Are you looking forward to a complete remodeling of your home or simply need to replace your windows? Either way, getting yourself energy-efficient windows is always a smart move to make. The reasons are plenty, but the most important is your protection from the harsh Canadian weather. You can also find that a lot of windows improve the energy efficiency of your house overall.
While investing in energy-efficient windows sounds reasonable, there are plenty of essential aspects to know. That is why we have contacted Ecoline windows and doors experts to ask all the questions you might be interested in.
This post will give you valuable insights on the reasons to invest in energy-efficient windows and how they might affect your house’s thermal performance and energy bills. Stay tuned.
How Do Energy-Efficient Windows Work?
Let’s start with this first. Energy-efficient windows essentially work by preventing heat loss or making a living in your house more comfortable despite the weather.
There are several technologies that go into making energy-efficient windows. Let’s discuss these technologies that keep you warm during winter and cooler during summer.
- Double and Triple Pane Windows
Window panes take up the most space on a window, so they are the most vulnerable to harsh weather conditions. For optimum heat insulation qualities, double and triple-pane windows are essential. You can really address this concern by replacing them.
Double-pane windows are adequate in the traditional prairie climate. However, for regions with longer and harsher winters, triple-paned windows are the most efficient. Take into account, though, that windows with triple glazing are usually 10-15% more expensive.
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Source: Ecoline Windows
- Krypton and argon gas filling
Another great technology that makes windows energy-efficient is filling the space between the windows with argon or krypton gas. Filling these spaces with either Krypton or argon gas seals these spaces and prevents both heat loss and gain. This is possible since both these gasses conduct half as much heat as air does.
- LoE Coat
LoE Coated glass is often utilized to help deal with the UV rays from the sun. It is aimed at blocking up to 90% of the sun’s rays. Windows like this help show why it can be beneficial to replace them from an energy efficiency standpoint.
In effect, it keeps your home warmer during the cold periods by retaining heat from the interior better. On the flip side, the coat will equally filter the UV rays and reduce solar heat gain during summer.
Depending on how harsh the winters are in a particular area, there are several combinations of this glass coating that can be used for different degrees of performance.
Reasons to Invest in Energy-Efficient Windows
Now you should better understand what energy-efficient windows are and how they work. But still. Should you take a bold decision and put that much money into replacing your old windows with new energy-saving ones? Let’s find out.
- Increased Insulation
Because of their double (or triple)-pane design and the inert gas components used in manufacturing the glass, energy-efficient windows allow much better insulation than their single-pane analogues. This blocks air leakage, so you retain warm and cool air indoors.
- Low utilities and energy bills savings
Thanks to the energy-efficiency technology, you no longer have to rely heavily on your HVAC system for air conditioning. You will have better control of the temperatures in your home, therefore, saving you a great deal on the utility costs of maintaining and keeping the HVAC system running since Energy Star-certified windows are to be about 20% more energy efficient than the average window.
- Noise Reduction
The insulation these windows offer diminishes the noise from the outdoor that come to your area. When you install energy-efficient windows, the sounds of traffic or harsh winds will be of no concern to you.
- Protection of your property
Believe it or not, sunlight tends to fade your home upholstery over time. Energy-efficient windows block the UV rays from the sun. This, in turn, keeps the colour of your carpet, paint, and wood protected and ensures they retain their original state.
- Part of environment conservation
Energy-saving windows reduce the reliance on the HVAC system, especially the older versions that still require the use of fuel or gas.
Factors affecting Energy-Efficiency
There are three major factors affecting the energy efficiency of any window. Understanding these three factors will help you determine whether a particular window is made up to standard or not.
- The U & R values
The U-factor is basically how fast or slow the windows or doors or any other product conducts heat, not from the sun. Often for windows, the U-factor may represent the glazing. As a consumer, you want a product with a lower U-factor that represents better energy efficiency.
R-Value frequently goes hand-in-hand with U-factor and applies to the insulating level of the particular window. In other words, it indicates how well it keeps heat in your residence. The glazing is the main contributor to R-value, and you can improve this value with additional panes. The higher is the R-value, the better is energy efficiency.
- The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient
This is the fraction of heat from the sun admitted in your house through the window by absorption, which ultimately gets in your room as heat.
So, a lower SHGC means less solar heat will be transmitted to your house through windows, and the reverse is true for higher SHGC.
So ultimately, the specific climatic conditions of your region should determine the SHGC of the window you get.
Energy Efficiency Standards
Well, after reading all that above, you might be interested in how to find out if a particular window has all those features needed to be an energy-efficient product? Well, that is actually easy. In Canada, a window is energy-efficient if it complies with some industry standards. Yes, here we mean the Energy Star. It is a national organization that tests windows and other home appliances and sets a standard for every product. But what qualifies any window as energy star rated?
Here are some of the factors:
- Windows must be manufactured by an Energy Star partner.
- Windows should be tested, certified, and verified independently by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC)
- Must possess an energy rating that meets the efficiency guidelines.
Go with a Professional Installation
Any window is as good as its installation. Even the best energy-efficient windows will not be of much help when installed poorly. Do your due diligence, research online, talk to different companies before settling for one. Lastly, ensure the installer is well versed with the type of windows you are installing, and always remember to ask for a warranty beforehand.