ENERGY STAR® certified windows and patio doors
Time to replace your windows?
Ask yourself these five questions:
A window’s estimated service life is 15 to 20 years, and sometimes longer. To decide whether it’s time to replace your windows, check these points:
- Are your windows hard to open or close?
- Do you feel a draft near your windows?
- Does condensation form on the inside of the glass or between the panes?
- Is the window pane cold to the touch?
- Is the weather stripping damaged?
Watch three short animations to find out when to change your windows
Follow these steps:
1. Look for the ENERGY STAR® symbol
Here’s an example of a label with the ENERGY STAR® symbol with the energy performance label and certification mark (CSA).
2. Choose from among the most energy-efficient products.
In Canada, the energy rating (ER) of windows and patio doors is based on the Canadian Standards Association standard CAN/CSA A440.2-14.
The energy rating is a unitless value derived from a formula that balances heat loss, air leakage loss and potential passive solar gain of a fenestration product. Tested products must have a minimum ER of 34 to receive the Energy Star® qualification. The higher the ER, the more energy-efficient the product.
3. Have your windows installed by a professional
Have windows and patio doors installed by a specialist to prevent heat loss and air leakage around the frames. Some retailers also offer installation services.
New houses often have many big windows and patio doors. As a homeowner, it’s in your best interest to choose energy-efficient products. If you’re having a house built, ask for ENERGY STAR® certified windows and patio doors. Have the contractor call in a specialist to install them so as to keep heat loss and air leakage around the frames to a minimum. Most window retailers offer installation services.
Building or renovating? Here some resources to help you make eco-friendly choices.
Advantages of ENERGY STAR® certified products
In addition to saving on heating costs, you’ll enjoy greater comfort, thanks to the energy-efficient features of ENERGY STAR® certified windows.
- Low-emissivity (low-e) coatings, along with insulated frames and warm-edge spacers, minimize heat loss around your windows and reduce condensation.
- Many triple-glazed models muffle outside noise as well as saving energy.
- Inert gases like argon and krypton between the panes provide better insulation than the air used in regular windows.
Are ENERGY STAR® certified windows more expensive?
ENERGY STAR® certified windows don’t necessarily cost more than others. And if they do, the money you save on heating should quickly cover the extra cost. In addition, ENERGY STAR® certified windows and patio doors can help increase the resale value of your home.
Please note that Hydro-Québec does not offer cash rebates on the purchase of ENERGY STAR® certified windows and patio doors.
ENERGY STAR ®promise
As it says on the Natural Resources Canada site, all ENERGY STAR® certified products are tested to strict efficiency standards and are certified by an independent third party.
Hire a specialist to install your ENERGY STAR® certified windows. These windows are expected to last for about 15 to 20 years, sometimes even longer. That’s why you should make sure your windows are installed in accordance with standard CAN/CSA-A440.4-07, as required by the National Building Code of Canada. Compliance with the standard will help homeowners avoid the consequences of an incorrect installation and ensures that heat loss and drafts around window frames are minimized. Ask your retailer if their installers have the necessary skills and up-to-date qualifications to do the work properly.
The Association de vitrerie et fenestration du Québec (AVFQ) has recently begun offering the window installer FIT training program. This new training program is specifically designed for window installers and is fully adapted to the Québec industry. It also prepares candidates for Fenestration Canada’s national exam for installer certification, which guarantees that an individual possesses the competencies deemed necessary to perform the job function of a fenestration installer.