Fall is a season of change. The carefree days of summer are behind us, the kids are back in school and we’re settling into our usual routines. With the arrival of the autumnal equinox here in the northern hemisphere, it’s time to get out your favourite cozy sweaters, pick fresh apples, consume all things pumpkin, and, yes, check your windows and doors.
Love it or hate it, fall means the days are getting shorter and the cold, snowy season is not far off. Just as you prepare your car for winter, you’ll need to prepare your home–your biggest investment–for colder weather.
Assess the state of your windows and exterior doors
To increase your family’s comfort during cold, windy, and frosty days, check your exterior doors and windows for wear and tear, drafts and deterioration. Timely maintenance, upgrades and replacements now can save you money and discomfort later.
Start with a visual inspection of your windows and doors. Do you see cracks in the materials, light shining through gaps in the frames, condensation on glass or warped window panes, casings and frames?
Unlock, open, close and lock each window and door. Are the handles, locks and latches in good working order? Do windows and doors close easily and completely? Are they stuck shut? Do you have to lean on them to close them? Do your windows fall off their tracks?
Feel for drafts flowing through warped or damaged frames or panes. If it’s cold outside, you might find you get chilled just sitting close to a window. Drafty windows and doors will keep your furnace chugging along as it tries to keep your home comfortably warm.
Depending on the issue, simple maintenance might help–for example, using silicone caulking in non-moving gaps or replacing worn-out weather stripping. In some cases, you might be able to replace loose or leaking glass or an insulated glass unit.
For worn, rusty, broken or leaky windows and exterior doors, replacement is a more suitable option, and will help to lower energy costs while keeping you toasty warm.
Choose energy-efficient windows and doors
When purchasing new doors and windows, it’s a great time to think about energy efficiency. New, energy-efficient windows and doors can reduce your energy bills, improve indoor comfort and benefit the environment at the same time.
Look for the ENERGY STAR logo on new windows and doors. It’s your guarantee that these products have met strict criteria in either the “energy-efficient” or “most energy-efficient” categories, as determined by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).
Opt for triple pane vinyl windows for better energy efficiency
If your house currently has older windows with only a single pane of glass, you’ll find that double pane or triple pane windows will give you better insulation properties while reducing outdoor noise.
For optimal savings on your monthly energy bills, consider triple pane windows. Dual pane windows consist of two panes of glass separated by Argon gas, held together around the perimeter with a spacer. Triple pane windows feature an additional layer, doubling the presence of Argon gas. This not only reduces temperature transfer more effectively, but also enhances home comfort and delivers greater savings on monthly energy expenses.
With JELD-WEN of Canada’s Northern Tri-Pane Collection™ windows, the exterior pane works in tandem with the two interior panes to minimize heat loss. True Tri-Pane Technology™ incorporates two half-inch airspaces filled with Low-E argon, resulting in an impressive U-factor ranging from 1.08 to 1.02.
The presence of Argon gas within the airspaces between each pane acts like an enhanced insulating barrier, offering 50 per cent more insulation than a double pane setup. The interior panes are designed to reduce radiant heat and condensation, facilitating higher cold-weather humidity and mitigating the effects of dry winter air.
Vinyl windows remain a top choice for those seeking both energy efficiency and durability. They present a cost-effective option without compromising on quality. Premium vinyl materials are adept at curbing heat transfer and air leakage, whilst also resisting moisture, reducing noise, and ensuring an extended product lifespan.
Consider the best materials for your exterior doors
When it comes to exterior doors, the material and quality you select will help to determine the door’s energy efficiency. Like windows, exterior doors can receive ENERGY STAR certification by meeting NRCan energy efficiency requirements as assessed by a third-party accredited agency.
Windows and doors can experience heat loss through radiation, conduction, convection and air leakage. Energy-efficient doors and windows reduce heat loss to save on energy and give long-lasting comfort. See our primer on how to choose the most energy efficient doors for more details.
ENERGY STAR-certified hinged steel and fiberglass doors offer great protection against the elements, keeping your home’s temperatures comfortable in every season.
JELD-WEN’s steel exterior doors have galvanized steel facings, with energy-efficient cores and fire-rated options for strength, comfort and peace of mind. They are factory-primed for easy finishing and have mitered top corners to prevent water absorption.
Fiberglass is another popular choice, boasting durability and energy efficiency in one attractive package. The material is a poor conductor of heat, meaning you get stronger protection from nasty weather.
Take advantage of purchasing rebates
In addition to giving your family increased home comfort and reduced energy costs, energy-efficient window and door products could potentially earn you purchasing rebates from federal and provincial governments and others.
Upgrade doors and windows for style and function
There’s no question energy efficiency is important. But, when making an investment in your home, naturally you want it to look nice too. Fortunately, purchasing energy-efficient windows and doors doesn’t have to mean compromising your aesthetic.
Whether your home is mid-century modern, ranch style, country farmhouse or anything in between, there are new windows and doors to suit your needs. Maybe you’ll choose a full-lite glass door to maximize natural light in the entry. Or, maybe a traditional wood door matches your aesthetic.
For a combination of energy efficiency and great style, fiberglass doors are available in an authentic woodgrain look with longer durability than wood. Check out JELD-WEN of Canada’s beautiful Architectural™ Collection Fiberglass Doors, which showcase authentic woodgrain replication that’s virtually indistinguishable from real wood.
If you like to change up your exterior door to suit your mood or the seasons, a paintable finish is right for you. It allows you to take advantage of colour trends without too much additional work or financial investment.
Check out our top window and door trends for 2023 for colour and design inspiration.
For those who like a more neutral vibe, white doors continue to be popular. And black doors and windows are still au courant. The wide range of available black doors and windows means you can keep your existing wall openings and switch your white windows and doors to black.
If you’re considering a comprehensive home makeover, this could be the perfect opportunity to embrace a growing trend: maximizing natural light and expansive views. Consider integrating more and larger windows, or even window walls.
JELD-WEN’s new JWC8500 Window, aligns perfectly with this trend. With its 26% slimmer frame, it not only maximizes the glass area but also maintains window strength, offering you a clearer, enhanced view. This design invites more natural light into your living space, adding a sleek, modern touch. Additionally, think about incorporating exterior doors that feature generous amounts of glass to further elevate the brightness and openness of your home.
This can work beautifully at the back of your house, where indoor-outdoor living is a prime consideration.
Even if you don’t plan a big reno, you can bring more light to a dim entryway or front hall with an exterior door that has more glass. Match it up with sidelights and/or transoms for even more natural light.
We can help to bring your vision to life
Great window and exterior door choices give you the satisfaction of coming home to a beautiful house, and they can also have a dramatic effect on your home’s curb appeal and resale value.
Whatever you end up choosing this autumn, we’re confident that your new, energy-efficient windows and doors are going to be great!
At JELD-WEN, we’re always happy to help you bring your vision to life. Get the aesthetic you desire with the functionality you need. Visit our customer service site for information and support.