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What is the energy efficiency of new windows?

February 1, 2017

There are three main components which make up the efficiency of a window:

  1. the glass type
  2. the frame material, and
  3. the operation type.

Most window manufacturers advertise their windows using the glass efficiency ratings (R-Values) but base that number on the most efficient part of the window - the centre of the glass.

But the overall full frame efficiency rating of the window is often a fair bit lower than the centre of glass rating, so make sure you compare this number as well. Our Project Consultants can help you understand both Centre of Glass and Full Frame Efficiency Ratings better.

Triple Glazed (aka Triple Pane) glass with Argon Gas and 2 Low-E Coatings achieves very high efficiency ratings (R-8 centre of glass) especially compared to older Double Glazed (aka Double Pane) glass with an air fill (R-2 centre of glass).

However, be aware that there are also Triple Glazed options that only have 1 Low-E coating (R-5.5 centre of glass) or even no Low-E coatings (R-3.3 centre of glass).

The window frame material also plays a role in energy efficient windows. Older windows were often made out of aluminum frames as it is a durable material. However, aluminum conducts heat very well and therefore is not a good insulating material for the cold Canadian climate.

Newer materials like Vinyl, Wood and Insulated Fiberglass window frames have much better energy efficiency ratings than aluminum.

The operating style of the window also plays a role in the overall efficiency of the windows.

Sliders don't seal as tight as casement and awning windows, and as such, don't rate as highly in overall window performance.

Contact us today to learn more about these details that can result in larger energy savings for your home.

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We look forward to the opportunity to get to know you and discuss the efficiency and comfort solutions we can offer for you, your family, and your home.

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