Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have questions on replacement Energy Star windows or customized doors? Nordik Windows and Doors is here to answer them all.
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about windows, doors, warranties, service, installation, maintenance, and more. We welcome your questions if they are not answered here.
- General Questions
- In-Home Consultation
- Installation of Windows and Doors
- About Our Windows
- About Nordik Windows and Doors
- Greener Homes Grant
- If I replace my home's original windows and doors, will it reduce my heating and cooling bill?
Yes. The latest report from the National Research Council of Canada indicates that you can reduce your energy bill by up to 16% if you replace all the windows and doors in your home with high energy-efficiency products that are properly sealed and installed. An average home has a $150 monthly bill for heating and cooling and the average annual increase rate over the last 10 years was 7.5%. That means a $12,000 savings over 20 years.
- I have original windows and doors in my 25-year-old home. What difference could I expect if they were replaced with new energy-efficient ones?
You can expect a big difference! Modern energy-efficient, high-performance windows and doors are much more airtight and provide better technology in the way of low-emissivity (low-E) glass, better designed hardware, and inert gas between the panes.
- Will my home feel more comfortable with energy-efficient doors and windows?
If your doors and windows are more than 20 years old, the answer is 'absolutely'. New doors and windows can make your home feel cooler in the summer and less dry in the winter. They will also reduce or eliminate those uncomfortable drafts.
- How can I tell if the new doors and windows I’m looking at are energy-efficient?
It’s easy to identify energy-efficient doors and windows. Simply look for the Energy Star® symbol and label. That label ensures that the product has been certified to meet strict technical requirements.
- What exactly does Energy Star® stand for and why is it important?
The Energy Star® symbol and label mean that a product has been tested by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and certified to be compliant with their Energy Star® program. Products that achieve certification are in the top 15 to 30 percent of their class for energy performance. It is recommended that you only buy doors and windows with the Energy Star® certification as they are environmentally friendly and save you money.
- Are vinyl windows a good option?
Yes, vinyl windows are incredibly popular because of all their benefits. They offer energy efficiency and great durability. They are economical and virtually free of maintenance as they won’t need re-painted or stained. For best performance, ask if they are made from high quality virgin powder vinyl. Ideally, that is what you want because it is moisture-resistant and won’t crack, peel, or fade.
- Should I choose steel for my main entry door?
A steel door provides the best protection from burglary or forced entry and is definitely the right choice if security is a concern. Steel is much stronger than wood, which is what most older doors are made from. Steel is also stronger than fibreglass and won’t warp, crack, or come apart. Steel is the most durable and provides the highest level of protection from severe weather including heavy winds, rain or flying debris. Steel doors are also relatively inexpensive to manufacture and therefore offer significant cost savings over wood or fibreglass doors, making it an ideal choice for a home’s main entrance.
- What is the most energy-efficient type of window frame?
According to Energy Star ratings, a vinyl frame with a solid-core mPVC construction and fusion-welded corners is the most energy-efficient window available. For windows with multiple panels, it’s most energy-efficient if the frame is wider (i.e. 4 1/2 inches versus 3 1/4 inches) because it is stronger and lets the glass sit closer to the inside wall. Also, choosing a one-piece frame gives you less air leakage and more visibility. Frames with multiple pieces that are glued or screwed together are less energy-efficient.
- What should I look for when trying to determine if my windows need replaced?
There are five key elements to look for:
- Do you see moisture, condensation or fog between the panes of glass? If so, you probably have a seal failure.
- Is your furniture or carpet faded from the sun's ultraviolet rays coming through the window? If so, you probably do not have Low-E glass that blocks the sun's harmful rays.
- Do you have windows rated for your climate? Cold Canadian climates require higher ER ratings to increase energy-efficiency.
- Do you struggle to open, close, or lock your windows? Poor operation means the window structure is weak and failing.
- Do you see peeling or rotting wood around the window frame? If so, it’s time for a replacement.
- What should I look for when trying to determine if a door needs replaced?
Check the following four things. If you answer yes to any of these questions, it’s time to look at getting a new door.
- Can you feel a draft of outside air coming in around your door?
- Do you have a hard time properly opening or closing the door?
- Is there peeling or rotting around the door frame?
