1. Your name implies that your members only install windows and siding. Do your members do other types of renovation work as well?

Absolutely! SAWDAC was originally formed to provide training and set professional standards for the window and siding renovation sector. However, our program has been so successful that our member services now span all types of home renovations including windows, doors, roofing, siding, sunrooms, bathroom, kitchen, basement, garages, decks, additions and many more.



2. We have been getting quotes from a number of contractors on major renovations to the exterior of our home. When we ask them if they are members of SAWDAC and Renovation Canada, some say they support the program and follow its standards. How do we know if they are actually members?

Please call us and we will be happy to confirm whether a contractor is a certified member of SAWDAC and Renovation Canada. Some contractors will imply they are members to gain the trust of a potential customer and hopefully close a sale. All active members of SAWDAC and Renovation Canada are listed on this website under "Locate Members".



3. I noticed in your list of members that some are listed as SAWDAC Members and some are listed as Renovation Canada Members. What's the difference?

SAWDAC members must supply and install siding and /or window products at the retail level as a significant portion of their business.

Renovation Canada members are renovators whose main scope of work is something other than siding or windows. These products and services can include windows, doors, roofing, siding, sunrooms, bathroom, kitchen, basement, garages, decks, additions plus many more. No matter what home renovation you are considering, please call us for a list of members in your area that can turn your renovation project into a rewarding and successful one.



4. Why should I be concerned about windows?

Windows can be responsible for unnecessary heat loss, high-energy consumption and cold drafts and can be the reason for condensation within homes. Windows and the area around them are the biggest single area of heat loss in the home.



5. What are the benefits of an energy efficient window?

Energy efficient windows increase the comfort level in your home by reducing cold drafts and making a house feel warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. They help control condensation because the interior surfaces of energy-efficient windows stay warmer, allowing you to raise the level of humidity without worrying about condensation on your windows. They also last longer because condensation can cause premature deterioration of windows, walls and finishes leading to high maintenance and replacement costs. Most importantly, energy efficient windows save lots of money. By minimizing air leakage and improving thermal performance of your windows, you could reduce heat loss through windows by up to 50 per cent and reduce your energy bills.



6. What is a high efficiency energy rating?

The Energy Rating (ER) of a window is a number ranging from 0-40, which provides a relative ranking of that window’s energy efficiency. A window with an ER of zero has poor energy-efficiency while a window with an ER of forty has very good energy-efficiency. Generally speaking, a window considered to be energy-efficient will have an ER of twenty or greater.

The ER number is calculated using a window’s air leakage, solar heat gain and u-value characteristics.



7. What does Low-E (Low-Emissivity) coating mean?

Low-E coating is a microscopically thin, metallic film that reflects radiant heat back to its source. By using Low-E coating, it makes homes warmer in the winter months and cooler in the summer, while reducing heating and air conditioning costs. Low-E coated windows stop approximately 40 per cent of ultraviolet penetration.



8. What is argon gas?

Argon gas is typically done in tandem with Low-E coating. Argon is an inert, non-flammable, non-toxic gas that constitutes about one per cent of the air we breathe. When the space between the two panes of glass is filled with Argon gas instead of air, the heavier gas acts as a thermal blanket that stops the heat from escaping through the glass. Because it filters out ultraviolet rays, Argon gas can also save your draperies and carpets from fading. Using Argon gas instead of air provides increased insulation by about 30 per cent and decreased heat loss.



9. What does the R-value of a window mean?

R-value measures the resistance of thermal transfer or heat flow from the window. The higher the R-value the better. A typical R-value for the centre of the glass is 2.2, while the entire window would be 1.9. When Low-E and argon gas are added, the R-value typically doubles to about 4, reducing heat loss by approximately 50 per cent.



10. How much money can I save by installing energy efficient windows?

On average, it costs Canadian homeowners approximately $1200.00 per year to heat a home. Of that, industry standards indicate that about 25 per cent or $300.00 is due to heat loss through windows, if the windows are standard double paned units. By replacing drafty, old windows with energy efficient windows like Window Wise Approved units, a homeowner can save almost 60 per cent of their energy costs, or $180.00 a year.



11. How can I find out more about energy efficient windows?

In addition to the information available on this website you can visit the Window Wise page or call toll-free 1-800-813-9616. You can also visit the Office of Energy Efficiency energy publications department at www.oee.nrcan.gc.ca or call toll-free 1-800-387-2000



12. How much does it cost to replace windows?

The style of window and type of frame material used greatly affect the price. Even when comparing one type eg: vinyl, the quality of the window and the quality of installation methods and workmanship vary widely. The installed price of a 3 foot by 5 foot vinyl window will range from $500.00 to $1000.00 or more.



13. Wood, Vinyl, Fiberglass, Metal: which is best?

Frames and sash are manufactured using a variety of materials. Each material has its strengths and weaknesses and it is important to know that good quality windows can be made from any of these materials as long as they are designed properly. Vinyl windows command the largest share of the window market because of their low maintenance, energy-efficiency, durability and competitive cost.