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Archive for the ‘Energy Efficiency’ Category

The Vinyl Edge

April 30th, 2012
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Windows are the eyes of the house. They can spruce up the look of any home, whether to attract buyers or to appeal to one’s own aesthetic tastes. Windows can also do a lot in terms of saving you money on your energy bills, which helps to reduce your carbon footprint.

However, only one window will be able to satisfy all of those requirements, and provide you with an unmatched seal that requires zero upkeep from you. Primary Seal vinyl windows do not require painting, are multi-chambered, and are the only vinyl window to have the patented quad-seal system. The patented quad-seal system ensures a tighter seal, keeping the weather out, and your energy in.

Approach the replacement of your windows as an investment in your home. Invest in quality. Invest in Canada. Invest in Primary Seal vinyl windows.

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Window R&D for You

November 2nd, 2010
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Tough competition and increasingly demanding standards of energy efficiency force window manufacturers to constantly upgrade and re-design their windows. While the outward appearance, at least to the untrained eye, remains unchanged, the inner workings and fine details of the window and glass change regularly. Manufacturers such as us are under pressure from dealers, the government and other manufacturers. This means that every winter, when business slows, we go back to the drawing board and work on the new model of window to come out to market in the spring. Some years the changes may be as small as a single seal or component. However, for the most part, the changes are numerous and significant. For example, the profile (inner structure) of the window may be changed in order to make our product better and more competitive. This requires a change in the die (metal shape) which makes the window extrusions (straight vinyl pieces shaped by the die). This is a difficult process as the window may now have to be retested for water leakage and wind resistance etc.

How does this benefit you? Well for one, every year in the spring we are able to produce a better and more performant window that is as close to state of the art as possible. Secondly, it means that our constant research and development provides you with a better value for your dollar as more technology and experience is packed into each one of our products with every passing season.

You see, no product and any competitive industry is unchanged unless it becomes discontinued. Otherwise, any good manufacturer of any product, is constantly trying to make their product better. This is why in many ways it is worth every penny to buy windows from a reputable dealer that supplies their windows from a manufacturer which is on the cutting edge, rather than buying cheaper windows from dealers which supply their windows from low-cost manufacturers that only change their windows if government regulation forces them to, or if they find a way to make the same window with less cost.

In any field of business there are the leaders who push the field forward and the companies who pick up the scraps and sell for a discount. I am not certain where we stand as a company in terms of being on the very cutting edge, but, by no means have we ever relied on others’ scraps and obsolete technology. With patented, proprietary technology and a close relationship with all our suppliers and dealers, we work together, year after year, to provide you with the best product possible.

If you need additional information, do not hesistate to contact us on the web at www.primaryseal.ca

Energy Efficiency, Windows , , , ,

Fall into Energy Savings!

October 12th, 2010
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The cost of gas and electricity are always on the rise and with what is predicted to be a more ‘traditional’ Canadian winter around the corner, it is important to try and reduce the amout of energy your home wastes. Also, you want to make the most of the free energy from the sun, whenever it is available. New glass technology makes this possible by trapping the solar heat in your home but reducing the amount of radiated heat lost in the winter. You can look up my previous article on Low-E glass for more in-depth information. Even if you have newer windows made of aluminum or vinyl, if they do not have Low-E+Argon glass, you may be missing out on substantial energy gains. Did you know that most newer windows have something called a dry glazing bead/glazing stop which allows the glass units to be serviced or replaced without having to remove the window from the wall or damage the interior of your home? For a fraction of the price of getting new windows, you can replace your glass units and have them properly sealed with silicone, affording you a quick and easy way to significantly improve your comfort and energy efficiency. How do you know if your window has such a feature? Just take one picture of the overall window and one photo of the corner of the window where the glass unit meets the frame and then send it to us at info@primaryseal.com and we will be able to tell you if the glass can be replaced.

If changing your windows is not in your budget, you should still do all you can to prevent heat loss. There are many products available at Home Depot for you to seal up old windows and get them to last through the winter until you can afford to change them next summer. We of course offer financing options that would allow you to get your windows now and pay for them next year with as low as 1.5% interest.

