6 Tips For Keeping Your Home Warm This Winter

There’s no better feeling than sitting inside in your warm living room on a cold winter day, wearing a pair of cozy slippers and watching a holiday flick. That is, if your home isn’t letting that pesky cold in.

If you’re feeling the chill in your home this winter, here are some tips for sending it right back out so you can comfortably finish Elf for the fiftieth time.

1. Get yourself a humidifier

Vapor from humidifier in the morning light in a living room

Humidity can make a room feel much warmer than it actually is. It’s a relatively inexpensive one-time purchase that will help combat the cold and in the long run, be the much more affordable option to jacking up the heat in your place.

2. Close your curtains at night…

Believe it or not, your curtains can be effective in keeping warm air from escaping through the windows. Closing them at night allows them to act as an extra layer of insulation and helps keep the room warm. This can also reduce condensation on your windows.

3. …But keep them open during the day

Contrary to the last tip, try opening your blinds during the day to let the sun heat your home up, especially on south-facing windows. Although it’s cold outside, the concentrated heat from the sun can really warm up the room. The natural heat can also save you a bit of money on your next energy bill.

4. Replace poorly insulated windows

Especially in Canada’s cold winter climate, the integrity of your windows can be the difference between a cold home and a warm one. Dated or poorly insulated windows will allow too much of your home’s warm air to seep through the cracks, leaving a semi-permanent chill in your place. Polar’s triple-pane windows are designed to keep the cold out. If you’re due for a window replacement, we’ll make sure your home receives the care it deserves.

5. Replace poorly insulated doors

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Just like poorly insulated windows, a dated entry door can let in cold drafts that are sure to jack up your heating bill. In the long run, you’ll end up paying much more on energy bills than you would on the actual door, so save yourself the cash. Polar doors are built for Canadian climates, meaning you won’t have to ruin perfectly good towels by stuffing them under your current doors to deal with those cool drafts anymore.

6. Move your furniture to warm spots

Maximize your warmth potential by finding the warmest spots in your house and hanging out in them. Got a fireplace? Centre your furniture around it. See a warm vent overhead? Guess you just found a great new spot for that ottoman you never really sit on. You may end up finding that your furniture is now strewn about your place in a strange fashion, but as Canadians, we’ll do whatever we can to combat the treacherous outdoor freeze.

Looking for a new door or set of windows? Book your free, in-home consultation today.

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7 Fixes For Window Condensation

The winter months bring with them a number of added tasks and chores for homeowners. Between decorating for the holiday season, clearing snow from the driveway and cleaning sand from the doorway, it’s safe to say home maintenance gets more complicated in the cold.

Window condensation is no exception. Condensation on interior windows is irritating, and can actually cause long-lasting damage to your home. Window condensation occurs when there is an excess of moisture in the house. It happens more often in winter, when the warm air inside the home condenses the moisture on cold windows.

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Condensation, left untreated, can rot the wood and moulding that surround windows. Furthermore, condensation doesn’t only affect areas surrounding a window; the moisture and mold that come with condensation can also spread and damage drywall, plaster and flooring.

Here are seven simple tips to keep your windows and the rest of your home safe from the detrimental effects of moisture.

1. Use Storm Windows

Storm windows keep a space between the interior window and the exterior window. The space between the two windows allows the interior one to stay warmer, and reduces frost build-up and condensation. Storm windows can also help reduce your heating bills and make your home more energy efficient during the winter.

2. Add Weather Stripping

Weather stripping stops warm air from leaving your home. If you’re using storm windows during the winter months, weather stripping will stop condensation from occurring on your windows. Weather stripping also improves the energy efficiency of your home.

3. Keep Windows Warm

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Condensation will occur if your windows are colder than the air in your home. To keep the surface of your windows warmer, use blinds, curtains or drapes. Raising the temperature of your home slightly will help warm your windows and reduce interior window condensation as well.

4. Use Humidifiers Cautiously

Canadian winters can at times feel dry, leaving us with itching skin and flyaway hair. For this reason, many people use humidifiers to balance the air in their homes. However, this can often upset the moisture balance within a home and cause condensation to occur on interior windows.

5. Use a Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier is a quick, easy way to address excess moisture and window condensation in your home. While dehumidifiers can range from $200-$300, there are also smaller size options that are more affordable in a pinch.

