Clera Windows + Doors Blog

Why wind resistant windows are important

Not all windows are the same. If you live in a windy climate, or have a home that is situated in a zone where these conditions are common, having wind resistant windows is a must have. When manufactured, all windows are tested for their ability to withstand direct contact. In Canada, every window that is made must meet minimum safety standards before they can be sold. High winds can warp or damage the glass on a window, and if strong enough, can even cause the entire frame to be blown inward. The rating system varies from C1 to C5. The former is the weakest strength and can withstand wind speeds up to 45 mph. In a controlled testing environment, windows rated at C1 will break at these speeds. C5 rated windows can withstand much stronger winds, and have been shown to function well at very high speeds. In conjunction with the Canadian Standard Association, C2 windows are advised for most homes in Canada. Windier regions (Cardston, Newfoundland, and Coral Harbour, to name a few), will require higher strength windows.

Why you should buy a wind resistant window

All windows possess the ability to resist wind. However, to what degree of speed can they still function is the question you should be asking before making a purchase. One should never install an improperly and underrated window in their home or business. Doing so can potentially be very dangerous. In the event of a storm with winds stronger than a window can withstand, the product will ultimately fail. When this happens, broken glass and other debris will be flying about at lethal speeds. Even if no one is present, a broken window will allow all of the elements inside the space, which can cause extensive damage. These scenarios emphasize the importance of installing properly rated windows.

What wind resistant window should you choose?

Choosing the right wind resistant window for your home will inevitably depend on your location. It is wise to do your research beforehand in order to make sure spending a large sum of money on windows that might not be sufficient for your needs. The CSA provides information on the regions in Canada that necessitate C3 and higher rated windows. For individuals living outside of these “windy zones,” a C2 rated window should be more than sufficient. It is strongly advised that one should not purchase a C1 window. Any reputable window contractor in Canada will be aware of the CSA standards, and will thus ensure their customer is choosing the proper resistance window. Furthermore, they should be able to make the proper decision for their customers via an initial consultation. Any quality contractor will be able to determine which window will be best for their customer once they know where they live in Canada. Installing properly rated windows will ensure your home or business will be protected in the event of a storm. These standards are set in place for a reason, so it is wise to follow them. Never buy an underrated window simply because it is cheaper. The potential costs will be much higher than your initial investment.



  • Avatar for Sam Cofferf – Markham Sam Cofferf – Markham says:

    I don’t live in one a really windy zone, but I never knew we had to have C2 rated windows here in Canada. I have a buddy that I believe installed some C1 rated ones in his lower level. I don’t think anything would ever happen, but I’m sure he wouldn’t be happy to read this. I’ll have to see where he bought the windows, because I would think the company that sold them should have known about these standards. I guess it goes to show that research pays off.

  • Avatar for Susan from Whitby Susan from Whitby says:

    My husband and I are considering replacing the windows in our home. I live in Whitby. What rating should we get? It concerns me to think about the potential hazards involved in the event of a storm. I’m going to have to have him read this before we start shopping around. Scary stuff.

  • Avatar for Timothy – Oshawa Timothy – Oshawa says:

    Are C5 windows necessary for residential homes, or just commercial buildings? I would imagine these are going to be very expensive. However, you can never be too careful. It is a relief to know that most of Toronto is safe with the lower rated versions. This is some good information to keep on hand.

  • Avatar for Justin Justin says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Windows are such a big deal when you live or work in an area that gets high winds. My office is in a location where spring storms normally bring up to 40-45 MPH winds. There are a few older places in town that have had to replace windows, but because I have high rated windows I know I don’t have to worry. Knowing I have good quality window brings peace of mind and not to mention better windows mean better utility bills!

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