Benefits of Sliding Windows

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Sliding Glass Windows: Beauty, Benefits, and a Better View

If you’re tired of trying to loosen stuck window frames or asking the strongest person in the house to open the windows for you, sliding windows could be the solution. Sliding windows are an aesthetically attractive window solution that combines wider, more natural views of the outdoors with effortless function.

 

How do sliding glass windows work?

Sliding glass windows are like sliding glass doors: they open horizontally instead of vertically. Typically, one side of the window remains stationary, while the other pane slides on rollers. Plus, there are limitless options of colors, styles, materials, and finishes to match your home or business.

 

Sliding windows are easy to open.

Enjoying fresh air in the springtime or letting cool breezes flow through your home are just two of the benefits of easy-opening windows. Well-maintained sliding windows open and close with just a gentle push and are ideal for hard-to-reach spaces.

 

Sliding windows are low-maintenance.

Generally speaking, sliding windows are a lower-maintenance window option than many traditional windows because they have fewer moving parts. That means easier opening and closing, and less chance they’ll become difficult to operate as the windows age.

Sliding glass windows function smoothly for many years. Some window styles can even be tilted to make cleaning a breeze, both inside and out. Other styles allow you to pop out the glass pane completely.

 

Siding windows are energy efficient.

Yet another benefit of sliding windows? Their energy efficiency. These windows close tightly to keep climate-controlled air in the inside and minimize drafts from the outside. At XO Windows, we offer the available option of the i89 Surface 4 Low-E glass package for optimal insulation against cold air flow.

 

With the i89 Surface 4 Low-E glass package, your home or business can be cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. This high-performance window glass option reflects heat back into the room and improves the transmittance of daylight. The window is smooth, scratch-resistant, and easy to clean, too.

 

A room with a (better) view.

Wherever you choose to put one of XO Windows’ sliding glass windows, you’ll enjoy the benefits of a wider view to the outdoors. Your eyes naturally see further side-to-side than up and down, so a horizontally oriented window offers a wider, more picturesque view of what’s outside your home or office window. Sliding windows also allow more natural light to enter into your surroundings.

 

Whether you’re replacing older windows or choosing windows for new construction, XO Windows’ selection of sliding glass windows offers attractive, easy-to-use, energy-efficient options for a variety of decor and designs. Get in touch to find out more.

 

Seven Reasons You Need Vinyl Windows

 

Vinyl Windows

Whether you’re building a new home, remodeling or merely need to replace windows that are showing serious wear and no longer performing, we’ve got some compelling reasons you should be considering vinyl.

1. Long-Term Efficiency and Savings

We gave this one the top spot because, where most homeowners are concerned, it’s vinyl’s most important feature. Since vinyl doesn’t expand or contract with fluctuating temperatures, it seals in cool or warm air better than any other material, which cuts down on waste and saves you serious money on heating and cooling bills.

 

2. Short-Term Savings

Even though vinyl is a high-quality and practical choice, it’s still among the cheapest options when shopping for windows.

 

3. Low-Maintenance

Not only is vinyl warp and crack resistant, but chips and scratches are barely visible since vinyl’s color goes beyond the surface. Also, cleaning is a snap, since all you need is some cleaning spray or a little soap and water to make it look good as new.

 

4. Choice of Colors

Forget having to go the paint store; vinyl comes in almost any color, so you can choose the best color to complement your home without having to go through the hassle of painting.

 

5. Choice of Styles

Vinyl windows can be purchased in any size or shape and can even be customized for more unusual design ideas.

 

6. Curb Appeal

Since vinyl windows rarely show signs of wear, they look newly installed for years, with minimal effort from the homeowner.

 

7. Environmentally Sound

When you choose vinyl, you’re not only cutting down on energy waste and heating/cooling emissions, but you’re also using a material that can be easily recycled once it’s no longer in use.

 

At XO Windows, Arizona’s largest window distributor, we carry an array of beautiful, durable vinyl window options like:

 

XO Windows offers several glass choices, as well, including energy efficient, textured, tinted, protective, solar control, etc.

 

We offer free estimates and consultations, during which our experts can help you choose the right type of window for any project. Our installation team is the best in the area and are able to work seamlessly alongside contractors and tradespeople to get the job done on schedule and right the first time.

If you have questions about vinyl windows, glass types, cost, etc., feel free to reach out any time.

The Lowdown on Low E Glass

LowE Glass

As we write this blog, it’s July 2017 and we’re in Arizona. There may never be a better time to tell you what’s great about Low-E glass.