6. Be a Fan of Fans

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Every time you shower, cook, or clean, make sure your fans are on. Keeping fans on—rotating in a clockwise direction—will keep the air circulating throughout your home and help push warm air off of the ceiling back down to the floor.

7. Replace Your Windows

In the worst case scenario, condensation and moisture are a problem in your home because of flaws with your current windows. This is a likely scenario if you’ve had the same windows for longer than 20 years.

Window technology has greatly progressed in the past few decades, and Polar Windows are especially designed to perform in extreme climates. If your windows are collecting moisture and condensation despite your best efforts, contact Polar Windows for a free, in-home consultation.

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6 Tips For Decorating Your Windows For The Holidays

It’s a tell-tale holiday feeling to drive down the street and see silhouetted trees and lights adorned in neighbouring windows. Dressing your own windows is easy, takes just a little bit of work on your part, and yields a gorgeous result.

Here are a few ways to safely decorate your windows for the holidays.

1. Shutters

Your shutters, if you have them, are decorative pieces you can make all the more festive. You can go as complex as running a string of outdoor lights around them, or as simple as popping on a single red bow and calling it a day!

2. Overhangs

Reading near the window

If you already suspend a curtain rod over your window, take advantage and hang ornaments neatly in the window with clear fishing wire. It’s a different sort of look, but if you use the right colours and ornament shapes together it can make a real statement.

3. Window Frames

Decking out the inner frame of your window with some garland will give you that festive shade of green, and you can tuck in some colourful ornaments or wind a string of fairy lights around it to complete the look.

This idea works both indoors and outdoors. Just make sure your lights can handle the cold.

 

4. Panes

Window clings are a quick and aesthetically pleasing way to decorate your glass panes. Clings are typically made of vinyl, and the adhesive on them allows you to remove and reapply them easily and without a sticky residue to clean.

5. Wreaths

Window Wreath

Wreaths can work pretty much anywhere: centred in windowpanes, hung on doors, or even lain on a coffee table as a centrepiece. It’s also very difficult to overdo it with wreaths. If you have a room with a lot of windows, hanging matching wreaths in each one can make the room feel instantly cosier, and without sacrificing any natural light.

6. Sills

Your windowsills are blank canvases—go ham! Feel free to lift from any idea we’ve listed above. But if you need a place the start, you can’t go wrong with a string of garland, some pinecones and a few tea light candles (the flameless variety, to be extra safe.) If you have any dainty gifts you’ve already wrapped, consider putting them in the window too.

If you’re in need for some brand new windows to decorate this winter, take a look at Polar’s line-up of quality offerings.

 

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How to Increase the Value of Your Home

Whether you’re selling or not, you want to make sure you’re taking all the essential steps to retain and increase the value of your home. The last thing you want is to lose money on arguably one of the largest investments you’ll ever make.

Luckily, the following 7 pointers can help you get the most out of that investment.


7. Plan Out Your Remodel

Couple planning for home renovation.

Impulse remodelling is a sure way to throw your budget down the drain.

If you want to increase the value of your house fast and efficiently, plan your remodel throughly. Not only will you get more out of your budget, but if you do it right, you can focus on issues that matter the most first, and work your way down to the less important ones.


6. Paint It – Inside and Out

You don’t have to get fancy with the paint job—sometimes you just need to cover up the chips and scratches. The goal is to make your place look clean and well-kept.

However, if you’re going to choose a colour palette for you home, choose one that has a lasting quality, meaning don’t even think about lime green. Lime green doesn’t exist in the home renovation world. Lime green is bad.

 

5. Renovate the Kitchen

Beautiful kitchen renovation.

Any real estate expert will tell you that the number one room to remodel to increase the value of your home is the kitchen.

For as little as $5,000, you can upgrade to new appliances, countertops and flooring. Like we said before, applying a fresh coat of paint to the walls or cabinets can also make the space look fresh and modern.

 

4. Renovate the Bathroom

If your kitchen is the first project on your list, the bathrooms should be a close second. More than any room in the house, your bathrooms see a lot of wear-and-tear, and the last thing potential buyers want to walk into is something dated dated and dirty.

Like your kitchen, you can upgrade your bathrooms to look and function great on a relatively low budget. Consumer Reports estimates that you can increase your home’s value by as much as 7 per cent through both kitchen and bathroom renovations.

