Burlington, ready for winter

Winterizing Your Home

Winter truly is a bittersweet season. Along with that warm holiday glow comes cold nights, shorter days, snow, ice, and wind! Keeping your home as warm and dry as possible will dramatically increase your chances of having an enjoyable winter. Winterizing your home can sometimes be a big project, but with a few small improvements you can be coming home to a warm and dry house every single day.


Burlington, ready for winter

Start With New Doors and Windows!

An enormous amount of heat is lost every winter through inefficient, poorly installed, or simply old doors and windows. Today’s energy efficient windows have been built with the intention of not only reducing heat loss, but also helping you save on your heating bill while reducing your impact on the environment. At Jans Awning Products, we help homeowners install new doors and windows all year round that keep their home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. We carry the North Star line of quality vinyl windows, and specialize in bay and bow windows. North Star windows have been specially designed to thrive under Ontario’s harsh weather conditions, while also looking fantastic!

You can see all of our Window options here. Alternatively, consider installing some storm windows. Did you know that simply installing a storm window can increase the efficiency of your windows by up to 45%? Storm windows act by sealing up drafts and reducing the loss of heat from the inside of your home.

Schedule a Furnace Inspection

The best time to schedule a furnace inspection is before you even need it! During a furnace inspection, a professional heating specialist will do everything from change the filters of your furnace, to check the electric connections, and make sure the emergency shutdown and startup functions are working properly. They will also calibrate the temperature controls and help you program the settings to suit your heating preferences and schedule. The most important part of a furnace inspection is changing or cleaning the filters. These filters are what keep your furnace operating efficiently and safely.

Seal Up Gaps with Caulking and Weather-Stripping

Even the smallest of gaps can lead to a horrendous amount of heat loss. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, these gaps around doors and windows can lead to between 5-30% of lost energy efficiency every single year! Take a close look at the areas where two different building materials meet, such as in corners, chimneys, where wires enter and exit your home, and all along the foundation. To find areas where you might be losing heat, use a stick of incense. Move a stick of lit incense along the exterior walls of your home, wherever the smoke of the incense wavers is where you are losing heat.

Lastly, make sure that your home is well insulated! Attics, garages, and basements are prime candidates for heat loss. Even if your home already has insulation in these areas, simply adding more can get your home even warmer!

To learn more about how our awning and window products can have your home warmer by winter time, contact Jans Awning Products today!

window cleaning

Spring Cleaning: getting results that last all year round!

When doing our annual spring cleaning, we often imagine things like cleaning out the garage, taking old household items to the dump, and starting with a clutter free home that seems to fill up again by the same time next year. Well this year go beyond the traditional de-cluttering and choose a few cleaning solutions that will last all year around.

woman cleaning window from the inside

Window and Door Maintenance

Spring is the perfect time of year to give not just your home, but your house a thorough cleaning. Choosing to clean your windows, doors and frames will help increase longevity of these products as well as control risks of mold and allergens developing in your home.

When washing window or door frames, use a soft cloth or long-handled soft-bristle brush to avoid any damage to the finish. A mild abrasive cleaner will usually be sufficient in most homes, but keeping it away from glass will avoid creating any unwanted streaks or marks on your windows. Stay away from chlorine bleach or liquid grease removers. Provided you follow the instructions, products such as SoftScrub, Ajax or BonAmi are perfect cleaners to use near glass or other delicate surfaces, while still effectively getting rid of tough stains from dirt or top soil, caulking, rust, mold or mildew.

When washing glass in windows or doors, you must use cleaners made specifically for glass that will not damage the glass or leave streaks or stains. There are many products available for this that comes in a variety of potencies depending on how strong of a product you are looking for.

If you have a specific stain on your glass that you need to remove, there are specialty products that can get rid of wax, permanent marker, oil, paint, pencil, rust, tar and bubble gum. A combination of Fantastik, Murphy Oil Soap and a solution of water vinegar and Windex can be made to combat each of these nasty stain causes.
Remember that for outdoor jobs or indoor windows that are high up, professional window cleaners will do a great job and have the proper tools to wash windows and doors effectively and safely.

Self-Cleaning Glass

If you are looking at installing new windows this season, consider self-cleaning glass. This specialty-made glass features a thin, clear, permanent coating on one of its surfaces. The coating makes raindrops spread out across the surface of the glass to wash away dirt particles. It also acts as a catalyst, when activated by sunlight, to break down organic dirt into water vapor and CO2 gas.

If you have a lot of windows or glass doors, self-cleaning glass is an investment in your home and a convenience you will enjoy for years after installation.

Can Birds Flying into my Windows be Prevented?

Every year, billions of birds smash into glass windows and kill themselves. Have you ever wondered why this happens? Is there a way to prevent this from happening?

Window Awning

Birds fly into windows because they can’t see the glass. They only see the reflections of trees and other natural elements in the glass. They assume that they can fly through the landscape reflected in the window. Unfortunately, they can’t.

One way of preventing this from happening is to make them realize that there is something there. Glass windows are one of the greatest threats that birds face today. They pose a threat to all bird species, but migratory birds are the biggest victims of these home design elements.

When birds hit windows, most of them die instantly. Others fall prey to predators like gulls and cats. Not only skyscrapers, private homes also endanger birds.

Why birds hit the windows?

Birds don’t see a glass window as a barrier. They only see the reflections of the trees or the sky. This is not surprising because sometimes people also walk into glass doors. While this is merely a matter of embarrassment for us, it is fatal for birds.

Home owners can prevent or reduce these collisions in several ways. Here are some solutions to this problem.

If you place bird feeders outside your windows, make sure that they are within 3 feet of the window. This will ensure that birds eating from the feeder will not gain enough speed to hurt themselves even if they try to fly through the window.

Another inexpensive and uncomplicated solution is to install a pattern on the window. Decals of hawks are not very helpful. The birds will probably never realize whether they are an abstract design or birds of prey.

Other seasonal fixes include the following.

• Place tape strips vertically or horizontally on the outside of the window. They are highly effective.
• Use window paints to obscure the window.
• Draw blinds. If you have indoor plants near the windows move them away. However, this will not help if there are reflections of the surroundings in the window.

Permanent fixes include the following:

• Install an opaque window film. This will reduce reflectivity and keep birds from hitting the windows. You can buy films that look opaque from the outside but allow you to view everything from inside. Films have to be placed on the outside of the windows for maximum effect. There is no guarantee that they will stay on these surfaces for a long time, but most of them do.
• Install awnings or shades in front of the windows. They are quite effective. They not only prevent birds from hitting your glass windows, but also provide protection from heat and dust.
• Install netting in front of the windows.

Glass Window Conclusions:

Glass windows are here to stay. They allow you to watch birds, plants and trees from inside your home. Though unintended, bird casualties are a consequence of modern home design. However, by applying some creativity you can make your windows safe for the birds.