Canadian homeowners, did you know that choosing the right windows and ensuring proper installation can significantly impact your home’s energy efficiency and comfort?
According to many replacement windows Vancouver experts, the overall heat loss through old inefficient windows can go as high as 30%, making your energy bills skyrocket. That’s why we have prepared this comprehensive guide to share all the benefits of high-quality windows and help you select the best units for your home. In addition, you will learn all things installation and energy efficiency. Interested? Keep reading!
Canadian Tricky Weather: Why Is Energy Efficiency All Year Round Vital?
Living in Canada, we experience extreme weather conditions throughout the year. That’s why choosing new windows for your house in “Winterpeg” may differ significantly from Vancouver.
But what really matters is to be able to identify, buy and install only modern, high-quality energy-efficient units since they play a vital role in keeping our homes comfortable. Why? Here are some key reasons:
- Insulation properties: High-quality windows offer excellent insulation, reducing heat loss during freezing winter and heat gain during the scorching summer.
- Energy savings: Natural Resources Canada reports that energy-efficient windows can save homeowners up to 8% on their annual energy bills.
- Climate considerations: Choosing windows specifically designed for the Canadian climate to optimize performance, energy savings, and longevity is essential.
The Quest for Quality: Materials and Features Matter
Poor, inefficient windows can compromise your home’s comfort and energy efficiency. That’s a proven fact, so here’s a detailed list of what to look for when shopping for quality windows:
- Frames that last: Vinyl and fibreglass frames are known for their durability, low maintenance, and resistance to warping. Wood frames provide excellent insulation but require more upkeep, while aluminum frames are strong but less energy-efficient. Most manufacturers today will offer vinyl windows that are Canadian-made. They balance cost, energy efficiency and maintenance, making them top-1 choice for homeowners.
- Glazing options: Double or triple glazing reduces heat transfer and enhances insulation. Triple glazing offers the best performance in extreme climates but is more expensive. These units are up to 55% more energy efficient than regular windows, but before signing a replacement contract, analyze your weather conditions and energy bills. For example, in BC, where the weather is not that harsh (compared to MB or SK), double-pane units might be more than enough to keep you comfortable.
- Low-E coating: This thin metallic layer on the glass reflects heat, improving energy efficiency. In Canada, opt for a Low-E coating on the inner surface of the outer pane to retain heat during the winter. Check the infographics below to understand how this works.
- Gas fills: Argon and Krypton gases are up to 50% less heat-conductive than air. Filling the gaps between double and triple-pane windows with these gases helps reduce heat loss, condensation, and the impact of cold weather, resulting in enhanced energy savings and improved overall comfort.
- Spacer bars: Look for windows that come with Super Spacer – an advanced sealing technology that enhances your new units’ energy efficiency and soundproofing. Instead of using metal-based spacers, Super Spacer employs an all-foam solution that obstructs heat flow and significantly diminishes condensation. Ecoline Windows experts share that this tech can withstand temperatures of 140°F and humidity levels of 95 – 100%.
- Trustworthy warranties: Seek manufacturers that offer solid warranties. The best option would be the 25-year warranty for both labour and product. This means that if something is wrong with your new units, you won’t need to pay anything to get this fixed.
Brick by Brick: Expert Window Installation Matters
A flawless window installation is key to achieving optimal energy efficiency. DIY is not recommended here since it is easy to make even the best windows drop in their efficiency if something is installed or sealed incorrectly. Here are the critical steps for a successful, expert installation:
- Go Pro: Hiring experienced and certified installers ensures the job is done right, safeguarding your investment. To ensure you deal with the right guys, read Google and HomeStars reviews, ask friends for referrals and check similar past replacement projects.
- Precise measurements: Accurate measurements are crucial for a perfect fit, preventing drafts and minimizing heat loss. That is why professional installers should thoroughly measure your rough openings and consult you if you want to install taller or wider units.
- Installing and Sealing: Proper installation techniques guarantee your windows perform as intended, eliminating the risk of leaks and other issues. Once the frame is in place, your installers will add insulation around it and apply expanding foam to eliminate gaps.
- Leaks and energy efficiency checks: Afterwards, the installers will thoroughly test air infiltration before adding trim, addressing any leaks or drafts.
- Finishing touches: Installing the trim for a polished appearance and completing your window’s energy-efficient seal is the last step here. Inspect the installed and polished windows yourself to have no doubts the job is done perfectly. You should not feel any drafts or leaks, the window operation should be easy, and the overall look complements your exterior.
Canadian Window Trends: Where Style Meets Efficiency
Trendy windows that are also energy-efficient? Absolutely! Check out some popular styles among Canadian homeowners today:
- Casement windows: These windows seal tightly when closed, providing outstanding insulation and performance during Canada’s cold winters. They are best in terms of thermal performance among all operable units.
- Awning windows: Hinged at the top, they offer excellent ventilation while preventing drafts, making them a popular choice for energy-conscious Canadians.
- Design-focused efficiency: Choose windows that combine contemporary aesthetics with energy-saving features, such as Low-E coatings, double or triple glazing, and warm-edge spacer bars.
The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) provide performance ratings for windows, including U-factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC). These ratings can help you compare and choose the most energy-efficient windows for your home. Remember that the minimum Energy Rating (ER) for casements and all other window styles to be considered energy efficient is 34.
Window Maintenance: Getting the Most Out of Your Investment
Proper care and maintenance of your energy-efficient windows ensure they continue to perform optimally and prolong their lifespan:
- Cleaning: Regularly clean the glass, frames, and hardware according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Inspection: Occasionally inspect your windows for any signs of wear or damage, such as cracked glass, deteriorating seals, or rotting wood frames.
- Seal maintenance: Replace weatherstripping and re-caulk as needed to maintain an airtight seal and prevent drafts.
- Hardware: Lubricate moving parts and keep the hardware in good working order to keep your windows close tightly and maintain their energy-efficient seal.
Choose Wisely, Stay Cozy, and Save Money
Investing in energy-efficient windows and ensuring proper installation can significantly enhance your home’s comfort, energy savings, and overall value. You’re making a wise investment in your home’s future by selecting windows that suit your home, climate, and style preferences. Don’t hesitate to consult Canadian window replacement professionals for tailored advice and enjoy the benefits of energy-efficient windows in your home!