As everybody knows, summer is the season for backyard barbecues, trips to the beach and yes, home renovations. It’s the perfect time of year to start ticking off to-dos from your backlog of things to fix up around the house. Even if your house may seem like it’s in perfect condition, one area that is often overlooked is the quality of your windows.
Reduce heat loss
Low-quality, drafty windows can add up to 25% of your monthly electricity bill when heat escapes your home and cool air comes in, forcing you to jack up the thermostat to make up for the loss. Most homeowners might just accept this as a cost of living in a house, without even considering that new Energy Star certified window replacements could reduce their bills by up to hundreds of dollars a year!
Other sources of heat loss can include gaps in and around windows and doors, and badly insulated floors, walls or roof. Luckily, you can drought proof just about any problem spot in your home with the right tools and know-how. If you wish to qualify for many a home renovation grant, and your place seems particularly drafty, you may need to call up a professional energy auditor, your roofing contractors and whoever else is on the roster for getting your home up to scratch.
Get rid of condensation
Excessive condensation can often a source of annoyance for homeowners, regardless of the type of windows they own. This is because condensation forms when warm, humid air inside your house comes into contact with cold surfaces such as a window. Of course, condensation is worse when we’re talking about single pane windows, which is why it is suggested that homeowners make the switch to storm windows or insulated glass whenever possible.
Other tips include ensuring that vents are always turned on when cooking or showering, so that humidity is cleared out quickly and efficiently. Also double check that your home’s heating and cooling system are running correctly, so that you aren’t misdiagnosing a problem. A hydrometer, which can cost as low as $20, will quickly tell you what your home’s humidity level is in order to help you figure out your needs. Anything below 40% is manageable, otherwise a dehumidifier might have to step in for the humidity levels to be brought under control.
It might not be the most obvious thing on the list to upgrade, but window screen replacements can still have a small impact on your home satisfaction levels. Not only do they keep insects, animals and debris out of your home while keeping fresh air in, dense window screens are great for homes in hotter climates. This is because they can reduce heat gain as well as the amount of sun pouring into your home. As a result, you can keep your cooling costs down. Choose from aluminium, fiberglass, polyester, nylon, metal wire, brass, stainless steel and even copper, and wood or metal frames. Fiberglass is a great screen material choice, as it doesn’t dent and it is relatively cost-effective.
Burglar-proof your home
Home security might be another reason why homeowners choose to upgrade their windows for something a little more, well, secure. Windows and doors are the obvious entryways for a thief. While most people go out of their way to actually purchase a solid door and to lock it when they leave the house, windows tend to be a weak spot.
You can ramp up your home security by purchasing reinforced glass, such as tempered glass or laminated glass. For the truly security-minded individuals out there, wire mesh glass or bullet-proof glass are other options, though they are quite costly and are not really of much use to most homeowners. Tempered glass is slightly less secure and costly than laminated glass. The latter generally consists of two sheets of glass with a layer of vinyl in between, which means breaking it takes a lot of effort and noise – two features that will deter any burglar. You could also opt for Plexiglas windows, which is 10 times stronger than normal glass without being any thicker. Polycarbonate windows are the costlier option, but they’re also 10 times stronger than Plexiglas.
Window bars and window alarms are two extra steps that homeowners can invest in if they want to bring their home security to the next level. You can get decorative window bars these days in beautiful custom designs that will add to your home’s appeal rather than take away from it. Window alarms come in many varieties, suitable to any homeowner. They can be simple to install, or quite sophisticated, but all will at the very least send out an alarm when a window is opened or broken.
Don’t forget that a good window lock is the most basic step you should have covered in order to get your burglar-proofing started! A simple vinyl lock, a deadbolt or a window pin lock can all be easily installed by any homeowner, so don’t wait to get started on those window renovations!
For more information, speak to a roofing contractor in your area. If you have any roofing questions you’d like to ask us please don’t hesitate to call us at (905) 387 3000 or contact us using the contact form on our website. We’d love to hear from you!