Thursday, 24 January 2013

Window shopping on a cold day

The weather has been the number one topic of conversation around the province this week with the deep freeze that we find ourselves in here in Ontario. Being a good Canadian, I will continue that conversation. Actually, I'm not a very good Canadian...I really, really dislike the cold...a lot!! Ras isn't a fan either, truth be told. The two photos below show our daily walking attire from this same week in 2012 versus 2013. My brother was quite concerned for me this year, having to spend the worst of the winter here at home rather than in the warmth of Mexico. He thought I might just turn into an icicle. Ha! Now the nephews can call me Aunt Icicle as opposed to their usual nickname of Aunt Toothpick.

 We might look happy in both of these photos but really, in the photo on the right, our faces just froze that way!

The hardest part about winter in Canada, for me, is the sunnier the day...the colder the temperatures...which leads me to why I'm blathering on about the weather. I can't wait to experience our first unbearably cold winter day in the new passive house. The more sun, and bluer the sky, the colder the temperature outside, and the toastier it will be inside...all thanks to some pretty swank windows. Perfect!

So, how are we staying warm until that day comes when we can taunt cold old Jack Frost from within our passively solar heated house? By shopping, of course! 
Gaulhofer Energyline 90
PVC with aluminum exterior clad

We ventured off to the Ottawa Home Renovations Show last week with architect Chris to touch and feel the Gaulhofer windows that are, presently, number one on our list for passive house windows. These are some seriously awesome windows! Built like a German tank (although built in Austria) and finished with impeccable craftsmanship, the look and solid feel of these         tilt-and-turn windows is unlike any other windows we've seen. What makes these windows worthy of gobbling up almost 15% of our total construction budget?
  • triple glazing
  • argon gas-filled
  • Thermostop ® warm edge spacers for reduced condensation
  • glass glued to sash for added stability and thermal capability
  • Audiostop ® for sound reduction
  • insulated multi-chamber PVC frame with aluminum exterior cladding
  • UW best value of UW 0.58 W/m2K (just know this is a pretty good number. I have no idea what it really means either but architect Chris and the Homesol guys tell us it's good)
All of the above features contribute to a window that can offer superior insulating qualities. The following features add to the window's strength and function:
  • square steel tube reinforcement in the frame
  • rock solid hardware that gets bolted to the steel reinforcement tube, not just the PVC
  • secure tilt-and-turn operation for multiple ventilation options
When you look at the photo of the window detail you are also really looking at the primary heating source of our home. So I guess we could look at that 15% of the budget is for windows and furnace, so to speak. That makes the window budget seem a little less painful...and bring on those beautiful sunny, wicked-cold, blue sky, January days! I shall never fear another winter day like this again while standing behind one of these wondrous windows!

Next stop on our shopping frenzy...the solar store.

Shop on. Stay warm!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thanks for share..