Helpful Tips

Helpful Tips

Helpful Tips

We don’t just want to help you make the most of your windows and doors. We want to help you make the most of your home. That’s why we’ve come up with a collection of tips designed to help you with just about everything having to do with anything for your home.

Tips for Saving Energy in the Home

The simplest steps, like installing low-flow showerheads or getting yearly tune-ups on your furnace, can result in a tremendous amount of energy savings. Saving energy equates to saving money. Whether selecting glass packages for windows that reduce penetration of harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays into the home or simply sealing up cracks where air can leak in and out of the home, there are a number of ways you can your energy knowledge and awareness. Here are some tips for saving energy in and around the home:

Examine your windows. Make sure they’re doing their part to help insulate your home. Check for hot and cold spots or drafty areas inside your home near windows, which can indicate energy loss.

Insulate and winterize all exterior outlets and spigots.

Fully load your dishwasher before starting a wash cycle. Select the shortest cycle and allow your dishes to air dry instead of using your dishwasher’s heated drying option.

Shop for ENERGY STAR® compliant products. From refrigerators to hair dryers to windows, products displaying the ENERGY STAR label have been tested with energy efficiency in mind. For example, ENERGY STAR labeled lighting products use up to 75 percent less energy than standard lighting.

Seal up any little cracks or gaps where air can leak into your home. Many experts believe the average home has enough of these small holes to equal one three-foot by three-foot opening.

Tips for Deciding When to Replace Windows

Looking for tips to help evaluate the effectiveness of windows and doors in a home you’re going to purchase, or just want to see if it’s time to replace your windows? Try these for starters:
Determine how many panes of glass are in the windows. Single-paned windows are the least energy efficient. You can replace them with double- or triple-paned ENERGY STAR® compliant windows to enhance energy efficiency and make a home more comfortable during all seasons.

Look for condensation inside the glass on double- or triple-glazed windows. This could indicate seal failure. If this is the case, you might need to replace the glass or the entire window.

Do your windows open and close easily? If your windows are hard to open or close—or they won’t stay open or locked—this could be a sign that the windows need replacing.

Have someone stand outside your window. With a small flashlight, stand inside and “travel” around the window’s perimeter. If the person outside sees areas of light coming through, this is an indication of seal failure—and probably energy loss.
Does it seems especially noisy in your house? If you live near an airport or busy street, consider replacing your windows with laminated glass windows to help reduce noise transmission.
Did your neighbors just build a new home that’s too close to your bathroom? For added privacy, request decorative obscure glass in your windows. This will allow light to flow into the home, but will keep your privacy!

10 Fast Tips for Window Safety

What are the best types of windows to have in a home with small children? How often should family fire drills be held? What type of glass should you have in windows to help prevent noise penetration and discourage intruders? Whether you’re building a new home or renovating a cherished older home, there’s a lot to think about. Some of the most important tips are included below.

Practice safety drills regularly. Small children tend to “hide” from fire, so make sure children are familiar with escape routes and know how to move quickly out of the home.

For homes with bedrooms on second floors or higher, make sure safety escape chain ladders are under the bed in every room. Practice operating the window with older children and show them how to install chain ladders.
Keep furniture (including cribs), or anything children can climb, away from windows.

If you live in an area prone to active children or potential crime, order windows with tempered safety glass—at least for the first floor of the home. Two panes of glass are adhered to a durable plastic interlayer, much like a car windshield. So, if a stray baseball hits a window, the glass will shatter, but broken pieces remain adhered to the interlayer, preventing glass fallout inside the home. The plastic interlayer is also puncture-resistant, frustrating potential intruders.

Remember that window screens are designed only to keep insects outside – they will not support the weight of a child or family pet.

Looking to protect your home from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays? Request Low E glass in your windows to reduce fading of carpets, furniture and window treatments due to the sun’s harsh rays.

When windows are opened for ventilation, only open windows that young children cannot reach. Simonton offers ventilation locks that allow the window to be partially opened for fresh air while remaining securely locked.
Opening second floor windows can present a greater risk to children and pets. In these areas of the home, consider Simonton Double Hung windows, which have top sash that open down while the bottom sash (closest to the floor) remain closed.

Before ordering windows, make sure to examine the unit’s locking system and operations. Multi-point locks provide more protection against intruders and make it more difficult for curious young children to operate.
If you need to use window guards on the interior of your windows, make sure they are operable and can be easily removed. Practice detaching the guards with children in case they need to exit through a window in an emergency.

Tips for Brightening Up Kitchens

For the past decade, the kitchen has reigned supreme as the choice gathering spot for family activities and entertaining. Airy, open kitchens can transform the mood of the room. There are several things you can do to transform your kitchen into bright, welcoming spaces, energized with natural light:

Adopt the popular trend of having “naked windows” in the kitchen. By using only minimal window coverings, such as valances at the top, the windows allow in more light and can act as a transition to the outdoors.

When remodeling, add a bay or bow window to maximize the flow of sunlight into the room and give the kitchen an expansive feeling. Constructed of three or more windows mulled together at 30- or 45-degree angles, bay windows can be made to incorporate a window seat that provides a comfortable spot for homeowners to grab a cup of coffee and curl up with a magazine. A bow window, which is created by mulling together a multitude of windows in a gentle arch, creates a gentle circular effect in a room and can offer the perfect backdrop for a kitchen table.

