Windows are an essential part of any home. They fill your living space with natural light, provide beautiful views, and contribute to the overall design of your house. Windows are also the biggest contributors to energy loss in your home. With newer energy efficient window technology, you can reap the benefits of having lots of windows in your home without experiencing significant energy loss.
What is wrong with my old windows?
Older windows are often the culprit for escaping heat in the winter time. Over the years they may have worn out from constant use and exposure to weather. I some cases weather stripping, hardware, and frame materials can suffer wear and tear and start letting in cold drafts. Windows have evolved from single pane, to double and triple-pane with state-of-the-art sealed insulation systems. Is it time your home had a window replacement? Read more articles about windows.
Why invest in ENERGY STAR certified energy efficient windows?
ENERGY STAR rated windows and doors are up to 40 per cent more energy efficient that the standar window. According to ENERGY STAR, certified windows, doors, and skylights will:
reduce your home energy costs by at least 8 percent
reduce or eliminate cold drafts
collect less condensation
reduce noise from outside
Energy Star has divided Canada into four climate zones based on each zone’s average annual temperature. Products are Energy Star qualified for energy efficiency in each separate zone. Some products are meet qualifications for all four zones. The more zones the product is qualified for, the more energy efficient it is. Purchasing an efficient window qualified for a zone colder than your own will be the most efficient and will help you save on energy costs.
Low-e glass: The Low-E (low-emittance) glass is a coating on the glass that is made of virtually invisible metallic oxide layers that reduce the U-factor by suppressing radiant heat flow. Most heat is transferred and lost through thermal radiation from the warm layer of glass to the cooler one. Facing the surfaces of glass that have the Low-E coating into the gap between the two glass layers blocks radiant heat transfer. The coating still lets in visible light and you can still see clearly through them.
Argon gas: If you didn’t fill the space with a gas fill, heat would be conducted out through the air space between the layers. Argon is a nontoxic, clear, and odorless gas that is less conductive than regular air and proves to be a better insulator. It reduces the convection currents in the space, reduces the overall transfer of heat, and creates a more energy efficient window.
Spacers: When window manufacturers started using the double-glazing process in the 1960’s, they used aluminum spacers between the layers of glass. Because aluminum is such a strong conductor of heat it allowed a lot of energy to escape. Over the years manufacturers have replaced the aluminum spacer with materials that are less conductive. Most window manufacturers use an insulating foam spacer that uses a high-strength adhesive, backed by a secondary sealant at effectively blocks the heat escape path.