Energy-efficient windows are designed in order to prevent cooled or heated air from escaping from your home through the windows. Not only does their increased insulation ensure that your home’s interior remains comfortable in the warmer and colder Canadian months, but they can also save you money by reducing your home’s energy usage!
In order to help you make a more energy-conscious decision on which replacement windows are the right choice for you, we have put together a short guide on energy-efficient windows.
What Makes a Window Energy-Efficient?
There are four main factors that contribute to a window’s energy efficiency. These factors include the glass, frame, and installation of the window.
Vinyl is oftentimes seen as “cheap” because it tends to be the most budget-friendly option when it comes to replacement windows. However, just because it is a less expensive material that doesn’t mean it’s not an energy-efficient choice. Vinyl windows insulated glass and airtight seals reduce the amount of air that will leak through them.
Speaking of glass, when selecting what kind of glass your replacement windows should have, there are a few boxes that you’ll want to check. In order to be a properly energy-efficient window, you will want to look for a Low-E, argon-filled, double-paned (or even triple-paned) window. Low-E windows mean that your home is protected from the sun’s hot rays in the summer and argon insulation will prevent heat from escaping in cold winter temperatures.
You should also ensure that your windows are properly installed. Even if you purchase the highest-quality energy-efficient windows, improper installation can prevent them from performing effectively, ultimately costing you more money in the long run.
How to Tell If a Window Is Energy Efficient
The quickest and simplest way of figuring out if a window is energy efficient is to look for the ENERGY STAR logo. This blue seal of approval means that a window has been put through a thorough testing process and it meets a variety of industry-accepted energy-efficiency standards. For example, ENERGY STAR certified windows allow infrared light into your home to prevent warm air from escaping in Northern climates such as Canada.
Which Windows Are Most Energy Efficient?
The truth of the matter is that some windows are designed and manufactured to be more energy-efficient than others. If you are looking for the best types of windows to put in your home, the most common energy-efficient ones include casement windows, double-hung windows, and picture windows.
Casement windows are some of the most popular windows installed in homes today because of their maximizing air ventilation abilities. Additionally, they are also some of the most energy-efficient windows that you can choose from. In instances when strong winds blow toward your home, less efficient windows may leak cold air inside. When this happens with casement windows installed, the wind’s pressure actually causes them to seal even tighter, making them a great choice for extreme climates.
However, in order to maintain optimal energy efficiency, casement windows will still require some maintenance. This usually involves ensuring that the stability and functionality of the window’s hinges and the seal continue to remain intact.
Double-hung windows are especially common in older homes, but they remain a popular modern choice due to their versatility and ability to open without protruding either inwards or outwards of the home. They are a great energy-efficient window option for milder climates, but casement windows are still the best choice for more extreme weather as air might find its way between the sliders.
Picture windows are also known as fixed windows, which means that they remain closed and do not open. Generally, they are manufactured to less frame and more glass in order to provide homeowners with unobstructed views. However, this means that many people have the misconception that due to their large glass surfaces they are not energy efficient. But that’s not the case. As long as they are manufactured with high-quality double-paned glass, they should serve you well.
Improving Existing Windows’ Energy Efficiency
Although investing in replacement windows is your best option to maximize their energy efficiency, there are steps you can take to improve your existing windows’ ability to be energy efficient. This includes reapplying your caulking if there are cracks or gaps between the window frame and the glass or adding weatherstripping. Both of these steps will give your home’s windows a tighter seal, increasing their efficiency.
Energy Efficient Windows with Clera
In some cases, it is not enough to try and improve your existing windows’ energy efficiency. If your windows are older or show signs of degradation, you may want to consider getting replacement windows altogether.
All of Clera’s windows are ENERGY STAR certified, meaning that when you choose us you can rest assured that your replacement windows are energy efficient. Our leading vinyl designs are a practical, energy-efficient option for homeowners through insulated glass and tight, air leakage reducing manufacturing.
Clera Windows + Doors has been servicing Toronto and the surrounding area for over 40 years. Contact us today to find out how we can fit you with the best energy-efficient windows that still work within your budget.