Windows: How to Make the Right Choice

The decision to change your windows may be motivated by several factors: improved comfort, a higher level of security or simply to improve the look of your home. Before investing in a renovation project that could prove to be expensive, here’s what you should know.

WHY CHANGE?

Before any change, ask yourself the right questions. What do you hope to achieve by replacing your windows? Is it to save on energy costs, improve soundproofing, increase security or make your property look even better? Today’s windows are sophisticated and efficient products which require the advice and assistance of a professional.

WHAT MATERIAL?

The three main materials on the market are: wood, PVC and aluminum. You can also opt for hybrid windows.

Wood

This is a material that provides excellent thermal and acoustic insulation. It is both elegant and warm and can be painted in any colour. A fungicide, insecticide and waterproofing are added during the manufacturing process so that the wood remains stable and long-lasting. It is natural and renewable, but requires regular maintenance. The downside: the price is quite high.

PVC

This is the most common material used. It provides good thermal and acoustic performance. It is found in different colours and types of openings. It is UV, weather and impact resistant. It does not rust and requires no maintenance. It is 100% recyclable, a plus for the environment. Its price remains the least expensive.

Aluminum

The thermal and acoustic performance of this material is good, as well as having an attractive look. The thermo-lacquered finish is available in many colours. It is durable, weather-resistant and will not rust. The rigid and solid structure is ideal for large formats. This is a recyclable material that does not require maintenance. Its weaknesses: it is more expensive than PVC and less resistant to strong winds.

THERMAL INSULATION

The thermal insulating properties of double glazing reduce heat loss through windows by 50 to 80 per cent. There are several types of double-paned windows: standard, low-emission, anti-reflective or even heated.

SOUNDPROOFING

For good acoustic insulation, opt for asymmetric double glazing, i.e. when one pane is thicker than the other. Consider two main criteria: the thickness of the glass and the space between them. Note that you can also use acoustic laminated glass.

SECURITY

One unique product is anti-vandal glazing composed of laminated glass. The strength is due to the number of glass panes as well as the thickness and number of PVB (polyvinyl butyral) films. You choose your level of protection based on the double glazing.

Windows are one of your home’s key elements. Before choosing a system, do a little research and do not hesitate to call a professional!

Source: Windows: How to Make the Right Choice

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