Finally, do not forget your doors. Most doors that I see on existing houses are in very poor shape when it comes to air sealing. You see a builder standard door that most houses have does a good job of insulating from the cold, however, if the weatherstripping or the bottom sweep are damaged or broken, air will stream in – cold air – and negate all the good insulation IN the door as the cold is going AROUND it. Silicone, weatherstripping, caulking and sweeps are all available at Rona, Home Depot, Lowes etc. Do yourself a favor and make sure that the door is sealing well. Also, doors often need their hinges to be adjusted as they have sagged over time. This should be done by a professional, but, in most cases it just involves drilling a couple of screws and it can go a long way toward making the door seal and close properly.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any of your door or window concerns as our highly knowledgeable staff is always looking to help. Better yet, drop by our factory showroom. As always I look forward to your comments and questions.

Doors, Energy Efficiency, Windows , , , , , , , ,

Want a professional window and door installation?

July 9th, 2010
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Well, you probably won’t get one. You see, most window and door companies say that they are giving you a professional installer but the truth is, only one in five installers is really a pro and even then, they may cheap out on product such as caulking or insulation, which you will only be able to tell years later but by then, they are long gone.

Some people even make the mistake to hire a separate contractor to put in the windows, and often not only does that contractor not install windows regularly enough to be a real pro, but if they do a poor job, the window company may no longer give you the same warranty on their windows if they deem that the reason the windows are having problems is largely due to a improper installation which was not done by them.

So how do you get a professional installation? The answer is… by asking questions. The first question should be, is the installer a contractor or is he employed directly by your company? If the installer is not employed by the company, should anything go wrong the company will blame the installer, the installer will blame the company and you will be left in the middle with little legal recourse. The second question should be, do you or your company have a licence to perform renovations (which window installation is under)? If they don’t have a licence then you should steer clear. Finally, ask if the installer uses his own truck and supplies or if the company provides him with a truck and supplies. This may not be a deal breaker either way but it will tell you a lot about whether they were telling the truth on the first question. Often if an installer uses his own truck and supplies he is just under contract but does not actually work full time for the company. There are exceptions, but you should poke and probe to look for inconsistencies. Companies that are professional and have good quality products and good installers are proud of it and will advertise it, while fly-by-night operations will try to avoid those type of questions. If the sales guy raves about installation and is quick to offer you a tour of the factory or referrals of their installer’s work, you can rest assured they are at least selling windows for a reputable company.

Remember this one idea: when getting estimates for a job, be less concerned with price and more concerned with who is doing the job, as a few thousand dollars when compared to the cost of a home or a period of twenty years are almost meaningless, but, the cost of a poor product and installation, no matter how cheap it was to start, will far outweigh what you would pay for a proper job and a high quality product.

If you have any questions about windows and doors feel free to contact us via our website, call us or even just walk in to our showroom.

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Open Your Doors to Style and Savings

May 17th, 2010
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While windows are important to the appearance and energy efficiency of your home, front, side and back doors are often neglected by consumers. A new door will not only enhance the appearance of your home, but it may save you a surprising amount of energy in both winter and summer.

Many of the high-end custom homes that you see have at the very core of their look a large and attractive set of doors. Take that away, and the entire home would look unfinished and awkward. A new door can significantly improve the appearance of any home, large or small, by creating a visual focal point. Sure, you say, the look is nice but is it worthwhile to pay for a new door just for the sake of vanity? Well of course not.

A new door is more than a visual improvement, it works in many ways to save you energy, make you more comfortable and keep you safer. All new steel entry doors come filled with highly insulating polyurethane. Also, most decorative or clear glass units are available in ‘Low-E’ energy saving glass. Finally, new steel doors also come with a raised sweep and magnetic weather seals.

For many homeowners safety is a primary concern. That is why new steel doors are available with a multipoint locking system which is far superior to a single deadbolt. We also provide traditional deadbolt doors with a steel insert in the door frame which significantly inrcreases the strength of the deadbolt mechanism.

