How to make the best choice for your window replacement

Blog | September 2018

How often do you think about your windows? Chances are, unless the glass shatters or the wood rots, you might take the windows in your home or workplace for granted. A great window bathes the room in natural light; and whether it’s a beautiful Saturday morning or a long, boring day at work, exposure to sunlight boosts our health and mood.

If you’ve begun to consider window replacement as a viable solution to brightening your home, you may have come across the terms “residential” and “commercial”. Residential and commercial windows function in different ways and understanding each window type will help you make an informed decision.

Choosing the right window type has a variety of benefits. A good window will make your home more comfortable, attractive, and energy efficient. The benefits of an energy efficient window are especially noticeable in commercial buildings, which overwork their HVAC systems to combat the electricity usage from large amounts of people. Better windows mean the building does not need to use as much internal heat, because the insulated windows prevent air leakage.

When it comes to the structure of windows, commercial windows and residential windows are very different. The North American Fenestration Standard (NAFS) assigns windows four separate grades: Residential (R), Light Commercial (LC), Commercial Windows (CW), and Architectural Windows (AW). These grades decide which window type is best suited for each kind of building.

The NAFS categorizations are as follows:

  • R- used in single or double family homes

  • LC- used in low-rise and mid-rise multi-family homes

  • CW- used in low-rise and mid-rise buildings that have higher loading requirements and

    limits on deflection. These windows are larger and more durable than lower grade


  • AW- used in mid-rise and high-rise buildings that have higher loading requirements, and

    limits on deflection. These windows stand up to the extreme weather conditions that come with the elevation and arrangement of high rise buildings.

    While homeowners can choose whichever type of window they want, we recommend a few guidelines to ensure the best decision for your home. For instance, installing high capability, architectural grade windows in a residential home would not be necessary. Residential homes are not subject to the same high-pressure winds and structural components as commercial buildings, therefore, installing commercial grade windows in a single-family house would be less beneficial than using a lower grade window. The opposite is also true. Putting low grade windows in a high-rise condominium would mean less energy efficiency, more leaking and condensation, and even outright structural damage.

Another factor to consider when choosing your window type is the price difference between residential and commercial windows. Residential windows are cheaper, more lightweight, and have a simpler installation process. However, while commercial windows are costlier, they are also thicker and more durable. Installing a highly rated commercial grade window will pay off in the long run with better energy efficiency and a safer home.

Now that you understand the basic differences in window grades and their functionality, you can take the next step towards a brighter, happier home.

If you are interested in replacing windows for your high-rise condominium, give us a call at OneSource Window Systems, and we would be happy to set you up with a free estimate. 

What People are Saying

“I was very surprised when I sat down to write this, because it is something I never do. After our windows were installed, I felt I could not miss the opportunity to extend my thanks and to offer a testimony toward the fantastic work that was completed. You have a fantastic team working at OneSource. I was well informed of when the phases would take place, the cost and what needed to be done. Your entire installation team was fast, efficient and courteous. I feel that I can not speak highly enough of the work that was done. I will highly and happily recommend your company, crew and windows.”

- Brad – Hyde Park

“OneSource is truly outstanding. I just want to say, ‘Thank You.’ A wonderful experience in all aspects.”

- Dave – Greenhouse

“We found the engagement to be a very positive experience. The product is as advertised and we noticed a difference during the winter months. Our installation took place on the planned date and time. Your project manager came by to do an inspection and noticed the screen door was a bit sticky. The installers came back and corrected it. The installation crew was quiet, efficient and made the least possible mess. Without reservation, we recommend One Source to our neighbors. In fact we have recommended OneSource to a friend who is on the board of a condominium!”

- Lois – Tower Villas

“I wanted to take a moment to formally thank each of you for delivering an excellent product via excellent customer service and project management. Throughout this process, everyone has lived up to every word of your mission statement. On top of that, I love my new windows and doors!”

- Laurel – Tower Villas

“First, let me say that the new windows are fabulous! The installation last week went incredibly smoothly and I can not say enough nice things about your staff. Thanks again for your help!”

- Laura – Horizon House

“The windows are great and your work crew should be commended for a job well done. They are very thorough and meticulous. I can already hear and feel the difference with the new windows.”

- Jini – Horizon House

“Your installation crew moved quickly on the install and left the condo neat and clean. I find my condo is better insulated and there is less street noise. I am extremely pleased.”

- Gaye – Tower Villas

“THANK YOU! I came home to my new windows yesterday and they are AWESOME! It’s amazing just how much of the traffic noise is left outside. The cleanliness, ease of sliding and everything about them is exceptional. I was also very impressed by how clean everything was. Your team left my home in great order!”

- Karen – Horizon House

“The doors are awesome! They have made such a huge difference in noise reduction alone plus I can actually open and close them without feeling like I’m pulling a major muscle!”

- Alicia – Horizon House

“You and your work crew are to be commended for their neatness and tidiness in cleaning up after the work, both in the house and in the corridor. I appreciate this very much.”

- Dorothy – Hyde Park

“Your crew did a very good job installing and cleaning up as well. I would recommend your product and service. Job well done!”

- Suzy – Tower Villas

“The doors are awesome, definitely well worth the money.”

- Jim – Horizon House