Primary Seal Windows and Doors

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Beat the HST with Primary Seal

April 22nd, 2010
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Taxes weigh heavily on any business or individual. We would like for you to be able to afford superior windows and not have to settle for lower quality windows only for the fact that the new HST will add a considerable amount to the cost of your windows. We will continue to give our customers the best prices and products even after the HST but the best way to beat the HST is by placing your order immediately.

The HST or Harmonized Sales Tax is comming July 1st, and any orders that we process and install after the deadline will be subject to a 13% tax, as opposed to the 5% tax that we currently charge on our factory-direct installations.

Even on an average size job the savings can be substantial. We will do our utmost to continue offering industry leading service, installation, products and prices as we have done until today regardless of the HST. However, you are in control before the July 1st deadline and can help us help you by placing your order as soon as possible. By ordering today we can still guarantee you one of our pre-July 1st installation dates. Any orders that cannot be installed before July 1st will be subject to HST, which we would let you know at the time you place the order.

For more details feel free to call us at 416-739-9545 or visit our website www.primaryseal.ca

Windows , ,

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.

Doors, Energy Efficiency, Windows , , , , ,

Why Winter Installations are a Good Idea?!

November 10th, 2009
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I know what you are thinking. Everybody knows that the spring, summer and fall are the best times to get new windows and doors installed. Everyone that is, except those of us who want to renovate on a budget. The best part of a January or February installation is the price you will pay. You see, statistically speaking, most retail and renovation businesses have the slowest months in January and February because everyone is broke from Christmas and New Year’s and not to mention the less than pleasant Canadian weather we experience during those months. As such, many companies including Primary Seal, are willing to introduce incentives to attract customers as well as they are more flexible at the negotiating table. In June, when we are already booked up until August, is not the time to negotiate.

However, most of you are questioning how we can do a job in such cold temperatures without turning your house into an ice palace and having all our materials freeze and no longer perform properly. Well let’s address one issue at a time.

How do we manage to take out an old window or door and put a new one in without having your home exposed to the cold for a prolonged period of time? The answer is custom sizing. The windows or doors that we make for your home come already assembled from the factory and ready to install. Not only that but they are custom fitted to the size and shape of your existing opening in the wall, meaning that after removing the old window or door, the new one can go into the rough opening within a couple of minutes. In fact the process of taking a window (of average size) out and putting the new one into the opening takes about ten to fifteen minutes. The window can then be quickly sealed with insulating foam and heat will no longer escape. The bulk of the time required to install a window is taken up by the finishing, both interior and exterior. It is the same case with a door. While the door is more complex to adjust and takes a longer time, it can also be sealed within a reasonable timeframe and as such the amount of heat loss is not catastrophic. We also use a little trick and close all the doors to all the rooms which makes it harder for the heat to escape quickly, as well as we work on one opening at a time, which also reduces the heat loss.
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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.
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Doors, Energy Efficiency, Windows , , ,

The Magic of Low-E Glass

July 29th, 2009
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If you step in any window dealer or manufacturer showroom, including Primary Seal,  you would hear about high efficiency windows with glass units that have Low-E + Argon. However, if you begin asking about the details of how this technology works, you may hear a variety of explanations followed by pictographic attempts at illustrating how this technology works. In my experience, both salespersons and clients alike use these terms often but understand little about the inner workings of Low-E technology.

So, let us shed some light on this magical Low-E glass.

As usual, something that appears magical either involves a trick or can be eventually described using physics. Since Low-E glass is no trick, we move on to the physics. Now, I will keep the detail to a minimum but try and stick with me for a moment. Low-E stands for low emissivity or emittance. Low Emittance glass radiates or emits low levels of radiant energy. Any object that has been heated either by the sun or another heat source will radiate heat. Radiated heat is also known as long-wave radiation, and, it is this type of radiation that the Low-E glass is designed to repel. Direct sunlight provides a different type of energy known as short-wave radiation which the Low-E glass allows to pass through in a certain proportion depending on the climate for which it was designed. When short-wave radiation hits an object, that object becomes heated and then proceeds to radiate heat in the form of long-wave radiation.

