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Golden Windows Provides Top Tier Energy Efficient Products | Golden Windows

Open up a newspaper, flip through the TV, turn on the radio, and browse through your social media feeds. To do any of these things in 2019 means that you’re probably being confronted with the realities of climate change and the effects that modern-day human infrastructure is having on our environments and ecosystems. While this might sound grim, there are choices that you can make to reduce your energy consumption and reduce your own carbon footprint.

You don’t have to be an eco-warrior to make green choices that will improve your life and simplify your expenses. Opting for energy efficient home fixtures during a renovation can end up saving you plenty of money on your future electric and hydro bills. The same can be said about your windows.

It’s easy to see how important windows are to the security and insulation of your home. During the winter months, they play a crucial role in keeping your home insulated from the cold. Then when It’s warmer, they allow cool air to flow through your home, or when it’s really hot they insulate your air conditioning and reduce the amount of energy you have to spend cooling your home.

The notion that energy efficient products are inferior to their non-environmental counterparts is a myth that is surely fading away. These days, people acknowledge the value of energy efficiency in their appliances, transportation choices, windows and doors. Things like solar panels are more common than they were thirty years ago, and features like skylights that reduce the need for lightbulbs can make a home look and feel modern and luxurious. With so many benefits to energy efficient products, why wouldn’t you want your windows and doors to be green-friendly?

 

How Is Energy Efficiency Defined?

If you’re not too sure about the details of energy efficiency, then you might be wondering what makes a window energy-efficient compared to another window style? There are specific criteria that need to be met in order for a window to call itself energy efficient. Let’s start with the basics: a window is technically defined as an “assembled unit” that consists of a frame/sash component that holds one or more pieces of glazing to allow for air and/or light to move into an enclosure.

Working with that definition, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has developed a recognition criteria for residential windows that are sold in Canada. Our sales representatives are knowledgeable in what constitutes an energy efficient window. They can show you what you can select that is best for the climate of where you live as well as the directions your windows face and other important natural factors.

 

Energy Performance Ratings

Windows, doors, and skylights can qualify for energy efficiency labelling by adhering to certain standards laid out by the Canadian Standards Association, which tests these products for their performance. In Canada, energy performance for window and door products are rating according to the following criteria:

  • Solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). This is a technical ratio that shows how much of the sun’s heat can pass through a product. Higher numbers indicate that the product gains more solar heat. 
  • U-factor. U-factor evaluates the rate of heat transfer from warm to cold areas. It is recorded in the unit of watts per square metre Kelvin or in British thermal units per house per square foot Fahrenheit. Regardless of the specifics of the measurement, a lower U-factor indicates that a product is more efficient. 
  • Energy Rating (ER). This is a value that incorporates a product’s U-factor, SHGC, and air leakage. Higher energy rating values are used for more efficient products. This only applies for window and doors. 
  • Visible transmittance (VT). A high VT value means that a lot of light can pass through a material. This ratio is a measurement of the amount of visible light that does through a product. Higher VT means more light passes through. 
  • R-value. Products with higher R-values are more efficient. This value is a measurement of how well an item resists heat transfer. It is measured in degrees Fahrenheit per British thermal unit. Energy performance standards do not actually include R-values, but the measurement can be helpful when comparing certain products. In many cases, contractors and service representatives will share a product’s R-value as an indication of its performance. 
  • Centre-of-glass rating. This value of energy efficiency refers to just the glass portion of a product, and not the entire window unit.

 

ENERGY STAR®

You’ve likely seen the ENERGY STAR® rating on appliances that qualify for the credential. There are certain criteria that windows and doors must meet in order to affiliate themselves with the organization. Golden Windows participates proudly in the ENERGY STAR® program, which means that among our products we offer all the benefits of energy savings.

What’s more, energy efficient windows and doors improve your home’s interior comfort while reducing condensation and condensation-related water damage. You’ve also probably seen the ENERGY STAR® symbol on certain products to promote their energy efficiency. For windows, doors, and skylights, Natural Resources Canada outlines some key features of these items as well as tips and information on how to find compliant products in your region of the country.

According to the NRC, energy efficient window and door products will have special Low-E coatings (low emissivity), insulated frames and sashes, as well as available triple glazing for better insulation of noise and heat. These products will also have labelling that indicates where the model is certified for in Canada.

 

The Science of Low-E

At a first glance, the term “Low-E” might make us think of just seem like another term for “energy efficient,” but there’s really a little more to it than that. The short answer is yes, Low-E windows are energy efficient. What the term actually refers to, however, is the concept of Low Thermal Emissivity. Low emissivity means that the surface in question emits low levels of radiant thermal energy.

Any and every material will absorb, reflect, and emit some amount of radiant energy, but Low-E involves the amount of thermal radiation that a material emits. The measurement of emissivity is based on how much heat a material gives off in comparison to a perfect black body (emissivity of 1).