- Is the door more than 25 years old?
- How can I tell if my doors or windows could just be repaired vs. being replaced?
The most reliable way to determine whether a door or window can be repaired or if it needs replaced is to have a professional look at it. It’s possible that you may simply need a replacement part i.e. glass unit, hardware, etc.
Contact a local door and window company with a solid reputation that offers free in-home inspections and estimates.
- What’s the difference between windows that come in a newly-built home and replacement windows?
Replacement windows and doors are typically higher quality products than those in newly-built homes. Home builders use contractor products to save money. They want to maximize the return they get on their home sales and usually select cheaper products. By law they only have to offer a minimum warranty of two years.
Most door and window companies offering replacement windows, on the other hand, offer better built products and a warranty of 15 years or more. They also offer better design and installation.
- Is it best to replace all of my doors and windows at the same time?
It isn’t necessary to replace all of them at the same time. You can spread out the replacements over time as your budget allows. Keep in mind that the sooner you replace your windows the sooner you start saving on energy bills.
- Why is there condensation on my windows?
Homeowners who have highly energy-efficient windows may notice condensation forming on the outside of their windows under certain weather conditions. Why is my bedroom window covered in moisture early in the morning? This question is often asked by homeowners who have highly energy-efficient windows. This condition usually occurs in late summer and early fall when the night time temperature drops several degrees – much like dew forming early in the morning.
Read more on this in our Ask an Expert feature: Why is there condensation on my windows?
- Can new windows help reduce noise from outside?
Yes! Newer windows will most likely help reduce noise from the outside. Depending on the materials that the window is made of and the age of the older windows, a significant reduction in noise can be achieved by upgrading to newer replacement windows.
Read more on this in our Ask an Expert feature: Can new windows help reduce noise from outside?
- For patio doors, which is better? PVC frame patio door or a wood frame with PVC over?
PVC-wrapped, wood patio door frames due to their structural integrity, overall strength, and better insulation are a better option than pure PVC patio door frames, even with steel reinforcements.
- How long should I expect an in-home consultation to take?
Plan on about 30 minutes for the consultation. That will allow time to discuss your needs, take measurements, answer questions, and discuss options. We will also prepare and provide you with a written quote before we leave.
If you have additional questions or just want more time to discuss your options, we are happy to stay as long as necessary.
- How long can I count on the price quoted?
Quotes are good for the 30 days after they are issued. The choice to replace your home’s doors and windows is a big decision and we want you to have the time you need to make a decision. We will never pressure you into making a quick decision. It’s also not necessary to come to the showroom for an additional appointment unless you want to, and we offer the same volume discount to everyone.
- How do I choose between all the options for new doors?
Our experienced consultants will help you make a decision. They will guide you through the options and provide input when you want it. You will have a number of options to choose from regarding styles, configurations, colours and other variations when choosing your door(s).
Get a head-start by checking out our 2018 Front Door Buyers Guide to help you better understand the options available for your new door.
Window and Door Installation
- What should I expect on installation day?
So you've signed your contract, and are ready to get your new windows or doors installed; what an exciting time! If it's your first time getting replacement windows and doors, you may have no idea how the installation process will go. Here's what you can expect on installation day.
- Is there anything I need to do to prepare for the installation?
There are just a few things you’ll want to plan for:
- Someone must be home to let our installers into to your home.
- Make space available in your driveway if at all possible so our driver can park close to your house.
- Clear furniture from the area near the location where your new windows and doors will be installed. Our installers will be happy to help you upon their arrival if you’re unable to clear the area beforehand, but we cannot be held responsible for any damages.
- Remove all window treatments from the windows including blinds, shades, curtains, etc.
- Turn off security systems if applicable.
- What should I expect after installation? Will there be a lot of clean-up required?
We pride ourselves in keeping your home as clean as possible while in your home. That includes both installation and renovation work. Our team members use runner and drop-cloths and clean up after they complete their work. You may however, notice a bit of additional dust after completion of the project.
- Will the shutters on the outside of my house be affected?
We will work with you in advance to plan how your shutters will be handled. We can either remove and re-install them, or you may choose to replace your shutters at the time of your window replacements.
- What should I do with the old windows and doors that are being removed?