 

3. Replace Doors and Windows

Custom oval window.

Bright shades and sharp angles do wonders for the curb appeal of your home, so people notice when a home has new windows and doors. But the benefits go beyond refreshing the look of your home. Old windows lose their effectiveness as their seals weather over time. Broken seals in your windows and doors allow external air in and internal air out, doing a number on your energy bill.

New windows can last upwards of 30 years, so it’s a definitive improvement to the lasting value of your home.

 

2. Give It Some Curb Appeal

First impressions are everything, especially when it comes to your home.

For buyers, your home’s exterior can be a direct indication of the work that went into the rest of the house. By putting a bit of work into landscaping, gardening and minor repairs, you’ll give your place a little extra value.

Not to mention, the benefits your neighbours will see. The exterior of houses throughout your neighbourhood can also influence the value of not only your home, but the houses around it, so tell Ron from next door to cut his grass!

 

1. Keep Up With Regular Maintenance

Your house is a temple, and there are quite a few moving parts. Like anything, there will be issues.

Your best move is to keep up with regular maintenance to avoid any long-term problems. By putting off essential repairs, those minor issues you tried to avoid will turn into major issues that will almost certainly devalue your home. And even if those minor issues don’t end up becoming anything more serious, they can start to add up.

Unclog drains, inspect and replace wiring, test smoke alarms and safety devices, and take any other precautionary measures. Take a look at Better Homes & Gardens’ Home maintenance checklist for other important measures you can take to avoid long-term issues.

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How to Make Sure Your Home is Secure

The safest home is not one that a burglar would have trouble breaking into, but is entirely off a burglar’s radar. In a typical home break-in, a burglar carefully walks around and “cases” your home, looking for weaknesses in your security or discreet places to avoid potential witnesses. Therefore, you want to make your home impervious to casing.

 

  1. Get an Outdoor Security Camera
    There are plenty of options nowadays for an outdoor security camera. Nearly all of them are easy to set up, can run off battery or solar power, and they’re Wi-Fi enabled so you can surveil your home from your phone when you’re out. The other benefit is that it’s intimidating to have a camera peering down over your property.

 

  1. Find an Alternative to Hiding Spare Keys
    A hand holds up a set of keys in front of a house's front door.

    Those inconspicuous hiding places aren’t all that inconspicuous.

    This is how we used to do it: hide a key under an inconspicuous rock, under a mat, or somewhere in your backyard. This isn’t a safe idea, as burglars know what to look for and those spaces may be more obvious than you think. If you need to keep a spare key somewhere, consider leaving one to a trusted neighbour or friend living close by. If you have to leave a key on your property, keep it locked in a hidden lockbox. Just remember that whoever you give it to, make sure you leave your keys unlabeled.

 

  1. Use Grilles on Your Windows
    Bars on your windows can turn away burglars, but they also really hurt your home’s curb and neighbourhood appeal. Grilles, on the other hand, are metal covers in different designs that are more aesthetically pleasing and are difficult to punch or cut through. It’s a happy medium between looks and security, and you can customize them to match the aesthetic of your home.

 

  1. Do a Security Walk Around Your Home
    Have you ever looked at your house from a burglar’s perspective? Walk around your property and take note of any of the following:• Bushes close to your windows and doors
    • Areas that don’t get a lot of light
    • Electronics and valuables you can spot through your windowsA majority of break-ins happen during the day when you’re working, and a third of break-ins happen through your home’s front door. Consider installing a deadbolt on your front and back doors, trim your hedges so no one can hide behind them, and consider investing in some exterior lights to illuminate the darkest sides of your home.

 

A house's front door with a deep crack where someone tried to kick it in.

This is an example of a Polar door with a reinforced door frame that resisted a break-in.

 

  1. Buy a Garage Door Timer
    If you own a garage, it’s almost guaranteed someone living there has left the door open all day. Garages are large and a very sneaky way for someone to get into your home. A garage door timer is an inexpensive product that removes the guesswork about whether you closed your door or not. And, as always, if someone does get into your garage, keep a deadbolt on your interior door and don’t leave a spare key in your garage!

