Windows provide warmth, light, and protection. They are the portal to the outdoors and often present significant heat loss. As such, they hugely impact your home’s energy efficiency. During Toronto winters you spend a lot of money keeping your home warm. The last thing you need in a cold climate is deficient windows. Certain window types will prevent heat loss and reduce your energy costs during colder months. Here is what you need to know:
What Makes Windows Energy Efficient?
There are two basic parts to each window: the frame and the glass. Both of these work together to ensure energy efficiency.
Energy Efficient Window Frames
Frames are an important part of windows and should have zero air leaks when you close the windows. All the corners and hinges should seal tightly. Another important aspect is the frame material. There are several to choose from. Wood, vinyl, and fiberglass are excellent insulators. They do not conduct heat and will improve energy efficiency.
Energy Efficient Window Glass
The glass is also important. You want to make sure you have the right glass coatings, inert gas, and number of panes for the Toronto climate. You want a special metallic oxide coating on the inner surface of your glass. This prevents heat transfer from the warmer climate inside to the outside, colder climate. You can also choose double or even triple panes to increase insulation. As for the gas between panes, different densities and types of gas will combine for improved insulation. How do you know if you are looking at energy efficient glass? You need to pay close attention to the ratings printed on your window label.
Reading Window Labels
There are four main ratings to pay attention to. The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) is a number between 0 and 1. It tells you the amount of heat absorbed by the glass. A higher SHGC lets in more heat, which is good for colder climates. A recommended value for colder climates is 0.55. With that, you can naturally warm your home with heat from the sun.
The U-factor measures non-solar heat transfer. Zero means the window allows absolutely no heat through. This is good because this means it is an excellent insulator, but not feasible. No window will block out 100% of non-solar heat. A good U-factor for cold climates is 0.33 or less.
Visible Transmission (VT) is the last rating. It gives the measurement for the amount of daylight that passes through the glass. Windows with higher VT ratings let in more light and reduce the costs of lighting your home.
Air Leakage (AL) tells you how much resistance the window has against air leaks. The lower the number, the better the seals. This measurement is not a requirement, however, and you might not find it listed on your window label.
Choosing Brock for Energy Efficient Windows
Looking for professional help choosing energy efficient windows in Toronto, ON? Call us today at (416) 324-2604 or visit our showroom, 2131 McCowan Rd., Scarborough, ON M1S 3Y6, Canada. Our knowledgeable home improvement specialists will walk you through the energy ratings on our windows and help you pick out the best brand and style for your unique needs in Toronto.