5 Signs It’s Time To Replace Your Windows

 

 

 

 

 

1. Condensation

One of the first signs of needing new windows is you’ll have condensation between the panes. That means the gas which is used to insulate the window has escaped so virtually there is no insulation value other than an air space

 

 

 

 

2. Bubbling Drywall

Your drywall on the inside is bubbling, showing signs that there’s leakage from the exterior. So driving rain and moisture has gotten into the cavity of your wall causing moisture to bubble your drywall.

 

 

 

 

3. Discoloured Stucco

If it’s a stucco finish the corners will show discoloration or cracks. Meaning your house is shifting and that it’s causing driving rain to get into the cavity of your wall.

 

 

 

4. Draftiness

Draftiness is another way to tell that you need new windows. If you feel cold coming through that window it’s definitely time to upgrade to triple pane.

 

 

 

 

5. Rotted Window Frame

The outside frame of the window is typically wood and that is showing signs of severe rot. That’s definitely time to replace your window.

 

 

 

What To Do Next

If you find any of these signs it may be time to replace your windows. Visit the Polar Windows website to find out more about your upgrade options.

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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 Do Polar Windows Compare To Standard Vinyl Windows?

Standard Vinyl Windows Polar Windows
Hardware Retention Vinyl on its own has the same screw retention capacity as cardboard. Standard vinyl window frames are 100% vinyl, which can lead to screws loosening or stripping over time. Polar has developed a patented process by hand inserting galvanized steel reinforcements into each window so screws will hold. As a result, our hardware outperforms any other operation window—even wood—in longevity, security, overall performance and sustained value.
Thermal Transference When interior and exterior temperatures differ by more than 40°, insulation efficiency suffers. Many vinyl window manufacturers are content to offer hollow-framed windows. Hollow frames can lead to more heat loss than energy lost through glass. Polar fills the gaps in vinyl window frames with high-density, closed-cell, high-impact foam, resulting in superior thermal performance while increasing the structural integrity of your home’s envelope. Because of this we can offer you a lifetime guarantee on our windows.
Weather Seals Most vinyl window manufacturers create frames with their weather seals permanently attached. This leads to two problems:

  1. If the seal fails, the entire window is compromised.
  2. Failed seals can never provide fully sealed mitered corner joints.
Polar uses Santoprene™, a superior composite product that we apply by hand to all windows and doors. If a seal ever fails, it takes only minutes for our certified technicians to replace it. This ensures your window will perform like new for up to 35 years.
Colour Choice Many vinyl windows are available in only white or off white, which doesn’t offer much in the way of architectural design options. We have developed a proprietary process with our vinyl frame manufacturer that lets us bond any one of 18 different colours of paint to our frames. We offer an industry-leading guarantee on vinyl window colour.
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5 Signs You Need to Replace Your Old Windows

Windows play a big part in the comfort of your home. They let in sunlight and refreshing outdoor air, and they enable the beautiful views of your neighbourhood. But eventually, your windows wear down. We know it can be difficult to tell just how much life your windows have left in them. Here’s a short list of telltale signs that you should move “new windows” to the top of your summer renovations list!

 

  1. Your Windows Won’t Function

 

Do you dread opening your windows? If they get stuck on their tracks, require a lot of jiggling, or don’t stay where you leave them, that’s not normal. Windows, especially wood ones, can warp over time as they take in moisture, causing them to function irregularly or not at all.

You can trust that if your windows don’t lock when they’re closed or require assistance to keep open, they are not properly sealed in the frame and require replacement.

 

  1. You Have High Energy Bills

 

If you had a hole in your house, you would patch it. When your windows aren’t properly sealed and insulated, the controlled air inside your home escapes through these unsealed spaces. Visible spaces in your windows are one thing, but you can detect any unseen drafts in your windows by slowly running your hand or a candle flame around the frames of your windows.

All that extra air your home requires to heat and cool adds up, the result of which is the number you’ll see on your energy bill. New windows seal these gaps properly and for the long term.

 

  1. There’s Noticeable Condensation, Leaking, and Decay

 

Windows are meant to keep the moisture out, not soak it in. You’ll need new windows if you’re noticing an excess of peeling paint, spots of wet wood, and mould. Condensation between the panes of glass in a window is a sign the seal has failed and needs replacing.

The other plus to replacing old looking windows is a significant bump in your home’s general curb appeal. People tend to notice the sharp look of new windows.

 

  1. You Can Hear Everything Outside

 

Your home is your temple. It should keep you comfortable and make you feel relaxed. If you can clearly hear traffic noise, lawn mowers, and noisy neighbours, your home may feel less private than it truly is. Your windows are to blame.

Windows transfer the vibrations of sound outside into your home, and when they’re not thick or properly sealed, they let in a lot of sound pollution. New windows with a professional seal virtually soundproof your home from outside noise. In addition to a visual improvement, you’ll be able to hear the difference too.

 

  1. They Look Awful

 

Because they’re constantly exposed to the elements, your windows require attention and maintenance year-round to ensure they’re performing correctly. However, those frames won’t last forever in the sun and rain. If you’re spending a lot of your time cleaning, scraping, and repainting your windows just to have them look only passable presentable, you may fair better with new windows. You’ll be able to save time, clear away any rusted and rotting materials, and they’ll present beautifully.

 

If your windows are looking a little worn, we can help. Book us for a hassle-free home estimate today.

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How Thermal Imaging Works On Your Windows

What is Thermal Imaging?

Thermal imaging converts hot and cold air into a visually measurable format using heat-sensitive infrared technology. On our thermographic imaging cameras, hotter points appear as a bright yellow or white colour. Cold points appear as a medium to deep navy blue. We use this technology to measure the energy efficiency of your windows and how well they maintain optimal home temperatures all year round.

