Windows and Doors
Evidence shows that when done right, energy-efficient doors and windows can reduce home energy costs by 7-12%.
Windows and Doors
Heat moves from warm areas to cold. As a result, improving the energy efficiency of your windows and doors can significantly reduce your home energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Evidence shows that when done right, energy-efficient doors and windows can reduce home energy costs by 7-12%. When buying windows and doors for your home, it's important to look for the most energy-efficient options and ensure they are installed properly.
Buying Efficient Windows and Doors
All windows and doors experience heat loss, but some models are better than others at keeping heat in your home. Here are some factors to consider when buying windows and doors:
- ENERGY STAR Certification - The most energy-efficient windows and doors will be ENERGY STAR-certified. However, not all ENERGY STAR choices are the same. Picking the right ENERGY STAR window or door depends upon where you live as each window and door is certified for one or more climate zones. Newfoundland and Labrador has three climate zones under this rating system.
- Glazing - Glazing refers to the transparent material (usually glass) in a window or door. Windows and doors may be single-glazed (one pane of glass), double-glazed (two panes), or triple-glazed (three panes). The principal benefit of multiple glazing is that air or gas is trapped between the layers of glass and acts as an insulator. Higher glazing will increase comfort and decrease heat loss, condensation and noise. In Canada, all homes should have at least double-glazed windows.
- Gas Fill - Most manufacturers offer inert gas fill in glazed units as an option to reduce heat loss. The gas used is odourless, colourless and non-toxic. Under normal conditions, it will remain inside the glazed unit for many years. Argon is the most common gas because it's a good insulator.
- "Low E Label" - Some windows are rated as "Low E," which refers to a "low emissivity" coating on the surface of the glass. The coating helps prevent heat from the sun from entering the house in the summer, when the sun is high in the sky, while allowing heat from the sun to enter the house in the winter, when the sun is lower in the sky.
Installing Windows and Doors
It is recommended that you have a knowledgeable professional install windows and doors according to the manufacturer's instructions. A poorly installed product may not operate properly and could cause drafts even though the product itself is energy efficient. Poor installation may also allow water to leak into the home, leading to costly damage. The following are some tips for installing windows and doors:
- The installation should provide an airtight, insulated seal.
- After installation, the window or door should retain its original shape and be level. Windows may be installed on an angle only if they are designed to do so.
- A window or door should not support any load other than its own weight.
- Exterior finishing, such as flashing, should be considered to prevent water penetration.