Ask any of our trained staff or customer representatives and you will find a number of benefits to replacing an old, leaky, drafty door with a secure, attractive and functional steel door.

If you have any additional comments or concerns, please contact us.

Doors, Energy Efficiency , , , ,

Sliding Your Way to Energy Efficiency and Security

March 15th, 2010
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Here at Primary Seal we get a lot of customers that come in and ask about replacing their doors. Many people, we’ve noticed, wish to have a beautiful front door with elegant glass and classy paneling. Often the doors they currently own are not terrible from an energy standpoint but they have become an eyesore. However, we rarely hear customers asking to replace their patio doors unless they feel there is something wrong with the door. Because these doors are located at the back of the house they seem to also find themselves in the back of the minds of consumers when they are planning home improvement renovations. This is unfortunate, as replacing a patio door is for the most part less expensive than a front door and can offer significant energy savings and a noticeable increase in ease of use and appearance.

The first problem with old patio doors is the frame. The majority of older patio doors are made with an aluminum or wood frame. The wood frame is prone to warping and rotting, while the aluminum frame conducts the heat and cold with little resistance. Also, the majority of older patio doors are made with several pieces of single tempered glass that offers little protection from the elements though is fairly resistant to impact. The track or sliding system of the doors is somewhat crude, making for difficult operation of the door. However, one of the biggest weaknesses of older patio doors is their lack of security. Most of the doors are equipped with primitive locking systems and were it not for the old cut off hockey stick at the bottom of the door the level of safety the older doors provide would be limited at best.

Newer patio doors have several advantages. First, a steel-reinforced vinyl frame allows for a good amount of rigidity while insulating your home from the elements. All new patio doors that Primary Seal carries are Energy Star rated for all four climate zones in North America and come standard with double pane thermal Low-E glass. The glass is also tempered for safety. Door operation is made easy by a raised track with a four-roller system that allows the door to glide effortlessly even though its weight is substantially greater than its single pane ancestors. Last but not least, security comes in several forms including a decent standard lock and options for a externally keyed lock (great for people who want to leave through the back door like those who live downtown and have their garage in the back of the house) as well as a multi-point locking system. Also, several “night-time” safety systems exist which are both elegant (no hockey sticks) and extremely resilient, not to mention inexpensive.

Often, for half the price of a front door, you can improve your energy efficiency, comfort and safety. A new sliding patio door will leave you feeling great while still leaving something in your pocket. Feel free to ask us any questions you may have about patio doors or check out our website for more information.

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Spring forward with these four important household reminders

February 13th, 2010
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Mid-March means a change from standard time (ST) to daylight savings time (DST). As we remember to adjust our clocks one hour ahead, don’t forget to think about these seasonal home maintenance tips:

1. Clean out the medicine cabinet: Remove items that are past their expiry date. They might be dangerous to keep in the house so be sure to dispose of them in a responsible way – many drugstores will dispose of old medicine for you. Also, make note of prescriptions or products that need to be refilled.

2. Check your filters: Often, there’s no outward sign that your fridge water filter needs to be changed because the contaminants and other chemicals are imperceptible. Leading brands like Whirlpool, Maytag and KitchenAid recommend changing your filters every six months to ensure that your water and ice remains fresh and great tasting. More information can be found online at www.whirlpoolparts.ca.

3. Check the First Aid kit: Changing the clock is great time to remember to stock up your First Aid kit. Ensure all of your emergency supplies are replaced and up to date.

4. Check the batteries: Your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are the most important battery powered devices in your home and need a reliable power source. Replace these batteries, but don’t throw them out, save them for remote controls and other battery devices in your home.

www.newscanada.com

Energy Efficiency ,

What is an energy efficient home?

December 12th, 2009
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(NC) – If the purchase of a new home is in your near future, consider buying an energy-efficient home. Buying energy-efficient means buying smart. Energy efficiency is being incorporated into the building codes across Canada, and builders are following up with offering more energy-efficient upgrades in new homes. Why not stay ahead of the game and purchase an energy-efficient home for the future? This adds a higher resale value to your home and allows you to have a positive impact on the environment.

