Tax season is a time of the year many Canadians typically dread, but for many, they can actually look forward to a tax refund, thanks to a number of credits, charitable donations, or medical expenses. The big question is what you do with that money once the cheque arrives in the mail: plenty of families treat themselves to a vacation and others put the money toward a new automobile. One smart way to use that money is to put it toward a home renovation, especially one that will save you money down the road and improve the resale value of your investment. If you want a remodeling project with a great return on investment, replace your old windows with energy-efficient windows. This project updates your home’s look, saves you money on energy bills, makes your home more comfortable in all seasons, and provides an 80 percent ROI at re-sale.
If you’re a homeowner in Ontario, you can find a great selection of energy efficient replacement windows in Kitchener from manufacturers like Golden Windows; they make their products in their Kitchener plant, and besides their main location, they also have showrooms in London and Ottawa (Kanata). While they are popular with contractors and developers, homeowners can also turn to them for installation services, involving them coming to your home, taking measurements, discussing your options, and finally installing the products for optimal efficiency.
Your investment cost depends on the number of windows in your home and the Energy Star rating, size, and design you choose. A single-hung, standard sized 36-inch-by-72-inch window costs less than a bay window, for instance, but when it comes to energy efficiency, any Energy Star product sold in Southern Ontario by a Canadian company like Golden Windows should be in the correct “climate zone.” Installation comprises an important component of the cost as well, so look for a window manufacturer that handles installation of its own product and provides you with a quote.
You needn’t sacrifice looks for energy efficiency, either, as today’s green building materials offer the same variety of styles and designs as any window, incorporating modern and traditional grilles and frame materials. Whether you need casement windows in the kitchen or you want to add sliding glass doors that open into your backyard, you can make it energy efficient. Aluminum, vinyl, and wood-clad frames are all options available in the best replacement windows in Kitchener, in a variety of colours and styles.
The presence of certain materials in the window design also affects a window’s energy rating, says House Logic. Look for a window that uses:
- Coatings to boost its insulation, given a number called the U-factor.
- Coatings to help it reflect heat, called emissivity.
- Krypton or argon gas between the glass panes to improve insulation and slow heat transfer.
- Spacer material between glass panes to improve insulation; some spacers also prevent heat loss and condensation.
If you want to really make a difference with your re-modeling project, replace your old windows with energy-efficient models. You can save money in the long run, enjoy a more attractive, functional home immediately, and increase the re-sale value of your home.