What type of information do I need to know when purchasing windows and doors for my home?
A basic understanding of window terminology can make window and door replacement a much easier process for homeowners. The Department of Natural Resources has put together a very useful guide entitled "Consumer's Guide to Buying Energy - Efficient Windows and Doors".
My windows have moisture in between the panes of glass. Why?
Moist air can fill the space between the panes of glass when the seals along the outer perimeter of glass fail. This is called "seal failure." Seal failures allow moisture to penetrate into the space between the panes of glass making your insulated unit appear cloudy or fogged. Replacing the glass in these windows will correct the problem.
During the winter I have water coming in the window when it is not raining. What is the problem?
If snow is allowed to accumulate on a roof and the temperature remains very cold, the snow will begin to melt from underneath (heat from the attic). As the melted snow flows down the roof toward the unheated soffit, it refreezes. When sufficient ice has formed at the soffit, additional melting snow from the roof is prevented from leaving the roof. The water then backs up and under the roof shingles eventually finding its way into your home (see figure below). This problem is referred to as “ice damming” and is not caused by your windows.
What is argon gas and why is it used with Low E glass?
Argon is a colourless, odourless, non-flammable, non-reactive, inert gas. Filling the gap between the glass panes with a low-conductivity gas such as argon improves window performance by reducing conductive and convective heat transfers. This phenomenon results from the fact that the density of the gas is greater than the density of the air. Argon is the most commonly used fill gas, due to its excellent thermal performance and cost-efficiency in comparison to other gas fills. However, argon gas is not an effective solar performer by itself. That is why it is used primarily in conjunction with Low E coatings.