Low-E Coated Glass

November 25, 2009

In winter, the inner surfaces of window glass can be 5 to 20 degrees cooler than the indoor air, depending on the window’s thermal efficiency and how cold it is outside.

Indoor air cools as it passes over the window and sinks, producing an uncomfortable draft. Insulated glass with a low U-value is warmer and improves comfort near windows.

Also, the larger the glass surface, the more it needs a low-E coating, a microscopically thin layer of metal oxide that reflects back infrared energy. Without the coating, the heat flowing out from your body would flow to and through the glass, increasing discomforting. But, with a low-E coating bounces the infrared energy back, so you feel warmer.

At West Coast Vinyl we offer 3rd generation Cardinal glass with low-E coated.

Mobile User Discovers Puddle Verticals

October 2, 2009

There are some new mobile startups that are blurring the boundaries of mobile local search. In a nutshell, these represent a move from local search as we know it online (“what” and “where”) to mobility and automatic discovery of nearby events.

In Copenhagen, Denmark a company call “mobilepeople” is evolving into to what is call  “mobile discovery 2.0″. This trend is consistent with many of the principles outlined last month — building search products that better utilize the realities of the device, such as portability, location awareness, time of day, and size (i.e., minimal finger tapping).

Puddle

Mobilepeople  discovers content based on user-defined preferences. These preferences are set when users create customized “puddles” — personalized search modules that automatically find results when opened.

A puddle created for restaurants could, for example, include places that have takeout and specialize in dim sum, Mexican, or Thai, but not Italian. Another example for the home improvement industry is energy efficient window. The module may show West Coast Vinyl windows, Cardinal glass, argon gas or Krypton gas. Puddles can be stored, shared, social networked, and accessed wherever (or whenever) a user happens to be.

“The idea is to get off a plane and discover products and services based on the customized needs of that specific user,” according to Mobilepeople. “We want to get to a point where consumers open the application and what  personalized puddle will discover for them.”

Vertical Challenges

For publishers, mobilepeople will likewise allow them to customize puddles based on the nature of their content.

Holiday or event puddles, for example, can be active for a specific period of time. This is an area where many local media companies are poking around to find incremental distribution for their content, and to get it in front of the right mobile users.

This also represents a departure from traditional local search in branching out beyond just listings, reviews, google search box, and yellow pages. The company is positioning this as a source of mobile distribution for any source of local or vertical content.

“The idea is to pull from multiple vantage points — yellow pages, newspapers, magazines, TV,” Mobilepeople said. “These all have content that is related to you within a 15- to 20-mile radius.”

This comes with a holistic strategy to be more of a one-stop shop  that appeals to users throughout their day. It’s a monster data challenge, but can be tackled with local content sources — something that mobilepeople has a proven ability to do.

Advertisers

The last, to this piece of  puzzle is the advertisers. This is tied to users (traffic), and to publishers (content and ad sales channels). Once these are in place, the discovery format can be attractive and accessible to mobile marketers.

Mobile engagement has been shown to have favorable ad performance over online. This next evolution of mobile local should have a better ad performance, based on the granular targeting that these products will allow.

Going past the most important location and contextual targeting, additional factors will come to define mobile local advertising.

Customize Your Home Improvement iPhone Apps

October 2, 2009

The above video is about iPhone 3GS mobile apps. Basically it shows all the possible apps you can use it for.

What makes this great is that, you can customize which apps that you use the most.  For example, a homeowner may have apps to search for restaurants, theaters, gas stations (with prices), and home improvement contractors.  You can specifically search for a window contractor like us, West Coast Vinyl.

Customizing what you want on your iPhone or Android, Blackberry.  Its all the same, with every phone you can customize it to your liking and usage.

Tax Credit For Window Film

September 28, 2009

Did you know that when you invest in window film to make your window more energy efficient, that you can claim a tax credit under the “Obama Home Improvement Stimulus Credit Program”?

So yes, if you purchase energy window film from West Coast Vinyl, at the end of the year you can claim up to $1500.  Not bad for a limited investment, as compared to the full install of energy efficient window. Its still not too late to get started on that old alum window that letting all that heat out.

Lower Energy Bill With Energy Film Window

September 28, 2009

If you are thinking of investing in energy efficient window but are not ready for the full deal.  West Coast Vinyl offers  alternative ways to make your window energy efficient and that is with energy window film.

Energy window film can cut your heating and air conditioning bills by up to 18% without darkening the room. Very affordable and easy to install – you don’t have to hire anyone to make expensive renovation.   this energy-efficient film applies to smooth glass fast and easy – without adhesives. Just peel it off and stick it on!

Keep out cold winter winds and hot summer sun!
Energy saving window film works to keep your home comfy and your utility bills low by blocking out sun and preventing heat or cool air loss. According to the US Department of Energy, more than $30 billion of energy is lost through single pane windows every year. Energy window film is an easy, inexpensive way to make homes more energy efficient.

We at West Coast Vinyl want you to make your home energy efficient, and we’re here to help.

Energy Efficient Windows Mobile Apps

September 25, 2009

windowiphoneapp

Thinking about replacing your old windows for energy efficient windows? Are you one of the millions in the U.S. that carries a smartphone? West Coast Vinyl energy efficient experts will have a mobile app that you can browse project videos and photos to gather information on energy efficient windows for your next home improvement project.  Maybe, you’re looking for an affordable window starter package and home improvement energy efficient  advices for the Do-it-Yourself.  West Coast Vinyl Home Improvement mobile Application can help you!