 

We’ll start at the beginning, though, and tell you what it is, first.

 

Low-E (low emissivity) glass is (typically double-paned) glass that’s been coated with metal oxides (using one of two methods) so that it reflects solar heat and only allows a small fraction of it into your home, while still letting in plenty of daylight.

 

The first method, pyrolytic, produces a passive or Hard-Coat Low-E and involves bonding a metallic oxide with the glass while it’s still in a semi-molten state. The coating is so strong and durable that it’s able to be used occasionally in single-pane applications.

 

Hard-Coat Low-E glass is recommended for cooler climates, though, because it lets in more of the sun’s warming infrared rays than does Soft-Coat Low-E. So that’s probably all the time we need to waste on that, then . . .

 

Let’s get to the good stuff: Soft-Coat Low-E!

Seriously, if you’re tired of shockingly high energy bills, overworking your poor cooling unit, tinted glass that gets hot/cracks, faded carpet/furniture or just plain being uncomfortable, you’re going to want to keep reading.

 

1. How it’s made: Soft-Coat Low-E is produced in a room-temperature vacuum through a process called Magnetron Sputtering Vapor Deposition (yeah, really), where multiple layers of metals, metal oxides, and metal nitrides are sprayed on pre-cut glass.

 

Because Soft-Coat is more delicate, it needs to be sealed in insulated glass. But while it may not beat Hard-Coat in toughness, Soft-Coat’s the hands-down winner in efficiency and solar control.

 

2.  What it does: When we talk about emissivity, we’re talking about a material’s ability to radiate energy. So glass that has low emissivity radiates far less solar energy into a home than ordinary glass. How much less?

 

Well, standard clear glass windows emit roughly 84% of the sun’s radiant energy into the home, whereas Low-E glass emits as little as 18%, while reflecting the other 82% back outside where it belongs.

3. Why it’s better than tinted glass: Tinted glass does more absorbing of radiant energy than reflecting, so the glass itself can get hot, therefore radiating more heat into a room than Low-E glass. And because it retains heat, tinted glass is prone to stress and breakage.

 

But not all Low-E glass windows are created equal.

Which is why XO Windows offers LoĒ³-340 by Cardinal. Check it out:

 

  • LoĒ³-340 blocks approximately 98% of harmful UV radiation. We don’t like UV rays because they’ve been proven harmful and are linked to skin damage, skin cancer, glaucoma, immunity issues, etc. And, they’re the ones responsible for bleaching out your carpets and furnishings!

  • LoĒ³-340 reflects nearly all of the invisible solar infrared rays. We don’t like infrared rays because they are the ones that make us hot. Oh, so miserably hot.

  • LoĒ³-340 has a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of just 0.18. Very simply put, SHGC is the amount of solar heat a window allows through from the outside, so for us, that means the lower the better. BTW, clear glass has a SHGC of 0.84. So, yeah, LoĒ³-340’s going to lower those energy bills for sure.

  • LoĒ³-340 has a high Light-to-Solar-Gain ratio (LSG) of 2.17. This might not sound like something we like, but we do. Mostly because a high LSG means that our Low-E coating is working hard at being “spectrally selective.” Or, that it’s letting a good amount of visible daylight in, but still blocking the rays that cause heat.

  • LoĒ³-340 uses argon gas to achieve its super-low U-Factor of 0.25. We love this, because the lower a window’s U-factor, the more resistant it is to heat flow, which means we’re better insulated whether it’s hot or cold.

Filling the space between LoĒ³-340’s double panes with air would give it an already low U-Factor of 0.29 (ordinary double-pane tinted glass has a U-Factor of 0.48), but Cardinal went the extra mile and filled that space with argon gas to deliver the savings and comfort of a 0.25 U-Factor. It’s a year-round win!

If LoĒ³-340 sounds like something you want to know more about, we invite you to reach out any time. Our team will be happy to answer all your questions and even provide you with a free estimate.

Beat Summer Heat with These 4 Ultra-Cool Window Tips

So, you’re already dreading your first early summer power bill.

You’ve got drapes up, but you know before long, the sun is going to burn right through them and make a laughing stock of your air conditioner.

