rebate program for energy-efficient home improvements, many people have been scrambling to take advantage of the incentives.
But beware. The federal government warns consumers that Ottawa does not provide rebates or incentives for energy products. If you see a website purporting to represent the Government of Canada and promising rebates, contact the appropriate provincial or federal consumer protection authorities.
Call police if you are approached by salespeople trying to sell furnaces, hot water heaters, and other similar equipment using misleading and high pressure sales tactics.
The Government of Canada, Natural Resources Canada and its family of brands (ENERGY STAR, EnerGuide and ecoENERGY) never go door to door asking to enter homes to inspect, sell, or rent heating and cooling equipment.
EnerGuide home energy evaluations are performed by licenced service organizations only at the request of homeowners.
BARRIER: Yves Gauthier shows the window seal that is key to keeping out Old Man Winter.
USER FRIENDLY: Sales representative Tim Charron with a double-hung “guillotine” style window that is manufactured in Alexandria.