When you think of coming home, you think of a cozy place, a comforting place, a warm place. The last you thing you want is to get out of the cold and come into a drafty, damp, and chilly space. If you find this happening in your home, odds are it’s time to replace your windows and doors.
How do you find air leaks?
Some tests you can do yourself, and others require expert assistance. Here are some basics:
- Test the edges of your windows and doors with your bare hand. If you feel wind blowing against your skin, you know you have a leak.
- Light a candle and hold it, carefully, near the edges of your windows and doors. A candle will flicker in a smaller draft than you can feel with your hand. If the candle flickers you will be able to determine where there are air leaks.
- You can purchase an air leak detector and point it at areas of concern. If leaks are detected a light will display.
- Hire an expert. A professional will be able to conduct a thorough audit of your home and will have the precision tools to accurately measure air leakage. Some energy professionals will also conduct a ‘blower door test’ to determine your home’s air-tightness.
What is U-value?
U-value is a standardized measurement used to determine how much heat flows through one area into another area. Or, in simple terms, how fast the heat inside will transfer to the outside.
When selecting which windows and doors to purchase and install in your home, you will want to ask about the U-value. The lower the U-value, the slower the heat loss. The lower the U-value, the better.
What is an ER rating?
An Energy Rating (ER) is a formula which measures the U-value, air leakage, and the benefit of solar gain. Once calculated, it provides a rating to show which products have the highest potential for annual energy savings. The higher the ER rating, the better the value.
Both the U-value and the ER rating are important considerations when selecting new windows and doors.
Energy Star requirements indicate that Canadians, depending on which zone they live, should select products offering a U-value from 0.21 to 0.32 and ER ratings from 34 to 21. Click here to learn more about Energy Star ratings on the Natural Resources of Canada website .
Selecting your windows solely based on an ER-rating doesn’t address issues in Southern Ontario like solar heat gain which can be intense in the summer months. It’s generally recommended to select a window with a low U-value and high solar heat shield — and it rejects damaging UV rays. The more solar protection in your window, the more your interior will be protected from fading and damage from ultraviolet rays. This type of glass will provide you with the most comfort year-round. Bavarian’s supplier, Cardinal Glass , offers excellent options for your windows.
Insulating your home with new windows and doors
Installing new windows is a great way to keep your heat where it belongs, inside your home.
Today, windows are constructed using advanced technology for superior energy efficiency and optimal performance.
Windows and doors are constructed to resist the forces acting on them (e.g. sun, wind, rain, snow) this includes:
- Reducing heat loss with specially formulated glazing to resist heat loss
- Reducing radiant transfer with low-e coatings to better insulate
- Reducing air leakage with durable weatherstripping and closings
There are a huge variety of windows and doors to choose from. It all comes down to your style and your budget.
Bavarian Window Works offers customers a huge selection of energy efficient windows and doors. Come and learn more by visiting our showroom, and check us out online .