An energy-efficient home offers savings in energy use, lower energy bills, and increased comfort. Options in buying energy-efficient homes are many in today’s market – from having your new home EnerGuide-rated, to buying best in class ENERGY STAR® qualified homes and R-2000* homes. To find out more about these initiatives and energy efficient new homes, visit www.newhomes.nrcan.gc.ca or call 1-800-387-2000 to order publications.

*R-2000 is an official mark of Natural Resources Canada

www.newscanada.com

Energy Efficiency , ,

Replacing your Windows the Smart Way!

September 8th, 2009
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While we are enjoying a run of great weather, and it still feels more like summer than fall, we all know (but refuse to admit for the moment) that the cooler weather is just around the corner.

A window which may seem perfectly fine during the summer may soon turn into a drafty, leaky, frosted mess when the temperatures dip. In fact, it is common during the fall to have mild days and freezing nights.

Now, most people will argue that changing the windows and doors in a house costs a bundle, and it does. Also they will argue that the money they save in heating and cooling costs will take years if not decades to pay for the cost of the windows. Again, they are right. However, there is one small but important flaw in that line of thinking: the idea that changing the windows and doors in a house is a one-time, all or nothing project.

What if it were possible to pay half of the money you have been or will be quoted for the entire house and enjoy energy savings and increased comfort in most of your home? Funny enough, consumers will approach their window and door job from the most expensive items to the least expensive almost without exception, while if they started from the other end, they would find that their money would go a much longer way.

Let me give you an example:

An average house with three bedrooms usually has the following window and door items: front door, side or patio door, three bedroom windows, a window in the bathroom, one in the kitchen, one living room and one dining room window, as well as four basement windows. Let’s say the homeowner of this imaginary home decides to replace his windows and doors. Which two window and door items will make up the better part of the cost of this job? The answer is the front door and the living room window or the window which usually faces the front of the house. Why you ask? Well because the decorative glass in the front door as well as because the window facing the front of the house is usually tall and wide. Windows are priced according to surface area, and a very large and complex window will cost far more than a small bedroom window.
Read more…

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Home energy audits: a how-to guide for consumers

September 1st, 2009
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(NC)—With the holidays and colder months just around the corner, now is the time to find easy ways to save money. Performing a simple home energy audit can help cut costs by pinpointing the places where a house is losing energy, identifying ways to conserve hot water and electricity, and evaluating the efficiency of the home’s appliances and heating and cooling systems.

Sue Rainville, director of marketing for Hunter Douglas, Canada’s leading manufacturer of custom window fashions, offers the following steps for consumers to conduct a home energy audit:

Locate that leak

Window frames and doors are obvious sources of drafts. Check electrical outlets, switch plates, baseboards, fireplace dampers and wall or window-mounted air conditioners for spaces. Look for gaps around pipes, faucets and mail slots. Apply caulking and weather stripping where needed.

Look to your furnishings

“Windows are rightly called the ‘eyes’ of a home, yet they are also energy holes through which heat can escape,” said Rainville. Help protect your home with shades such as Duette Architella honeycomb shades from Hunter Douglas that can reduce heat loss at the window by up to 50 percent when properly installed.

Attics and basements

In cold weather, air leaks in the attic act like a chimney, drafting expensive heated air upwards and sucking cold air into the rest of the home. Large gaps are also often found around plumbing pipes, light fixtures, chimneys and soffits. Ensure openings for items such as pipes, ductwork and chimneys are sealed with expanding foam caulk.

Step outside

Insulation needs to work both inside and out. Check areas where two different construction materials meet, such as the foundation and the exterior brick or siding. Look for cracks and holes in the mortar, foundation and siding, and seal them with the appropriate material.

Using these tips, consumers can learn how to conduct a home energy audit on their own, just in time for those cold winter months.

More information is available online at www.hunterdouglas.ca or toll-free at 1-800-265-8000.

– News Canada

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