Before you paint your windows black, we’ve got a few pointers for you:

1.     LoĒ³-340 Glass – We’re going to start with the best ideas and work our way down. In our not-so-humble opinion, LoĒ³-340 glass windows beat all other options for a variety of reasons, not the least of which are their ability to:
  • block approximately 98% of the harmful UV radiation
  • absorb and reflect 60% of the visible light
  • reflect nearly all solar infrared rays

Although LoĒ³-340’s coating can make it appear tinted from the outside, it’s not. While tinted glass works by absorbing sunlight (thereby getting hot and sometimes cracking), LoĒ³-340 works by deflecting it.

And because it’s insulated and has a U-factor of only 0.25, it provides superior thermal comfort in cold weather, as well.

2.     Sunscreens – Made from strong, polyester-coated, woven vinyl mesh, sunscreens are typically installed to exterior window frames so they can do their job of blocking up to 90% of the sun’s rays from the outside.

We recommend Suntex Solar Screen 80 and 90 because they’re:

  • amazingly tough and durable
  • are fade and mildew resistant
  • available in an array of design-friendly colors
  • able to be installed by homeowners or expertly installed by dealers

 

3.     Awnings – Although some might find this to be a rather old-fashioned solution, it’s actually a pretty smart and fashion-forward one. According to the Professional Awning Manufacturers Association, awnings can reduce cooling costs by over 50%.

And before you think there’s no way awnings would look good on your house, you should know that they come in almost every style and material imaginable, including wood, copper, polycarbonate, terra cotta tile, iron, steel, cloth and even solar panels.

You can get them in almost any size and, if there are times you’d rather not have them, retractable awnings are available, as well.

4.     Blackout Drapes – When most people think of blackout drapes, they imagine thick, dark, boring motel room curtains, but as you can see from the image above, today’s blackout drapes are stylish and attractive enough for any room.

When choosing blackout drapes, remember that there are differences in quality among brands. Also, blackout drapes are different than blackout curtains, which are made with only one layer of material rather than two and are apt to let in more light.

If you have questions or comments about ways in which windows can slash your cooling and heating costs or would like to know more about LoĒ³-340 glass windows, we invite you to reach out any time!

We’re Arizona’s largest window distributor and we’ve got the brands, knowledge, and skills to help you reach your energy savings goals this year, and for a long time to come.

 

 

Specialty Shaped Windows

Specialty Shaped Windows: Beautifully Unpredictable

Most windows are rectangular or square, and quite…predictable.

What if you had a window in your home that you didn’t just look through – you enjoyed looking AT?

Specialty windows can add dimension to your home and give it that extra bit of character it may be lacking. Here are some window shapes you should consider when adding windows to a new home or replacing old ones:

 

Elegant Arched Windows

An arched window is a great choice for a home with an unobstructed view. From sky to earth, this window will let in plenty of light and scenery. Even if your view is your neighbor’s house across the street, an arched window will give an added touch of elegance to your home.

 

Striking Triangles

Triangular windows can make the inside of your home feel open and full of life. These windows can fill the space all the way to your roofline and are perfect for bathrooms, closets or stairways. Natural lighting is a bonus feature to this unique, decorative element.

 

Stop! And Take-a-Look Octagons

An octagon window adds charm to the inside and outside of your home. A bathroom is no longer boring with this shapely addition. With an octagonal kitchen window, food may no longer be the focal point. And, a laundry room with this window may soon be a necessary stop as you’re giving guests a tour of your home.

 

Compelling Curves

If you’re looking to update your home, circle shaped windows are just the ticket for a contemporary look. If you have a window you want to add height to, try a half-circle at the top. Circle windows can create more spaciousness to a room as well.

 

XO Windows: The Place to Go for Specialty Windows

Specialty windows are anything but predictable and can add an elegant and distinctive touch to your home. XO Windows is the place to go for specialty shaped windows and we’ll help you pick the perfect ones for your home. Give us a call today.

energy-windows

How Do Energy Efficient Windows Work?

 

If you’ve lived in the Phoenix area for very long, you know energy efficiency is a must to prevent you from going bankrupt from air conditioning costs during the long summer months.

And, because we do live in the desert, temps manage to dip low enough during those winter nights to necessitate turning the heater on.

Whether you want to keep the heat in or out, energy efficient windows are your best bet for saving money on energy costs.

So, how exactly do energy efficient windows work? At the core of what makes these windows an ideal investment is advanced engineering and technology that has been developed over the past few years.

 

Preparing the Window

Energy-efficient windows still use glass, but use a low-emissivity (Low-E) glass, which not only provides a barrier for sun rays, but shields the inside of your house, helping you maintain a consistent temperature.

