How To Choose The Right Window Installer

How To Choose The Right Window Installer

You’ve made a great first step and decided you want the superior quality that is guaranteed with Climate Solutions – but now to find a contractor or dealer to install them.  A 2014 survey by Angie’s List found that a staggering 50% of people were unhappy with their contractors – how can you avoid this and how to choose the right window installer?

How to choose the right window installer

It goes without saying that if you’re looking for honest, reliable and experienced installers we have a wealth of clients who we can put you in touch with; just head to our Contact Form and give us a few pieces of information.

6 Questions To Ask Your Installer

If, however you have someone already in mind or are looking to try a new contractor, here are the top 6 questions you should ask to help ensure you choose the right window installer:

How to choose the right window installer 1. Are you Licensed, Bonded & Insured?

This is really important – you want to make sure all work and your property are insured if there is an accident.  A licensed and bonded professional helps ensure that you’re more likely to be working with a reputable contractor and it also gives you more options for action if something does go wrong.

How to choose the right window installer 2. What is the schedule for the project?

It’s pretty obvious, but you need to know how long the project is going to take and what work/disruption it entails.  A good general contractor should be able to give you a detailed breakdown of what they are proposing to do and how long it should take.

How to choose the right window installer 3. Who will be carrying out the work?

Make sure you know who will actually be doing the work – how can you choose the right window installer if you don’t know who will be doing the work? Ask if they intend to subcontract, in which case find out who will be doing the work and check their credentials (see question 1). Back this up by asking for referrals and online research.  Do be  aware that review sites can be a good indicator but not a perfect reflection of a business.

estcalc 4. Is this a fixed quote or an estimate?

An estimate is exactly that – it is not a guarantee of the final price.  Any pricing should be confirmed in writing, in a contract.  Pricing itself may be a Fixed Proposal or it may be Time & Materials – depending on what you choose.

How to choose the right window installer 5. Will you take care of permits and meeting regulations?

A big part of any project is ensuring they hit all of the appropriate codes and regulations – remember there isn’t a universal set of rules – they will vary depending on where you live!  Navigating the minefield that can be permits is often very daunting for a homeowner and it is one of the many ways a real professional can help and should be a high priority in choosing the right window installer.

How to choose the right window installer  6. What paperwork will I get upon completion?

Whether it is liens, warranties or checklists of work completed, it’s important to know what you will receive once the project has been finished.  This documentation is key because it is a record of what has been done and may be necessary as proof of work done.

How to choose the right window installer

Two real estate agents working with a contruction home builder

Following these six easy steps will show you how to choose the right window installer and make the whole process a little less stressful!

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Windows & Doors In The Winter

Winter is most definitely here! In Chicago we’ve got snow, the temperatures are dropping and now is the time of year that certain homeowner concerns tend to crop up – namely the cold and window condensation.

Here are two amazing documents that you can read and download that give plenty of information on the causes and cures for condensation:

Condensation Fact Sheet

Cardinal Fact Sheet

Condensation

Condensation

Condensation isn’t caused by windows, but they often get the blame! Condensation is caused by humidity and temperature combining to hit  a ‘dew-point’ which is the moment when moisture in the air forms into water.  By following the instructions on the two fact sheets condensation can be radically reduced if not eliminated completely.


Control the heat, control the humidity and control the air circulation and you will be controlling the condensation!


Don’t let the winter blues get to you – keep your home warm and insulated with Climate Solutions Windows & Doors.  Condensation is controllable with minimal adjustments that well ensure you have a dry and healthy home.

Snow Smilie

All Climate Solutions Vinyl Windows & Doors are energy efficient, using our CS Ultra Spacer and Low-E glass technology to help save up to 25% on your energy bills.  For more information, or if you are looking for dealer or contractor please get in touch here!

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Condensation: What Causes It & How To Cure It

Indoor moisture is caused by a variety of factors, including cooking, showering, running dishwashers, storing firewood, pets, fish tanks, plants, clothes, dryers that are not vented properly, even breathing.  New windows are more likely to show condensation than old windows because they are airtight – less air is entering your home from the outside.  The air leaking from older windows evaporated the moisture before it could collect.

While some humidity is necessary for health and comfort, chronic and excessive condensation should be tipping you off to take some action before serious, costly damage such as decay, mold, paint problems, and even major structural damage occur.

Where is the condensation?

Exterior:

If it is exterior that is usually a good sign, often occurring during the summer months.  If there is high humidity, a clear night sky or no wind it can cause exterior condensation.   It shows that the house is keeping out the heat and retaining a cool temperature inside.

