energy efficient windows in a toronto home

Energy Efficient Windows Explained

Posted: 04/12/17 - Category: Windows

As a homeowner in Toronto, you have many different home upgrades or renovations that you could get. However, if you are looking for the best value for your home upgrade budget, one of the best things that you could do is install energy efficient windows. We provide window cleaning services across Toronto, so this home upgrade is one area we are quite familiar with and recommend homeowners take seriously.

The reason that an upgrade to efficient windows is a good value is because it will reduce the cost of heating and cooling the home. In addition to that, energy efficient upgrades like windows add value to the home, and they can be a good selling point if you ever decide to move.

About Energy Efficient Windowsenergy efficient window cross section showing the interior of the windows

Your windows have a significant impact on your home’s energy efficiency. During the winter, it is heat loss, and during the summer, it is heat coming in from the outside. Energy efficient windows are designed to mitigate both of these effects.

With standard windows, you have a single pane of glass. With just the one pane, heat can easily transfer from one side to the other. As an additional point, standard windows may also be framed from materials that are more conductive, and this is an additional concern for heat loss.
When you go with energy efficient windows, you get a multi-pane design that helps to reduce the amount of heat flow. Not only do you have the two panes, but there is also a pocket of gas in between the panes. Heat does not transfer easily through still air, so this is an effective measure to improve the window’s ability to resist heat flow. Beyond that, the housing and framing of the window will be constructed of a material that is less conductive, and it may have several layers of material that act as insulation against heat loss.

To protect against heat absorption in the summer, the windows will also be treated with a low-emissivity coating. Usually, this is a coating of microscopic metallic oxide. This coating is clear, so you do not see it, but it reflects much of the sunlight back away from the windows.

Getting the Right Windows for Your Home

climate zones in canadaWhen it comes to finding the right windows for your home, there is more to it than just deciding that you want energy efficient windows. There are various window designs, and getting the right ones will depend on where you live and the design of your home.

There are a few reasons to ensure that you are getting the right energy efficient windows for your home. Firstly, different windows are designed for different climate zones. If you get the wrong ones, you might find that they do not perform as well as you had expected. Secondly, if there are any government rebate programs available in your region, your eligibility could depend on having the right windows for the region in which you live.

When it comes to climate zone, there is a map from Natural Resources Canada that can help you to find your climate zone. Since we are primarily talking about Toronto in this post, you would be looking for windows that are rated for climate zone 2. When you buy energy efficient windows, it should have information like the climate zone for which the windows are designed. If you want windows that are even better for insulating against the cold, you could consider buying windows that are designed for a colder climate. In the case of Toronto, that would be installing windows for climate zone 3 instead of zone 2.

While getting the right windows is an important step toward improving the energy efficiency of your home, installation is also a key concern. For the windows to perform as intended, they need to be properly installed and sealed. For this reason, it is a good idea to ensure that your energy efficient windows are installed by professionals.

The Benefits of Energy Efficient Windows

An upgrade to energy efficient windows can come with several benefits. For most people, it is simply about saving money on their home heating and air conditioning, but there are other potential benefits that you may not have considered.

The top benefit of getting energy efficient windows is the idea of saving money on home heating and cooling. On average, Energy Star approved windows could save you about 8% on your annual home energy costs. With windows that have the new Energy Star Most Efficient rating, you are getting windows that are up to 40% more efficient than regular windows.

Energy efficient windows can also improve home comfort. With the upgrade to energy efficient windows, you won’t experience as many of those cold drafts that can make things uncomfortable. Furthermore, you won’t have the direct sunlight coming in the home during the summer to heat up various surfaces.

These windows can also protect the home, and things like furniture. Ultraviolet rays can cause damage to things like floors and furniture. With the low-emissivity coating on energy efficient windows, less of this radiation comes through to cause damage to your home and the items inside.

Having these windows will also take some of the work off your home HVAC system. By reducing the workload of your furnace and your air conditioner, you not only save money on your utility bills, but it can also extend the life of these machines.

As a final point for the benefits, energy efficient windows are good for the environment. Energy efficient windows can reduce the carbon footprint of your home by cutting down on the amount of electricity or fossil fuels that have to be used in heating and cooling the home. As a further point, you are also helping to conserve resources, thus helping to preserve a more sustainable world for future generations.

If you want a high value home upgrade that will offer a return on the investment, there are few that can compare to installing energy efficient windows. By choosing this type of upgrade, you are not only taking a step to save yourself money, but you are also doing your part to protect the environment and conserve resources.