For example, in the winter, Low-E glass keeps the heat inside and the cold out. In addition to the coating on the glass, many different window manufacturers produce windows with different glazes, tints, or reflective coatings. Each finishing step fulfills a different need and helps you find a unique way to save money and energy.

 

Window Construction

In multiple-paned windows, manufacturers have found great benefit to using gas fills. The gas helps to reduce the rate of heat transfer between the outside air and inside of your house. In the frame, adding polymer structural foam has become an integral part of an energy-efficient window. Previously, manufacturers often used metal to insulate the windows.

And when you’re ready to purchase, ask about the U-factor or U-value. The U-value shows the window’s resistance to heat and the insulating properties. You want a number that is low—energy-efficient double-paned windows usually have .3. and triple-paned windows might get as low as .15. In a triple-paned window, you’ll get a higher UV blockage rate as well.

 

XO Windows: Save Money with Energy Efficient Windows

Interested? Call XO Windows. We specialize in energy efficient windows and can help you understand the details behind each option and help you pick the best possible windows for your home. From vinyl and aluminum to off shapes and unique needs, XO Windows can help you find the

Garden Window

How to Transform Your Living Space with a Garden Window

Did you know a window can do more than just let light in and allow you to see the outside world?

An XO garden window can transform your living space and bring the outdoors in. This box-like window can completely change the way that you view the room in your home where it has been added.

 

Perfect for Plant and Flower Lovers

The unique shape of the garden window offers plenty of space for some lovely plants to liven up your home. This window extends out past the rest of your home creating a larger shelf than a normal sill itself. Potted plants that soak up the sunshine are perfect for nestling into this window alcove if it happens to be on the side of your home that gets a lot of sun. Make sure to request a LoĒ³-340 glass to protect your plants from the blazing summer sun. And, if it happens to get less sun, there are shade loving plants that will still look great in this window.

 

Increase and Better Utilize Your Kitchen Space

Think of how lovely this garden window would be in the kitchen. You could use it to grow fresh herbs. Or, use it for recipes that call for leaving items out in the sun, like sun tea or flower infused olive oil.

It also makes extra space for all those things you have in the kitchen that don’t always fit around the sink.

 

Sparkling Fun

If you’ve ever been accused of being distracted by shiny objects, a garden window may be perfect for you. Think of your favorite Swarovski crystal figurines, glass bottles, or other items that will be dazzling in the sun. This can be a great place to showcase how lovely your collection is, and brighten up any room in your home.

No matter if you want to bring in more of the natural world, add some potted plants, get garden space, or add a glittering space for sparkling knickknacks, a garden window is a perfect improvement. XO Windows is ready to help you open your living space with our top-quality vinyl garden windows that are energy efficient.

Contact us today to learn more about our windows and get started with your very own garden window.

How to Choose a Perfect Patio Door

A patio adds a nice touch of outdoor living to your home. While it is important to make sure your patio is beautiful and functional, it’s also important to choose the right door to connect the patio to your house. There is a huge variety of patio doors to choose, so it’s helpful to understand your options.

 

Style

The style of patio door you choose will make a big difference to the overall aesthetic appeal of your home. It is important to choose a door that blends well with the rest of the house and provides a sense of unity in design. XO Windows has several styles to choose from, including:

 

1. Sliding Doors

XO Windows has many different sliding glass door designs to consider, including single and multi-slide doors. These doors are tough, durable, and attractive. While available in several options, the multi-slide door represents an impressive leap in technology, made from an anodized bronze framing system, and available in a 2, 3, or 4-track framing system, which ensures ease of motion—even after years of use.

 

2. Swinging Doors

If you want a look that’s more classic, swinging doors might be right for you. These doors are built just as tough as their sliding counterparts. Swinging doors can be set up to swing in or out, or even both ways, so planning your floor space is a must.

 

3. Folding Doors

If you have a larger patio opening, or just want something a little different, you might want to consider folding doors. While not as common as sliding or swinging doors, this option provides a unique, luxurious way to transition between your house and patio.

 

Materials

Just as it is important to pick the right style, it is equally important to choose the right materials.  XO Windows has several materials to choose from, including vinyl, aluminum, fiberglass, and wood. Regardless of the material you choose, our doors are made to be tough and dependable. They offer security and peace of mind, and what’s more, they come in a variety of colors and custom options to make sure your new or replacement patio door matches your home perfectly.

