Clera Windows + Doors Blog

What Is The ENERGY STAR rating and Why Does It Matter?

Having an energy efficient windows in Toronto is crucial in 2019 to lower your hydro bills, prevent drafts, and do your bit for the environment.

Energy efficient products have been helping Canadians save thousands on their electricity bills for decades, with new improvements being made every year. The Canadian government recently revealed their emphasis on energy efficiency should lead to the creation of 118,000 new jobs by 2030, adding over $300 billion to the economy and saving Canadian households an average of $114 per year.

One of the main ways in which product are rated for their energy efficiency is with the ENERGY STAR mark.

But what is the ENERGY STAR mark and why should Canadian homeowners care?

This important standard is widely used in the United States and Canada and is applied to a range of products to denote energy efficiency. We’ve put together a handy guide to this symbol and what it means to you.

Living room with energy efficient windows in toronto

What is ENERGY STAR?

First off, we need to understand what exactly ENERGY STAR is in order to look into why it matters.

ENERGY STAR is a United States government-backed symbol developed in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It is designed to help consumers identify products that have met certain energy efficiency requirements in order to make informed decisions regarding products that can help them save money. Since its inception in 1992, ENERGY STAR has been used by over 40% of Fortune 500 companies, and has helped save 3.5 trillion kilowatt hours in the United States alone.

With over 90% of consumers recognising the ENERGY STAR symbol, it is an extremely powerful tool for consumers looking to choose the best energy efficient windows in Toronto.

How are products rated for ENERGY STAR?

The ENERGY STAR symbol is only given to products that meet certain requirements for energy efficiency compared to the industry average for that particular product.

The ENERGY STAR rating criteria changes from product to product, as different products will have different attributes that are important in its energy efficiency. For example, in order for a washing machine to be given the ENERGY STAR tick of approval, it would need to use 25% less energy and 33% less water than normal washing machines on the market.

Similarly, for an energy efficient window in Toronto to receive the ENERGY STAR symbol, it needs to have a U-Factor of less than or equal to 0.27, and a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of greater than or equal to 0.32. The U-Factor relates to the rate of heat lost from a window installation, with the lower the number the more efficient. A window’s SHGC describes how much of the sun’s radiation is allowed through the window and absorbed, transmitting the heat into the interior of the home.

Clera Windows + Doors takes pride in offering only the best energy efficient windows in Toronto that meets the strict ENERGY STAR standards required to earn the symbol. All of our windows are made in our Toronto manufacturing facility on the Super Spacer platform. Each window is treated with HydraGlass 50 coating and has an argon gas fill, increasing energy efficiency and temperature regulation exponentially.

Diagram showing energy efficient windows in Toronto

What makes up an energy efficient window?

There are several features of an energy efficient window that help it reach the requirements of an ENERGY STAR rating. This will depend on the style and size of the window, but typical elements of good ENERGY STAR windows include:

Frame Material

The right frame material can have a dramatic impact on the energy efficiency of a window. Vinyl windows offer excellent thermal insulation and low maintenance, making them a preferred option for cooler countries like Canada. Fiberglass is another preferred frame material due to their durability and insulation properties. Aluminium frames are recyclable and durable, but can lose more temperature through heat conduction.

Multiple Panes

While you might think that windows are just one solid pane of glass, many windows are actually two or more panes of glass sandwiched together. By having multiple panes in a window, the energy efficiency is greatly reduced due to air or gas filled space between the panes. This acts as an extra layer of insulation and prevents more radiation absorbed from the sun. Multiple pane energy efficient windows in Toronto also offer enhanced impact resistance and sound insulation, which can be especially important in metropolitan centres.

Gas Fills

The space between glass panes in energy efficient windows in Toronto is often filled with special insulating gases to receive the ENERGY STAR certification. Popular gas fills are argon, krypton, and other noble gases, which are odourless, inert, and non-toxic. These gases insulate better than normal air, which can in turn offer more savings on power bills through increased insulation.

Low-E Glass

In recent years, special coatings have been developed that can be applied to windows to improve their light filtering properties. Low-E coatings help windows to block more infrared light, keeping interiors cooler in summer and warmer in winter. They also block UV light from entering the home, helping to protect furniture from fading and reducing the risk of sunburn.

Warm Edge Spacers

Multiple pane windows often use spacers to keep the glass the right distance apart, as well as improving insulation. Using non-metallic or metallic hybrid spacers can create even more energy efficient windows in Toronto when coupled with the right gas fill and low-E glass. Clera Windows + Doors ensures that all our windows use the leading warm edge spacers to enhanced energy savings and reducing heat transfer through our windows.

Are you looking to replace your windows in Toronto for more energy efficient ones? You could save thousands on your energy bill in no time! Contact Clera Windows + Doors today and one of our window experts will help you choose the perfect windows for you home.

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