Over the past 20 years, we have helped thousands of home owners save money on their energy efficient window investment. Each home has reduced their gas bill by 40%. Even if you haven’t invested yet, but are thinking about upgrading those old aluminum windows, West Coast Vinyl mobile Application offers information on alternative ways to reduce loss of heat through your current window.

West Coast Vinyl mobile Apps Features:

- Browse hundreds of custom made photos of West Coast Vinyl energy efficient windows to gather ideas for your next project or share your energy windows style.
- Read helpful tips and tricks on caring your windows, and ways to improve on reducing heat loss.

This is just some of the few features in this mobile apps that we are working on to make your life comfortable when making a decision to improve your energy efficient home.  Soon it will be available for iPhone, Blackberry/Palm, and Google Androids.

Voice Recognition Apps For Mobile Users

September 21, 2009

Recognizing the challenges and limitations of manually keying in queries on mobile devices, the major engines all have voice interface/input options:

  • Google (has its own speech recognition technology)
  • Yahoo (has Vlingo for mobile oneSearch)
  • Microsoft (uses Tellme)

Simply speak into the phone to find a retailer, or say  generic keywords such as “best windows”, “pizza”, or “ATM”.

This mobile device, designed to work with the GPS systems of today’s mobile phones, will return content based on the proximity to the user.  A keyword of “window contractors” will return the five closest window contractors, like West Coast Vinyl, Jorge’s Windows, etc..

Consumers will increasingly use them to retrieve content and information because they’re faster and easier than manually keying in queries. This apps is still not perfect is still being worked on zeroing in on accuracy.

Visual Search Next Step To Easy Search

September 18, 2009

Visual search is another application that will become popular, not to be confused with image search . Currently, Bing a new search engine has come out with Bing Visual search. Google have their own version as well with Face Flip. Visual search may be one of the best ways to search for mobile user due to its size as compared to a laptop.  The goal is to make it easy for the user to search, thus creating an awesome experience.

Use of Visual Search

Imagine searching for something and not knowing the name so you are presented with some images. You type into the text to describe and will be presented with more pics to choose from.

Ease of Use Convenient Delivery

The ease of use and convenient delivery of providing the searchers with answers by a click of your mouse. Thus making this a useful experience for the users. It is speculated that Bing has optimized its search engine for mobile users. Mobile users are hampered with the size issue of the mobile device, so searching for information needs to be done quickly and easily.

For example, lets say that you don’t know the name of West Coast Vinyl a window company, but know the logo. You type into the query “energy efficient window” , you are now presented with a picture shown below.

WCV LOGO Main_medium

You tap the picture or click on it.  Easy convenient delivery of visual search is the goal that most websites should be working towards in providing a great experience for the users.  This may be the reason why the iPhone apps have over a billion downloads. iPhone followers love the easy sleek way of obtaining information.

Convenient Delivery Will Change Mobile Users

September 16, 2009

Convenient delivery of services will change how mobile users receive information. What are we talking about?, we are talking about what consumers do on their techie toys.  In this case its about the mobile device. Currently Apple iPhone has 70% of the market, with Blackberries and Google Android way behind.

What West Coast Vinyl noticed is that Apple is going to benefit from the  increased penetration of smart phones and will begin to change how consumers receive information on a mobile device. Progressively, this will change how users want to receive information on the desktop or laptop.

With the convenience of having information delivered, versus the inconvenience of searching, user behavior will change. In other words there are applications on a mobile device with a tap on the screen you will find a window contractor like West Coast Vinyl, and another tap to get info about the window or tap to make a phone call to get an estimate.

There is a voice applications as well, where you just speak into the mobile device or smart phone and you will get the information.  What makes the convenient delivery of these type of apps is the use of geo targeting with or without GPS technology to give you relevant local search results.

So for local businesses its important to get listed in the Yahoo Local, Google Local, and Localeze, etc..  This will help mobile users find your business easily.

Heres a quick peek of what voice recognition can do for Androids phone.

How Energy Efficient Is Your Window?

September 14, 2009

When you’re choosing to replace your  windows, it’s always smart to look for the Energy Star label. The information on each window’s NFRC label allows you to scan deeper and find the best match for your particular needs.

Thounsands of window, door and component manufacturers belong to the National Fenestration Ratings Council their submission are rated for energy efficiency. West Coast Vinyl windows all have the NFRC label. The NFRC’s distinctive label on each of its members’ windows rates several categories – different features can be more important in your particular situation, but in general all the ratings measure how well the window keeps the inside in and the outside out.

Here is the breakdown of what the sticker mean.

The U-Rating measures how well the window keeps heat from escaping – an especially big issue in the winter when you want to keep that expensive heat indoors. The lower the number (on a range between 0.20 and 1.20), the less heat escapes.

The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient measures how much heat the window lets in with the light – particularly of interest in those southwest-facing windows, perhaps. When you want to keep the A/C bills low, look for windows with a low solar heat gain coefficient.

Visible Transmittance measures (on a scale of 0-1) how much light the window allows to pass through; the higher the number, the more light is transmitted.

Air Leakage looks at one of the biggest culprits in a home’s unwanted gains and losses of heat: flow of air through less-than-perfect seals and other joints on the windows. The lower a window’s AL number, the less air it lets through.


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