Frequently Asked Questions
There’s a lot to keep in mind when purchasing new windows and patio doors, so we’ve compiled a list of commonly asked questions you might have. If you need more information, please contact a North Star dealer near you.
Why do old windows even need to be replaced?
There are several factors to consider.
- Energy loss: Perhaps 25 per cent of your energy bill is lost through windows. A 3′X5′ window with a 1/16″ gap around the sashes is like having a hole the size of a brick
- Condensation: Energy-efficient windows stay warmer on the interior surface, so humidity can be raised without getting moisture on windows, which can eventually damage walls. Less condensation also helps reduce growth of mold.
- Air quality: Tight windows keep out dust, bugs, pollen and sound – so the indoor environment is healthier.
Why should I choose vinyl?Vinyl is an excellent option for windows and doors because of its energy efficiency, strength and versatility. Vinyl is resistant to moisture, doesn’t need painting and has a very good insulating value. Wood windows have similar insulating value but they will warp and rot if not painted, resulting in poor efficiency. Vinyl is an attractive low-maintenance option for renovators and homeowners.
North Star’s self-cleaning windows need rain in order to be cleaned. What if it doesn’t rain?If there has been no rain, a simple spray with the hose should restore clean windows. Also, keep in mind, if windows were recently installed, it may take up to seven days for the self-cleaning process to be activated. Our self-cleaning glass will last a lifetime but don’t expose the exterior glass to harsh chemicals such as silicone. Particular attention should be paid to avoiding sharp or abrasive materials that may damage the treated surface. More information can be found in our Maintenance Tips section.
Where can I find a North Star dealer?You can now use our online Dealer Locator. Our dealers are also listed in the Yellow Pages under windows, or contact us.
How good is North Star’s warranty?North Star stands behind its products with a transferable, limited lifetime warranty. The generous protection provided to the original purchaser is extended to a subsequent owner. More details about our Warranty is available online in our Resource Center, or you can contact a North Star dealer for more information.
What is “Low-E” glass?
Low-E stands for low-emissivity. Emissivity is a measure of how much a glass surface transfers radiant heat.
LoE 366 (Cardinal)
LoE 366 – Is recommended when cooling costs outweigh heating costs in your energy usage, or where summer discomfort from heat build-up should be an important concern. This is the best glass for most applications in a southern climate. It has a very high reflection rate of the radiant outside heat to prevent heat gain in summer and in winter it still retains radiant once you turn on your furnace! LoE 366 has a lower Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) in order to minimize Solar Heat Gain that results in extra work for your air conditioning unit.
LOF (Libby Owens Ford) / Pilkington Energy Advantage
LOF – Pilkington Energy Advantage Low-E is the best glass for most applications in a northern climate. It has a very high retention rate of the heat in your home in winter and prevents heat gain in summer. Energy Advantage Glass has a higher Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) than Low-E glass designed for southern climates. It provides free winter heat for your home. Since as much as 95% of your energy expense for heating and cooling combined is for heating, this glass is more cost effective than other glass without a high SHGC.
Condensation is a nuisance on my old windows but I hear it can also cause damage. Is that true?Condensation can be a serious problem. The moisture produced by everyday activities such as cooking and showering shows up first on cool dense surfaces such as windows. Over the long term, this dripping can damage windows and nearby surfaces such as drywall and promote growth of mould, a potential health hazard. One solution is to reduce humidity but levels can’t always be lowered sufficiently, especially in the winter when moisture is needed to prevent drying. A better solution lies in the windows themselves. North Star windows feature Super Spacer® technology which boosts window R-values by 30 per cent. The advanced warm-edge technology in North Star windows keeps the glass much warmer so they are less likely to fog.
What industry standards do North Star’s windows meet?The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) established the CSA-A440 standard as a sort of a final exam – it doesn’t matter how good you say your windows are because now there’s evidence. The CSA-A440 standard measures and rates windows for airtightness, watertightness and wind resistance, and even evaluates a window’s susceptibility to forced entry. All North Star windows have been tested – and the excellent results speak for themselves. Be wary of windows that have not been tested to CSA-A440 standards. Our windows are also CSA certified, which means that they are not only tested according to the standard, but are certified by CSA. Random CSA audits ensure that the windows we manufacture are identical to those tested according to the CSA standard and match the performance of the test windows.