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Many window options available

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Dear Jim - Although the window frame affects convenience and appearance, the glass is still the heart of any window. The minimum quality you should select is double-pane low-emissivity glass with argon gas in the gap.

The drafts and noise coming through my old windows drives me nutty, not to mention the painting, curtain fading, etc. What types of quiet wood windows are available for security and low maintenance? - Carl

Dear Carl - Wood windows, without a doubt, are the most attractive of all types. Many of the newer ones are also relatively maintenance-free. The various super-insulated glass options block nearly all outdoor noise and the sun's fading rays. In cold climates, condensation is virtually eliminated.

Many attractive and contemporary wood replacement windows are made of natural mahogany, redwood, teak, cherry and ash; however, these do require some regular maintenance. For the least maintenance, but with more sterile look, select vinyl-clad or aluminum-clad wood windows.

The styles and designs of wood windows are virtually endless. With wood frames, custom profiles, to match your existing windows, are possible.

Some companies allow you to design your own ornate shapes and grid patterns.

Choose tilt-turn wood windows for the ultimate security from burglaries and for the greatest versatility. These have been popular in Europe for years. You can leave them open for ventilation without fear of unwanted guests.

By turning one handle 90 degrees, the window switches from a hopper design (tilts in at the top just a little) to a swing-in casement window. In the hopper position, the window can be left open in a rain storm without water leakage. In the casement position, they are easy to clean from indoors.

Tilt-turn wood windows are also very airtight and efficient because the weatherstrip seal is compressed when the window is closed. Standard double-hung and slider windows use friction seals that wear out more quickly.

Another security option is switchable privacy glass. At the flip of a switch, the window turns from clear to frosted. This is great for a window near a Jacuzzi. Tischler und Sohn Co. also offers windows with a built-in burglar alarm feature, both on the frame and for glass breakage.

Although the window frame affects convenience and appearance, the glass is still the heart of any window. The minimum quality you should select is double-pane low-emissivity glass with argon gas in the gap. This is often the standard now for many major window manufacturers. Select tinted in hot climates.

The low-e coating reduces heat loss and gain year-round and also blocks much of the sun's fading rays. The heavy argon gas, instead of air, in the gap saves energy and greatly reduces outdoor noise transmission.

Write for or instant download (www.dulley.com) Update Bulletin No. 523 buyer's guide of efficient, low-maintenance wood windows, styles, wood types, warranties and features. Please include $3 and a business-size SAE.

James Dulley, Deseret News, 6906 Royalgreen Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45244

Dear Jim - I have some old mirror tiles that I want to remove from a bedroom wall. They are attached with some type of adhesive. What is the best way to get them off without damaging the wall? - Joan

Dear Joan - Most mirror tiles are held in place with small rubbery adhesive pads.

They are usually thick enough to get a hacksaw blade behind the tile to cut them.

If you are careful not to damage the tiles (reflective coating is on the back), you can use them in another room. Clean the adhesive spots off of the wall with mineral spirits and sand them with some fine sandpaper.