Smaller than a bay or bow window, a garden window generally sits higher up on a wall. Many homeowners position a garden window directly over a sink and grow herbs, potted plants or starter seedlings on the shelves throughout the year. Simonton offers a garden window with dual, fully-operational casement sidelites to allow in air and sunlight.
Order several windows mulled together at the factory to give the impression of a small “wall of windows” and to maximize light flow into the kitchen. You can request operating windows (such as Double Hungs or Casements) be topped with non-operable transom windows to enhance the flow of light into the kitchen.

Brighten up the entire kitchen by painting your window trim bright white. Take this “whitewash” a step further and paint your kitchen cabinets white also, so that the entire room is bright and cheery, allowing light to “play” throughout the room. Selecting low-maintenance white vinyl frames for your windows will also help lighten up the kitchen.

Tips for Brightening Up Bathrooms

The bathroom can often be overlooked when designing for maximum light flow into the home. Even the smallest bathroom can benefit from the expansive use of windows to open up the room and make the environment more welcoming. Here are a few ways to brighten up your bathrooms:

Obscure glass to protect your privacy, incorporate large floor-to-ceiling windows in your bathroom. Oversized windows will maximize the flow of light into the room while also giving homeowners the option of more ventilation.
Add non-operable transom windows high on the exterior walls of the bathroom to allow more light inside. A design of several transom windows can be placed horizontally across the exterior wall to protect privacy while offering views of the sky during the day and the stars at night.

In bathrooms where privacy is not a primary concern, use only minimal window coverings, such as valances at the top of the window. This allows maximum light to stream into the room and infuses the entire bathroom with natural energy. To dress up the window, add wide decorative white mouldings surrounding the window to reflect light.
To create a unique master bathroom retreat, consider adding a deck outside the bathroom, with a Garden Door for access to the outdoors. In any geographic area, the opportunity to step outside the bathroom with a morning cup of coffee is an enticing option.

Add a Garden window to the bathroom. A Garden window is like a mini greenhouse and Simonton offers Garden windows with dual, fully-operational casement sidelites to bring air and sunlight into the bathroom. As a bonus, homeowners can grow small plants on the shelves or use the shelf space for easy access to toiletry items.

Tips for Marrying Windows and Lifestyles

When selecting building products for the construction of a new home or the renovation of an older home, you make a long-term commitment to the products that will shelter your family for many years. It’s important to research the products you select for your home and to make sure those products—especially your windows—match up with your long-term needs. Looking for some tips to make certain you choose the right windows for your home? Try these:
Analyze your lifestyle. For example, if one family member thrives on gardening, consider adding a Garden window in a kitchen or laundry room. The “bump out” feature of the Garden window offers the opportunity for growing plants and herbs year-round in any climate.
Ask yourself lots of questions. If you like “nooks and crannies” and cozy spaces in your home, you’ll love window seats and breakfast nooks created with Bay and Bow windows. Imagine your delight with a front Bay window that displays holiday decorations each year. Or a Bow window in a master bedroom that serves as a quiet reading place.
Determine how much sunlight you like.

If you crave “wide open spaces” in your home, consider large walls of windows and Picture windows to capture views. You may also appreciate the advantages of Slider windows that offer larger views and excellent ventilation.
Decide how much maintenance you want to do on your windows long term. If you have a fast-paced lifestyle with little time for household chores, then no-hassle vinyl-framed windows may be your best choice. Many people rely on the easy care of vinyl frames so that they don’t have the continual burden of scraping and repainting window frames year after year.

Think about keeping your windows clean. If you have a multi-story home with windows difficult to reach from the outside, select Double Hung windows that make it easy to clean your windows from inside your home.

Winter Window Checklist

Before temperatures drop and you see the first snowfall, make it a priority to give your windows a thorough examination. Why? Because a home’s windows are one of the chief ways that heat can be lost during blustery winter months, resulting in higher energy bills. To help with your inspection, follow these tips:
Check every window and door to make sure there is adequate weather-stripping and caulking which will ensure a secure seal around the openings in your home.

Seal up any little cracks or gaps where air can leak into your home. Many experts believe the average home has enough of these small holes to equal one three-foot by three-foot opening.

If you have storm windows, put them on early in the autumn weather to help save on your home’s energy bills.
Make sure to lock all the hardware on your windows. This creates a strong seal that prevents cold air from coming into the home. Even when closed, an unlocked window can still allow air to escape.

Examine your windows. Make sure they’re doing their part to help insulate your home. Check for hot and cold spots or drafty areas inside your home near windows, which can indicate energy loss.

What is Energy Star®?

energy-starIf you want to save money on your heating and cooling bills—and ensure your home is as comfortable as it can be—then you will surely be interested in windows and doors that are ENERGY STAR® qualified.

ENERGY STAR is a program run by the United States Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency that helps individuals and businesses protect the environment through greater energy efficiency. The ENERGY STAR label can be affixed only to windows and doors that meet specific U-value and shading coefficient ratings for one or more regions of the U.S. These ratings are achieved through independent testing done to NFRC* standards. The ratings of one window will differ from another because of variables such as the glass used, style and product design.

Learn more about the ENERGY STAR program at
* National Fenestration Rating Council, a federal program created to establish standardized testing procedures and ratings of window and door products.

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