Keeping the above in mind, let’s look at a couple of examples:

The Winter – It is cold outside and hot inside. Your entire home is heated by your furnace and all the objects in your home are radiating heat. Heat hits the pane of Low-E glass as it tries to escape from your home, but only a part of it escapes while a part of it is reflected back into your home. Along with this, during the day, the sun’s radiation will pass through the windows in some amount and heat the objects in your house which then radiate heat … and this becomes a repetitive cycle.

The Summer – It is hot outside and cold inside. Your air conditioner is working overtime to cool off your home but the heat from the outside keeps wanting to come in. As pavement, sidewalks, and the earth itself radiate the heat of the sun, the Low-E glass reflects a significant portion of this radiation back outside. The sun does penetrate the windows somewhat, and it will slightly heat the objects in your home. However, less short-wave solar radiation enters your home when compared with clear glass and the winter heat gains are more important in our climate.

A bonus feature of Low-E glass is that it repels harmful UV radiation which damages furniture, hardwood floors, and carpet.

Low-E glass is described generally by two variables: solar heat gain (SHG in percent) and light transmission. For example, the glass that Weather Seal Windows uses is called ClimaGuard 75/68, meaning it has 75% light transmission and 68% solar heat gain. A high solar heat gain is ideal for our climate as we spend more money on heating and much less on cooling as we have a short summer. To give you a comparison, a hot climate like New Mexico or Arizona would use ClimaGuard 55/27. It is also important to see that windows designed for cooler climates allow more light to pass through, making for a brighter home and an acceptable decrease in lighting when compared to clear glass.

So how is Low-E glass made you ask?

Well that part is mostly due to high-tech manufacturing and sadly not very magical. Low-E glass is made by applying a thin, almost invisible layer of a metallic compound (usually tin or silver) to the surface of the glass. There are two ways to apply this coat. The first is called a “hard” coat and is a process which is performed while the glass sheet is still hot. While this process is very resilient because the metal is virtually fused with the glass – hence, the term “hard” –  it is not as energy efficient as the “soft” coat, a process which is applied after the glass is cooled. The way in which they apply the “soft” coat involves splattering little metallic droplets in a vacuum on a sheet of glass in an electrically charged chamber. The “soft” coat process is very delicate however, and Low-E glass made with this process must be sealed in a glass unit, as the metal particles cannot be exposed to moisture, abrasion, or air. Weather Seal Windows only uses “soft” coat Low-E glass as the energy performance is far superior to the “hard” coat Low-E.

What about the Argon?

The argon gas inside most insulated glass units today is there for two reasons: to increase energy efficiency and protect the Low-E coating from oxidation. Argon gas does increase the energy efficiency of the glass unit by a small percentage, however its main purpose is to protect the Low-E coating. Oxidation or rusting of any metal will occur if air and moisture are present. It is for that reason that an inert (unreactive) gas like argon is pumped into insulated glass units in order to prevent unwanted oxidation.

Low-E glass is becoming an industry standard as more and more companies – including Weather Seal Windows – are certified as part of the Energy Star program. This program tests the energy efficiency of windows to meet certain baseline standards in order that consumers are able to identify a window as highly efficient when it bears the Energy Star logo sticker.

If you have any questions or comments we would love to hear from you.

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

Are your windows ready for summer?

June 18th, 2009
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When purchasing new Weather Seal windows from Primary Seal most clients will say that they would like their windows installed by us before the winter months as they associate new windows with having a warmer and more comfortable home. Also, since heating a home is expensive, the potential energy savings associated with high efficiency Energy Star windows become a deciding factor in their choice to retrofit their home.

However, the summer months can take a financial toll as well, due to the high cost of cooling your home. Air conditioners consume large amounts of electricity. As you may have heard Ontario is introducing higher electricity prices during peak times. It is at these peak times, such as the early afternoon, when it is hottest outside and your air conditioner would have to work the hardest to keep your home cool.

According to the Ontario Energy Board, effective May 1st of this year, on-peak electricity usage (11am – 5pm) will cost 9.1 cents per kWh for consumers using Smart Meters. Consumers with a Regulated Price Plan will pay 6.6 cents per kWh all the time. This means that the cost of cooling a home has increased significantly since 2004 when consumers paid as little as 4.7 cents a kWh under Government regulation.
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