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Important Terms to Know Before you go Window Shopping

July 8, 2014

If you’re in the market for replacement windows, it’s important to know what you’re looking for. Knowing the appropriate terminology will help you find the right window replacements more quickly and save time when you decide to call a contractor. There’s no point calling a company that offers anything but the best.

Here are some common terms that will be helpful on your quest to find the best window replacements:

Low-E Glass

Short for low emissivity glass, Low-E Glass is specifically designed to reduce heat and cold transfer. Low-E Glass is far more energy efficient than regular glass. Look for Cardinal’s LoE3, which reduces heat gain 64% more than ordinary glass and also protects you from 95% of dangerous UV rays.


A measurement of thermal resistance. You want to choose window replacements with a high R-Value to maximize energy efficiency.

Argon Gas

This is an odourless, non-toxic gas used in double pane windows to make them more energy efficient. It works as an insulator because it has a lower heat conductivity than air.

U Rating

This rating shows how much heat a given material will allow to transfer through it. You’ll be able to find a U Rating on pretty much any window in Canada.

Energy Star Certification

All Energy Star Certified products have been assessed and certified by independent professionals. This government-backed program was designed to help homeowners and businesses become more energy efficient; it evaluates each product based on a number of criteria. You can find out more about Energy Star Certification here(

These are the first things you should look for when you’re looking at window replacements because they are sure signs of quality. Energy efficient windows will help you save money while you’re living in your home and make it more appealing to potential buyers when you eventually decide to sell it. The best window replacement companies know that and make a point of stocking only the most energy efficient products available.

Bonus tip:

Before you call a company to get your window replacements, write down a list of what you want and another list of questions. Things will go a lot more smoothly if you already have an idea what you want when you start working with your chosen company—and a legitimate company will have no problem answering any of your questions.

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