Something that is a perfect reflector would have a value of 0 emissivity. Any material that reflects, absorbs, and emits energy will technically save energy, which means that Low-E windows will work to conserve your home’s energy expenditure.

 

About That Glass

The nature of window glass (reflective, transparent) makes it a highly thermal emissive material with the clear glass that absorbs a lot of energy and reflecting just a small fraction of it. What does this mean for you and your home?

If you have clear window glass, then you are automatically absorbing all of the sun’s heat energy as well as the radiant heat from inside your home, but none of it is actually being used in a conservative way. Any heat that comes into your home through your windows during the warmer day will simply go back out when the sun comes down.

It’s this heat movement pattern that makes it so that some rooms or areas in your home can be uncomfortably hot during the day and then way too chilly in the night. In turn, our home heating and cooling systems end up working overtime to regulate the temperature. Without energy efficient windows, the whole home heating and cooling process becomes counter-intuitive since we’re paying more and more money to fight against the elements without being smart about conserving our energy.

 

Coating the Glass

As a way to improve the insulation (and thermal efficiency) of a window, window manufacturers like Golden Windows apply a thin film coating to the raw glass. We have lots of low-e options to choose from that make it so that you will have no trouble finding the right kind of glass for your windows. Coatings are applied to the glass during the manufacturing stage and will vary in formula and placement depending on the type of unit.

Take double-pane windows, for instance. The coating will be found on the inside of the outer pane in these types of models. As such, the coating reflects radiant infrared energy and lets in visible light while keeping the thermal energy away from the home.

On sunny days, windows with a Low-E coating will reflect the unwanted energy from the sun (extra heat) back into the atmosphere instead of letting it pass into the home. This helps to conserve the amount of energy you spend cooling your home during the warmer months since the coating reduces the amount of thermal energy coming from the sun into your house. The same can be said for days when you’re heating your home. The heat of your home comes up against your Low-E window and gets reflected back into the house.

Four Glass Options

Our window products come in a variety of styles and materials to fit the budget and best serve your needs. Of our Low-E glass options, there are four different types of coatings. Don’t worry if you’re not sure which one would be best for you; our expert sales representatives can help you decide what you need from your window coatings and help you pick out the best types for your home. 

  1. Clear, Hard Coat Low E (3) – CLLE 
  1. Soft Coat Low E (2), Clear – SBCL 
  1. Hard Coat Low E (2), Hard Coat Low E (4) – LELE 
  1. Soft Coat Low E (2), Hard Coat Low E (4) – SBLE

 

Window Treatments Can Help, Too

While shopping for new windows and looking for the best energy efficient models, bear in mind that the way you style your windows can also play a role in how you conserve energy and maintain the ideal temperature in your home. Take energy efficient curtains, for instance. Investing in curtains and drapes that come with energy efficient lining (usually a thick, spongy material) will enhance your window’s ability to block unwanted light, heat, or cold.

In the summer, these thicker styles of curtains can block out sun that would otherwise heat the home beyond your ideal comfort level. In the winter, you can use these insulating drapes to retain the heat in your home, especially by closing the drapes during the nighttime.

According to one study, a white-plastic curtain backing can reduce a home’s heat intake by 33%, which is no small number. Your window treatments really do matter! Sure, it might be tedious to find the right colour and style to match your décor but it’s worth the effort.

On top of finding curtains and drapes made of energy efficient materials, you can also select certain colours of drapery according to the season. During the warmer months when you’re trying to keep your home cool, select drapery in a light colour with solar backing.

During the winter, change your drapes to a darker color and a denser material for increased insulation. Allow your curtains to be open during the day (allowing sunlight to warm the space slightly) and be sure to close them at night to keep the heat in. Just closing your curtains can save up to 10% in heat loss. Here’s an extra tip: hang your energy efficient curtains as close to the ceiling as you can, this will enhance their insulating properties.

 

Ready to Make the Switch?

Even though there’s plenty of ways to educate yourself about the intricacies of energy efficient windows, you don’t need to be an expert in order to make an informed purchase. When you’re in the planning stages of your window installation project, take the time to check out our showrooms in Kitchener, London or Kanata to speak with our Golden Windows sales representatives.

At Golden Windows, we are a window and door manufacturer that is focused and committed to protecting the environment we all share. As such, our team is constantly looking for ways to reduce waste, maximize resource, and provide our customers with long lasting, energy efficient windows and doors. Let us show you how you can make your home green during your window installation projects.

We can ensure that you can make a smart consumer choice that will yield long-lasting benefits in energy conservation while giving you everything you could want such as security, structural integrity, and clean, modern looks in your home’s windows and doors.

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Golden Windows Provides Top Tier Energy Efficient Products | Golden Windows

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8/26/2019 9:37:54 AM

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