WHAT MAKES A WINDOW ENERGY-EFFICIENT?August 21, 2019, 09:35 AM
Windows | Materials
It’s easy to say that a window is energy-efficient, but it’s important to recognize why… An energy-efficient window is the sum of its components.
The sealed unit (thermopane)
The sealed glass unit in a window is referred to as the thermopane, which is in itself a combination of a few components:
- Low Emissivity glass, called LowE, has a fine metallic coat which prevents heat loss through the windows by reflecting the heat back inside your house during the cold months, while heat rays are reflected back outside during the summer.
- Inert gas, in our case Argon, is a clear, non-toxic gas used to fill the thermopane. Heavier than air, argon offers greater resistance to heat loss and reduces exterior noise.
- Low-conductivity or “warm edge” spacer: it is the element that separates glass panes at their perimeter but also plays a larger role in creating a thermal break, insulating the edges of the glass panes and reducing heat transfer.
The window frame
The material used for the window frame also contributes to the energy efficiency of a window. At Vinylbilt we manufacture windows with frames made of PCV, also referred to as vinyl. PVC is a material that does not conduct heat, making it a great choice for constructing energy efficient windows. Moreover, vinyl windows are made with multiple air chambers to ensure optimal insulation. If you’re looking to boost the insulating value of your window frame, read about our Engineered Thermal Insulation (ETI) foam system.
An energy-efficient window must have multiple weatherstripping. Good-quality hardware is also important for tight window sealing. At Vinylbilt we use quality hardware such as Amesbury Truth hardware, to ensure smooth operation and a tight seal when you close your windows.
Casement and awning windows, which open up towards the exterior of the house, are more efficient in terms of airtightness because the wind will push the sashes against the frame, creating a tighter seal. That being said, innovations in hardware and design mean that good-quality sliding windows can now perform at similar levels.
Vinylbilt offers a wide range of high performance energy efficiency options, from the minimum standards set by NRCAN to the most energy efficient certified by Energy Star Canada.