You won’t have to worry about discarding your old doors or windows. Nordik will remove all of the old windows and doors as well as any related job debris.
- How long should I expect an installation to take?
The time required to complete your installation will depend on the number of doors and windows you’re having replaced. Typically, our projects are completed within one day. We can give you a time estimate specific to your job before we begin.
- Why do you use foam insulation instead of fibreglass insulation?
Our low expansion foam is designed specifically for window and door installations. It expands to fill voids that fibreglass batt insulation may not effectively reach. Unlike fibreglass, foam acts a vapour barrier that seals openings/gaps and reduce leakage. Stuffed into gaps, compressed fibreglass insulation loses its insulating value. It is also susceptible to moisture that penetrates gaps in the form of water vapour or liquid water from rain, snow and condensation. Over time, that moisture can lead to mold growth. In contrast, insulating foam sealant fills gaps with a water-resistant seal. It expands to take the shape of cracks and voids, forming a long-lasting airtight bond to the vinyl, wood, composite and metal surfaces.
- Do you use foam or fibreglass for insulation?
We provide the best quality insulation by using insulating foam sealant for our windows and doors. Unlike fiberglass, it fills gaps with a water-resistant seal creating a vapour barrier that reduces leakage. It expands into cracks and voids, and forms a long-lasting airtight bond to vinyl, wood, composite and metal surfaces. In fact, our low-expansion foam is designed specifically for window and door installations.
In contrast, fibreglass batt insulation may not effectively reach all gaps or cracks. Stuffed into gaps, compressed fibreglass insulation loses its insulating quality and becomes susceptible to moisture that penetrates gaps in the form of water vapour or liquid water from rain, snow or condensation. Over time, that moisture can lead to mold growth.
- Why do some installation companies still use fibreglass insulation?
Using foam to insulate replacement windows and doors takes some time to master, as it is a slightly different process. An installation using foam take a bit longer as well.
- Can I get new windows installed during the winter?
The winter months are actually a great time to get new windows installed and we provide our services year-around.
- What are the concerns with buying doors or windows at the hardware store and installing them myself?
Nordik manufactures and installs doors and windows with an experienced, professional team. We offer an industry-leading warranty that covers all labour and parts.
Doors and windows purchased at a hardware store are typically lower quality, construction grade products, and most often sold to contractors who are looking for the cheapest option available.
- Can I choose a different style when replacing my windows?
Yes. Talk with our consultants about what you’re looking for. They will show you all the options that are possible for your home’s architectural style.
- What should I do if I have an issue with my new window or door?
The Nordik warranty covers 100% of both parts and labour for 25 years! All you have to do is give us a call. We’ll come over and fix the issue with no questions and no hassles.
About Our Windows
- What is Low-e glass?
Low-e glass has a metallic coating on the inside surface to reflect the sun’s rays and to reduce damaging UV rays. This coating was created specifically to minimize the amount of ultraviolet and infrared light that passes through glass into your home without limiting the amount of visible light that is transmitted. Read more about how low-e glass works. http://educationcenter.ppg.com/glasstopics/how_lowe_works.aspx
- What should I know about Argon gas and why it’s used in windows?
Argon is an inexpensive, non-toxic, odourless gas that improves the u-value by roughly 10% in a window. It’s heavier than air, offers increased R-values, and minimizes heat exchange through windows. It’s used in residential windows to insulate the two panes of glass and helps to prevent frost from occurring at the bottom of windows. It also helps increase sound-proofing characteristics of your windows.
- What is U-Value?
U-value is the measure of the rate of heat loss and how well a product insulates. The lower the u-value, the better a product is at keeping heat inside your home.
- What is R-Value?
R-Value measure the resistance to heat loss. R-value is used typically to measure the heat resistance value of home installation.
- What is Z-Value?
Z-Value is not a real thing and, if someone tells you it is, RUN!
- Do Grilles Hurt the R-Value of Your Windows?
The short answer is yes. Sometimes.
Read more on this in our Ask an Expert feature: Do Grilles Hurt the R-Value of Your Windows?
- How does your warranty work?
Glad you asked! Our 25 Year Warranty is the best in the business. Nordik offers a complete fully comprehensive warranty that covers all parts and labour – no hidden clauses.