How We Use Thermal Imaging

Windows allow the greatest transfer of air and temperature at the joints and corners. With our camera, we take infrared measurements of the temperature at different points of the window. We take readings from both the interior and exterior of your home to help us determine the relative energy efficiency on both sides. The thermal images of your older windows can show significant heat loss along the outer edges. Taking these measurements of your windows allows us to determine which of your windows we should replace first.

After Installing Your Windows

After we install your new Polar windows, we take measurements of the same locations to compare the results against your old windows. We then use these infrared images to reaffirm your window is sealed and check for possible defects. The interior temperature of your home should be significantly improved, with all windows consistently scoring higher than 80% in terms of their insulation power. We can then determine the Energy Rating (ER) of your windows through the amount of solar heat gain and heat loss due to air leakage.

In the summer, our thermographic imaging camera can reveal that cool air is kept inside your home while hot air remains outside. Polar windows use a special solar block to prevent radiant heat from entering your home and increasing its interior temperature.

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Know the Basics When Shopping for Windows

When you’re in the market for new windows, it can feel a little daunting. There’s a lot of factors to consider, so it’s best to do a little research before you start your shopping. In addition to researching what style and material of window you’re interested in, you should also do some browsing in order to familiarize yourself with current prices. Let’s take a look at a few of these considerations, so you can be on top of your game.

Savings

As energy costs continue to rise, it is common for people to be on the lookout for ways to save. One great way to cut down on the costs of heating and cooling your house is investing in quality windows. If your windows are at least 20 years old, it’s probably time for you to start thinking about replacements. This could also be the perfect time to make the switch to energy-efficient windows so you can start saving on energy costs!

There have recently been several advancements in energy efficient window materials. The new low-emissivity systems allow the warmth of the sun in during the day, while also retaining that heat at night, making them a wonderful benefit to any house during the cold winter months.

Though a bit more expensive, triple glazing also offers energy savings, and it also prevents condensation, which can cause mold and mildew. Previously only available in the coldest areas in the country, triple glazing offers some of the best insulation available to windows in today’s market.

Cleaning

Cleaning older windows can be frustrating. No matter how hard you try, they still look dirty! Getting new windows will give you a cleaning advantage from the start, but if you choose the right style, could also make your cleaning process easier in the long run. Whether you are replacing or installing a new window, there a number of styles you can choose from including sliding, double-hung, casement, or even glass block. It is easy to get carried away when shopping, but you don’t want to forget about the level of difficulty when cleaning each style. If you’d prefer windows that are easier to clean, you might want to consider double-hung or casement windows that are more accessible and require less intricate work. Some of these styles can be rotated, tilted or cranked out for cleaning.

Resale Value

Energy savings always sound good, and upgrading may enhance the resale value of the home, especially if your current windows are damaged or appear to be aging. Consider sales trends in your neighborhood to determine if expenses will be covered when you sell.

If your windows are aged, you can afford to upgrade your windows to save energy, and you plan to stay in your home for sometime, then it would be a wise decision to start looking into new windows! In addition, changing to a new style can improve the looks of the home, provide more fresh air, and make cleaning a snap!

 

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Ideas For Repurposing Old Windows

Whether you are about to start a full scale renovation project, or you are just looking for a few ways to spruce up your space, old windows can be used in a variety of creative applications. Salvaged frames and glass have been reused in interesting ways for decades for both interior and exterior spaces. If you’ve just recovered some salvaged frames, take a look at some great ideas on how to put them to good use!

Setting up a salvaged frame as a room divider is one of  the most practical and aesthetically pleasing applications. If you have a large, open space, it can feel a bit empty, and much of the space may be going underutilized. Using old windows as room dividers gives your home more character and practically turns larger spaces into usable, smaller spaces.

Old windows are also perfect for a variety of craft projects. Because again frames already have a rustic appeal, you can turn them into interesting craft projects. Repurpose an aging window as a picture frame for old pictures, or turn one into a chalkboard! By saving those wine corks, you can imbed the cork into the frame and make your own bulletin board. Some handier crafters can repurpose those frames into doors for beautiful and useful shelving units.

 There are a variety of applications of older window frames. So, before tossing them out on the curb, consider what you can do to revitalize the frame and your home!

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The Dos and Don’ts of Window Decor

Whether you are a homeowner, or you rent an apartment, your window treatments are important for a number of reasons. Fully controlling your natural light can go a long way to breathe new life into your space and create a mood. Plus, the window decor that you choose can give your space a unique spin and distinct personality by using your own style and aesthetic. Because choosing the right drapes and properly framing your windows is so important, take look at some of the Dos and Don’ts of curtains.

DO take your time choosing the right pattern and color. Take a look at the color of your walls, your furniture, and consider the overall look that you want to achieve for your indoor space. Your window decor will draw the eye’s attention more so than other items in your room, so be aware of the impact your curtains will have on the look and feel of your space.

DON’T overlook the importance of hardware. You want to be sure you get rods and hooks that have a look matching the rest of your space and your curtains. You will also need rods that can appropriately handle the weight of heavier fabrics if you choose such materials.

DO spend some time thinking of the type of fabric you use. You’ll need to consider fabrics for their appearance and the amount of light that will be let into your space. If privacy is important to you, sheer fabrics should be avoided.

DON’T skimp on size and positioning of your curtains. When it comes to your window decor, size matters. You’ll want to get fabric that is at least double the size of the windows themselves. You should also always hang your curtains high and wide, meaning significantly above and beside the windows.

Window decor can truly add to any room by simply following a few basic guidelines. Always consider the fabric, color, pattern, and positioning to make the most out of your curtains and to really enhance your space.

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