A Quick and Dirty Guide For Choosing The Right Window For Your Home In Calgary

Windows act as an accessory to any room, so why not change them up if you are trying to reinvent a space. However, choosing the right window for your home that compliments your space with the right frame and glass performance can be a task- the options out there are endless! Your windows are dependent on so many variables such as practicality versus aesthetic appeal.

Calgary is it’s own special case in itself. The weather is temperamental, seasons can be longer or shorter depending on the year (one can never predict this) and because of its elevation we get all sorts of climate changes affecting some of the choices you make for your home.

Types of Windows

Double or Single Hung Windows

These are a very popular window type as they are a great option to be used as the main type of window throughout your home. They are good for air circulation and are aesthetically appealing from the inside and out. These can potentially be less energy efficient than some of the options listed below as they generally have larger air leakage rates.

Double Hung windows

Photo: Eisenbart & Sons

Casement Windows

These windows are popular in windy climates. When wind blows against the unit the windows seal is reinforced and becomes air tight, making this window energy efficient for your utilities. Hinged at the side and swinging outward, these windows are also good for air circulation, natural lighting and are perfect for being used as a consistent window throughout your home. These too can have large air leakage rates.

Awning Windows

These windows are hinged at the top and swing outward, usually with a crank handle. They are ideal during rainy weather, as they can be opened safely to let in air circulation without getting rain inside of your home. However, they are not a good option to be used as the main window throughout your home. They work better in smaller spaces such as a bathroom or in your basement.

Picture Windows

These windows are air tight and great if you have a room with an amazing view such as a mountain range or look out of the city. These windows are customizable, less expensive and are common to see in homes with vaulted or high ceilings. However they offer no source of air ventilation and if not installed with the proper glass protection, can heat up or cool down a room dramatically in extreme weather conditions, putting a huge drain on your utilities.

Picture windows

Photo: Light House Premier Patios

Bay or Bow Window

These are a series of windows connected usually at a 45-degree angle. They are often used to create little nooks in your home, providing extra space without adding on extra square footage. They are good areas for growing indoor plants and can add interest to a home’s exterior and interior. However, they are not good for thermal changes and drain your home’s utilities, if not installed with the proper protection.

Framing your Window

Wood

Wooden frames provide your home with the best insolation, as they are not as prone to hot or cold. However, they require the most maintenance as they have the potential to rot. It is important to invest in a good quality wood and have it insulated properly so moisture does not seep into the grain.

Aluminum

These frames may be lightweight, but are extremely strong and durable, able to resist against harsh winds. They are very low maintenance but they attract hot and cold, making them not good insulators. Ideal for humid and rainy climates.

Garden Window

Photo: Milgard

Composite

These are an ecofriendly choice to frame your windows with. Made with a mixture of scrap wood products and plastics, they have almost the same thermal resistance as real wood, but also have less of a chance of attracting decay or rot.

Vinyl

Vinyl frames are extremely practical and perfect for the budget minded renovator. They are usually made with UV resistant products preventing the sunlight from breaking them down, reduce air leakage and offer excellent energy efficiency to your home.

The Glass

It is important when choosing your window to also make sure it is going to be both insulated and energy efficient. To maximize both of these it is recommended to purchase a window that is:

  • Double Paned: comprised of two glass panes and filled in between with a vacuum seal of either dehydrated air or gas. This enhances insulation and is preventative against condensation.
  • Energy Star Certified: this means your window meets strict technical specifications for top energy performance, including UV protection and solar heat gain and loss prevention.
Photo: Houzz 
 Lux Windows, Gienow Windows are two great local window installation and manufacturing businesses. See Who to Call for a complete list.

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Alana Kitchen
Alana Kitchen
Alana Kitchen, founder of Who To Call Inc. Taking care of a house with three boys I always needed a good drywaller on speed dial. When I moved to Calgary I quickly discovered it was an Olympic sport to find home service businesses that provided the quality service and advice I was looking for. This experience inspired Who To Call – a website dedicated to helping Calgarians find quality home service repair companies. Sign up to post your project and find quality companies today!
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