About Nordik Windows and Doors
- How many years has Nordik been in business?
We are a family owned business that opened our doors in Ottawa in 1982. We started by manufacturing PVC windows under the brand name Verdun Windows and since then we've evolved our business to become one of the fastest growing window and door businesses in North America.
- Where are you located?
We currently have an office in Mississauga:
5900 Ambler Drive, Unit 1
Mississauga, ON L4W 2N3
- Do you carry Liability and Workers Compensation Insurance?
Yes, we carry full general liability and workers compensation insurance.
- What kind of payment options do you offer?
- We provide multiple options to meet your financial needs. Snap Financial is the official finance partner of Nordik Windows and Doors and you can learn more here.
Greener Homes Grant
- How much can a homeowner get for retrofits?
Up to $5,000 is available as grant money for all retrofits.
- Is the energy audit included in the $5,000 grant amount?
No. An additional $600 can be covered through the Greener Homes Grant for the energy evaluation alone. That additional $600 doesn’t count towards your $5,000 grant.
- How much money can you get back in grants for changing windows and doors?
- $250 per rough opening for each ENERGY STAR 2021 Most Efficient rated windows
- $125 per rough opening for ENERGY STAR High Efficiency rated windows
- $125 for ENERGY STAR rated doors (including hinged and sliding doors, with transoms and sidelights)
- For a total of up to $5,000
- How do I break down the grant amount I can expect to receive?
Windows and door grants are calculated on a rough opening basis. That means that multi-panel/composite windows, or doors with sidelites and transoms, are treated as a single unit per rough opening. For example, your bay window may consist of three or more separate frames, but it is still counted as filling a single rough opening.
- Are window and door repairs or alterations covered?
No. Glass-only or sash replacement for windows, or door slab or insert replacement for doors, without a frame replacement, are ineligible for the grant.
- How do I know which products are covered under the grant?
All products must be purchased and made in Canada. Our products are 100% locally manufactured.
All eligible manufacturers and their products must be registered on the NRCan database and ENERGY STAR rated. All of our windows are registered under manufacturer Nordik Windows.
All Energy Star labels must be kept on the windows and doors until after the final energy audit. Should any labels be misplaced after installation, please contact us for new labels.
- I replaced my windows in 2019. Can I still apply for the grant?
Unfortunately, retrofits done before December 2020 are not covered by the Greener Homes Grant.
- I replaced my windows after December 1st, 2020, but I did not do an energy audit. Can I apply for the grant?
Energy audits, before and after the retrofits, are required for grant eligibility. If your retrofit has begun but wasn’t pre-evaluated, your renovation isn’t eligible for this grant.
Pre-evaluations must be conducted after April 1st, 2020 to be admissible under the program.
- Can I request grant money for new windows and doors if the initial evaluation does not explicitly recommend them?
At least one of the performed retrofits must be recommended by the energy advisor in their report to be eligible. Meaning, if the evaluator doesn't state that a specific retrofit is recommended, you may not receive money under the grant. In these cases, homeowners should contact NRCan and a decision will be made on a case-by-case basis:
- By phone at 1-833-674-8282
- By e-mail at email@example.com
- What paperwork do I need to keep?
All receipts and documents must be kept from pre- and post-retrofit evaluations, as well as invoices for product and installation for all retrofit work done.
- Is it even worth getting my windows or doors replaced?
Windows and doors qualify for the largest amount of grant funding. However, they can also be among the more expensive home upgrades. If your windows are leaky, replacing them will be a worthwhile investment, and the grant will cover a significant portion of this expense.
- How do I find an energy evaluation company?
Most people will need to register through the government and they will be provided with a list of approved evaluators. However, we are working directly with select NRCan approved evaluators across Ontario (like Energuy), to avoid lengthy delays and get you set up with an appointment in as little as 48 hours. You can also go with an evaluator you prefer as long as they are approved by and registered with NRCan.
Please note, we are not financially associated with Energuy, nor do we benefit financially from this relationship. Customers are not obligated to use Energuy Canada’s services to do an energy audit and we make no representations or warranties with respect to Energuy Canada’s services and your eligibility for the above-mentioned grants.
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