Windows are essential elements of a building that bring in sunlight, air, beauty, and also help create a feeling of openness and space. However, windows can also be major sources of energy losses in winters and summers. Therefore, proper selection and installation of windows is necessary to help minimize the heating and cooling losses as well as the money spent on electrically lighting up rooms.

Air Leaks in Windows and Methods To Preventing Them
Air leaks occur at the center as well as around the edges and frames of the windows. To improve the energy efficiency of the window it is essential to reduce this path of heat flow. This can be achieved in two ways: caulking or weather stripping. Caulking is a process in which cracks and gaps in the windows are sealed using airtight compounds such as silicone and latex. Weather stripping is a process in which a narrow piece of metal such as vinyl or rubber is inserted in between the moving and non-moving parts of the window in a manner that it does not impede with the operation of the window.

Nowadays energy efficient windows are also available and homeowners looking for new windows must not only consider the style, beauty and color, but also the energy performance of the glass and frame.

Selecting energy efficient windows
The energy efficiency of windows is decided by 3 factors: the solar heat gain coefficient, the shading coefficient and the R-value. Let us discuss each of these:

  • Shading coefficient – This measures the window’s efficiency of blocking solar heat. Some kinds of window glasses do a better job than others in blocking solar heat. A rule of thumb to note:
    The lower the shading coefficient value on the pane of the glass, the better the window’s ability to prevent solar heat gain thus saving on summer cooling costs.
  • Solar heat gain coefficient – The lower the solar heat gain coefficient, the more efficient the window is at reducing cooling costs in summer.
  • R-value – The better the R-value, the more efficient the window is at reducing cooling and heating costs. The R-value is of two types: one for the entire window and the other for only the glass of the window.

Window frames
Metal, vinyl and wood are the three types of window frames available today. Vinyl and wood have better insulating qualities than metal, and while the latter cost lower, they also increase your energy bills.  The R-value of metal frames is also 5 to 20 percent lower than the vinyl and wooden frames.

When should you replace your windows?
If you live in an older Toronto home, you could save hundreds of dollars by replacing your single-pane windows with insulated ones. Additionally, you can opt for storm windows that double the insulating value of old metal frame windows, and also reduce drafts and leaks. Such windows also helps provide sound insulation for your home.

If you are thinking to build a new home and want to have large areas of glass, contact us about our high performance windows. We will be able to provide you with a complete analysis of different options in windows that will help you lower your cooling and heating costs without any compromise in comfort. Visit today!