 

And if that weren’t enough, XO Windows proudly offers LoĒ³-340 glass in all of our patio doors, which provides unparalleled savings and protection from the sun. LoĒ³-340 glass is proven to block up to 98% of the sun’s harmful UV radiation, while providing year-round thermal comfort by blocking solar heat in the summer and reducing heat loss during the winter.

 

Regardless of which option you choose, XO Windows has the right patio door for you and your home. Contact us today to see what we can do for you.

How to Childproof Your Windows

Child Proof Windows

 

 

 

 

Windows flood rooms with natural light, but they are also a magnet for young children who are eager to see what’s going on outside. Each year, thousands of children are severely injured or lose their lives due to window accidents. Curious babies, toddlers, and kids of a certain age should be protected from sustaining life-threatening injuries, and you can do that by learning how to childproof the windows in your home.

Window safety solutions are affordable and relatively easy to install. There are several types of safety devices that work on any type of window. Get familiar with each type and select ones that best suit your home environment.

 

1. Window Guards

Window guards are constructed of sturdy materials that cover a portion of the window, or the entire window. The guard incorporates a grid pattern consisting of horizontal and vertical bars. Once installed, the guards are extremely difficult for babies and small children to remove. Kids can lean on the bars safely without fear of tumbling out the window. Adults can release the safety mechanism in a jiffy for emergencies. These are so effective that the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends their use.

 

2. Window Locks

Installing locks on windows is an easy way to prevent children from opening them. Many contemporary windows come with locks attached. For windows that don’t come with locks, you can purchase locks from stores that sell hardware supplies. Easy to install models use suction to adhere locks to window sills, requiring no tools.

 

3. Window Stops

Similar to door stops, window stops work by preventing a window from sliding open with the use of force. They require installation, and once installed, a young child cannot accidentally lift up the window.

 

4. Window Cranks

Some windows have manual cranks that you turn in order to push open the window. Children can quickly figure out how to operate the crank mechanism, which makes them a safety risk. Installing a casement window lock is one way to resolve this problem. Another option is removing the cranks altogether.

 

5. Window Blinds

Window blinds are responsible for numerous in-home accidents involving children. Kids are attracted to the dangling cords used for adjusting the blinds. In the blink of an eye, a small child can get their head entangled and suffocate. Keep your children safe by using cord clips or wraps to keep cords safely out of reach. Alternatively, install cordless window blinds.

 

Need More Information About Window Safety?

XO Windows are window experts, and you can contact us anytime for quick answers and assistance with any type of window issue—including childproofing your windows.

 

XO

Looking to Improve Your Home’s Worth? Consider Replacing Your Windows

Windows do more than let light into your home. In fact, selecting the right windows can increase your home’s curb appeal as well as increase the worth and value of your home.

Replacing your single-pane windows with double-pane windows now is the best time to take advantage of the weather, get your home summer-ready, and make an end-of-season impact on your home’s appearance. The National Association of Realtors found that homeowners who replace their windows typically see between about 74 and 79 percent of the cost returned when closing on their property (source).

 

Durable Double-Paned Windows

One of the main reasons double-pane windows have such an impact on a home’s curb appeal and value is because of their durability. As their name points out, double-pane windows have two layers of glass, with a space in between filled with air or non-toxic gas. This buffering space helps the windows better withstand extreme temperature changes.

 

Energy Efficient Double-Paned Windows

Because of this buffer, double-pane windows are much more energy-efficient. While these windows might cost slightly more to purchase, you’ll recoup your costs quickly, with many homeowners seeing energy usage reductions of between 18 and 24 percent (source).

 

Finding Safety and Comfort with Double-Pane Windows

While it might be surprising, most burglars and home intruders will avoid homes with double-pane glass windows (source). These windows are harder to break, and will often cause thieves to turn the other direction.

Double-pane windows not only keep you secure, but comfortable. The barrier between the panes that reduces energy usage also helps to regulate temperatures inside the house, keeping the house cool when the air conditioner is running, and warm when you need to turn on the heater.

 

Superior Sound Blocking

Comfort doesn’t stop with the temperature. Double-pane windows are ideal for noise reduction, blocking excess noise pollution between 25 and 50 percent. Thinner, single-pane windows are much less effective at keeping out the sounds of traffic, neighbors, and animals that can distract from the peace inside your house.

 

Meet Your Home’s Perfect Match

XO Windows will help you fall in love with your windows, and increase the value of your home. The large selection of double and triple-pane windows will bring back the spark that made you want to purchase your house. Whether you’re looking to sell, or just spruce up your home’s appeal, contact XO Windows today for a free estimate.