Interior:

If it is in the interior it means the humidity is high in the house.  If the humidity is high then there is a lot of moisture in the air and it is perfectly normal for it to condense on windows, mirrors and other cooler surfaces.  IT usually forms in the winter, especially at the beginning of the heating season.  As the outside temperature drops, the inside surface will also get cooler; therefore, condensation will form at lower relative humidity on cold days.  The colder the air outside, the more likely condensation is to occur.  The homeowner has a great deal of control over interior condensation – see the cause/cure section.

Between the Glass:

This means there has been a seal failure.  This is rare, however in this instance we would need to re-order and switch out the IGU.

You may notice condensation appearing at the bottom of the window – this is because each insulated unit is a sealed atmosphere, and the air in this atmosphere is layered, just as in any closed space.  Warm air rises, and since humidity is attracted to cooler air, condensation will often show near the bottom of the glass.

 

Temporary Condensation

There are several ways to tell if the condensation on your windows is temporary.  Does condensation usually form:

  • During baths and showers, cooking, dishwashing, laundry, or other steam producing occasions?
  • During the start of each heating season? Houses absorb moisture during humid summers.  This will dry out after a few weeks of heating.
  • During sharp temperature changes? Sudden drops in temperature, especially during the heating season, can create temporary condensation.
  • During new construction or remodeling? Building materials contain a great deal of moisture.  When the heat is turned on, this moisture will flow into the air inside the home.  It usually will disappear after the first heating season.

 

Problem Condensation

Excess moisture in your home may eventually cause problems.  It may be time to take action if you notice the following signs in your house:

  • Condensation remains on windows throughout the day, even when outside temperature has warmed up.
  • Condensation is forming and running down the walls. It may also be causing discoloration, staining, peeling wallpaper and blistering paint.
  • The air smells musty – this could indicate mold, mildew, or in the worst case, rot – or odors from everyday household activities that linger too long. Odors increase in intensity with high relative humidity.
  • Mold, mildew, rot and/or decay are visible. Mold and mildew thrive in most areas and can cause health and house damage.

 

Acceptable Ranges of Temperature & Relative Humidity During Winter

The humidity level that should be maintained in your home during the winter varies with outside temperature.  The colder it is outside, the lower the humidity level must be inside your home.  All major manufacturers of humidifies list the recommended humidity settings based on outside temperatures.  The following guideline is recommended by every major manufacturer of windows and humidifiers.

Outside Air Temperature (oF) Inside relative humidity for 70 indoor air temperature
-20 -29 15% or less
-10 -23 15% to 20% humidity
0 -18 20% to 25% humidity
+10 -12 25% to 30% humidity
+20 -7 30% to 35% humidity

 

Climate & Other Factors

Northern and Midwestern Regions of the US, or those places where the temperature average for January is 35oF or colder, tend to have more occurrences of condensation.  The greater the extremes between outdoor and indoor temperatures, the more likely moisture will become visible on your windows.

Bay, bow and garden windows often create opportunities for condensation to show because air circulation is frequently limited and their protrusion from the insulated house wall generally makes them a few degrees cooler.  Heavy window treatments also limit airflow and increase the likelihood of condensation.

Cause/Cure

Cause Cure
Inadequate ventilation of windows Keep window coverings open during the day to allow air circulation and make sure patio doors have heat vents beneath them.
Radiator or kerosene heat Use dryer sources of heat, such as gas or electric furnaces
Cooking and dishwashing Vent stove range hoods and dishwashers to outside.  Some air quality systems recover up to 97% of the existing warmth and energy to heat incoming air
Showers and baths Make sure bathroom exhaust fans are vented to outside and use fans regularly
Ironing, washing and drying laundry Make sure the clothes dryer is vented to the outside and/or install an exhaust fan in the laundry room
Dirt floor crawl spaces Vent crawl space and/or cover dirt with plastic to create a vapor barrier that will prevent moisture in the soil from rising into the home
Indoor Plants Use small fans to circulate the air
Excessive Humidifier Use Keep indoor air quality to optimum humidity levels. Hygrometers are available at most hardware stores, and can be used to measure home humidity levels.
Damp basement allows ground moisture into the home Running a dehumidifier in the basement can reduce musty odors and mold.
Unseasoned firewood Minimize indoor firewood storage
New wood, plaster, cement, and other building materials Building materials contain a great deal of moisture.  As soon as the heat in the home is turned on, this moisture will flow into the air and settle on windows and other cool surfaces.