 

  1. Keep Your Valuables in a Safe
    If you set a timer for 8 minutes, how many of your valuables do you think you could grab before the timer goes off? The typical home break-in lasts about 8 minutes, and a lot of people keep their valuables in plain site.If you want to go a step beyond storing your jewellery in a dresser drawer, you could get a small safe. Not only is this a great burglar deterrent, most safes are fireproof, keeping everything intact should the unthinkable happen.Here’s a final tip: keep a written inventory of all your valuables, and their worth, in your safe. Should you ever become a victim of a break-in, you can more confidently account for anything that’s missing.

 

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Make Small Rooms Appear Bigger by Adding Windows and French Doors

The perfect house is bright, airy, and has large, comfortable rooms with windows. However, in reality, some homes have one or two rooms that are small, dark, and cramped. Don’t panic! With careful planning, these tips, and a little home renovation, you’ll whip that small room into shape.

Natural sunlight can play a key role in whether or not a room appears small and dingy. Adding windows is a quick way to open up a room, add more light, and give it the appearance of being larger.

Bay Windows

The bay window is often an ideal solution to opening up a room by bringing in sunlight and changing a single wall. It could also be a cheaper renovation alternative than moving an entire exterior wall to make the space larger. This renovation will make the space appear larger than before.

Bay windows typically have three sides of glass, which adds a whole new dimension to small rooms. In addition, the window-seat can be enclosed and used for storage.

French Doors with Glass Panes

It is amazing how the right home renovation can drastically change the appearance of rooms. Adding French doors with glass panes brightens rooms and makes them look bigger. They also offer views of landscaping and gardens, which can make rooms feel bigger.

Open French doors can expand living space, bring in fresh air, and provide additional light into rooms. They also add style and enhance the look of a room.

Rows of Windows

Adding several windows in a row across one wall can drastically transform small rooms. They can break up the appearance of a boring wall, open up the room, and even allow enough light for growing indoor plants.

Drawing up a few ideas on paper is a great way to get ideas flowing when thinking about home renovation. Consider how your wall would look with French doors or a couple of new windows. You’re only limited by your imagination, and maybe your wallet!

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Prepare Your Home For Fall

Summer has ended and fall is here. Is your home ready for the cooler fall months? Preparing your home for fall may be one of the last chores on your to do list, but this is a great time to get some of your home maintenance chores accomplished.

Here are three helpful ideas to help you prepare for the cooler months:

1. Clean windows: As summer comes to an end, it’s a good idea to clean your windows before it gets too cold out. Polar windows make cleaning even easier because they flip in so you can clean them from inside your home. This makes your cleaning task much simpler.
2. Clean out gutters: Cleaning out your gutters at this time of year is essential; this will help to prevent them from getting clogged over the colder months. If your gutter clogs, it could freeze and create water and moisture build up in your walls and windows.
3. Do some general lawn and landscape maintenance: Now is the time to do some general landscaping maintenance around your home. Your lawn, as well as your garden, could use some extra seed and fertilizer to make it through the colder months. Taking care of your lawn and gardens before the colder months will help you have an easier spring.

These are just a few things you can do to prepare your home for fall and the upcoming colder weather. While this may seem like a daunting task, you will thank yourself for your hard work once the cold fronts come around. Get your home ready for fall and don’t let the cold weather affect your enjoyment of this new season.

 

Thanks to Sharon Mollerus for the image.

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How To Clean a Polar Awning Window

I like to think that windows are the eyes to your house, so there’s nothing worse then looking out your window and not having a clear view. Cleaning your windows used to be a time consuming process; that is until we here at Polar designed our awning windows to make cleaning them a breeze.

 

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How To Clean a Polar Casement Window

Having a clean window is a lot more time consuming then one thinks. Every spring droves of people flock to their windows to get rid of winter’s existence. We here at Polar thought about this and designed our casement windows so that washing them isn’t a hassle, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3…4, 5.

Remove the screen from your window. Then using the crank, open the window fully.

Casement Window Cleaning Step 1 - Polar Ray-O-Max WindowsCasement Window Cleaning Step 2 - Polar Ray-O-Max WindowsCasement Window Cleaning Step 3 - Polar Ray-O-Max Windows

You have about a 4” gap from window to jamb. Proceed to clean, with enthusiasm of course.                             

Casement Window Cleaning Step 4 - Polar Ray-O-Max WindowsCasement Window Cleaning Step 5 - Polar Ray-O-Max Windows

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