 

Advice for Reducing Condensation

  1. Reduce moisture sources
    • Stop or severely limit the use of humidifiers, or adjust them to the appropriate setting
    • Run a dehumidifier, if needed
    • Limit plants, aquariums and pets. If you care for a lot of plants, group them in one sunny room and avoid over watering.
    • Have your gas appliances checked, if you have not recently. Malfunctioning gas appliances can deliver excessive water vapor into the air along with more dangerous contaminants. Be sure you have a carbon monoxide alarm.
    • Store firewood outside
    • Eliminate plumbing leaks
    • Don’t air-dry clothes indoors
    • Correct grading/drainage problems around exterior of your home

  2. Increase ventilation
    • Open windows for a few minutes each day, particularly after steam-producing activities such as showering/bathing, laundry, and cooking. Heat loss will be minimal.
    • Run kitchen, bathroom, and other fans longer and more often.
    • Improve or add a ventilation system in your home through attic, roof and soffit venting. Ensure that everything vents to outside.
    • Open blinds and drapes. Heavy window coverings restrict the flow of warm air over the interior glass surface.
    • Operate ceiling fan to improve air circulation.

  3. Increase Air Temperature
    • Raise the temperature inside the house
    • Insulate under the seat and over the head of the bay, bow, and garden windows to keep area warmer.
    • Direct warm-air supplies ducts toward windows or even us a fan for increased air circulation at windows.

 

 

The Better Business Bureau (412-456-2720) has a telephone message system on home remodeling, construction, and maintenance. The following is a transcript of recording #421, entitled Condensation on Windows.

Condensation is visible evidence of excessive moisture in the air. It may appear as water, frost, or ice on the room surface of windows and doors. The warmer the air, the more water the air can hold, which means that the air in the center of any given room will hold more water than the air adjacent to the window or door walls, since this area is always cooler. When the warm, moisture laden air moves toward the cooler window or door wall, it becomes cooler and cannot hold the moisture it held when it was warmer. Therefore, the moisture is dropped and appears as water on the glass and frames of windows and doors. This occurs more frequently during the winter months because of the extreme difference between the inside and outside temperatures. If you wish to avoid condensation during the winter months, when the average outdoor temperature drops to 35 degrees or less, it would be wise to maintain a 25-30% relative indoor humidity.

 Ventilation is a very effective way to remove excessive moisture from the air, which is why old, poorly insulated houses with single glazed windows, often times do not have condensation problems. This is because the air is changed by infiltration around the windows, doors, vents, and other openings. Newer homes, which are constructed to meet current insulation standards and energyconservation requirements, or older homes, which have been newly insulated through the addition of attic and basement insulation and installation of primed windows with dual or triple glazed glass, are now so airtight that they present a new problem.

 All homes will, on occasion, have temporary condensation which is the result of one of three occurrences:

  1. New construction or remodeling:  Building materials contain a great deal of moisture. As soon as the heat is turned on, this moisture will flow out into the air and settle on windows, etc. This will usually disappear following the first heating season.
  2. Humid summers: During humid summers, houses absorb moisture. This will be apparent during the first few weeks of heating. Then the house should dry out.
  3. Temperature change: Sharp, quick and sudden drops in temperature, especially during the heating season, will create temporary condensation problems.

 

If you have an existing moisture or condensation problem, do not count on correcting it merely by installing new windows. An insulated window should help relieve the situation. YOU MUST REMEMBER: Windows do not cause condensation. Therefore, windows cannot cure condensation.”

Any questions? Leave a comment or get in touch through our Contact Form!

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Holiday Opening Hours

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Holiday Hours

Climate Solutions Windows & Doors office and factory will observe the following hours through the holiday week:

Saturday 24th December (Christmas Eve)  – 7am – 10am
Sunday 25th December (Christmas Day) – Closed
Monday 26th DecemberClosed
Tuesday 27th December7am – 3.30pm
Wednesday 28th December7am – 3.30pm
Thursday 29th December7am –  3.30pm
Friday 30th December7am – 3.30pm
Saturday 31st December (New Year’s Eve) – 7am – 10am
Sunday 1st January (New Year’s Day) – Closed
Monday 2nd JanuaryClosed

Normal hours resume January 3rd 2017.

Please be aware no deliveries/services will be scheduled 12/24/16 thru 1/2/17.

As always, any questions call  our office on 1-847-233-9800 or email us at info@climatesolutionscorp.com.

We appreciate your business and wish everyone a Happy Holidays!

From all at Climate Solutions

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