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How to Choose Energy-Efficient Windows for a Green Home

Energy efficiency is an elusive beast that many homeowners spend a lot of time chasing down. What kind of windows should you look for in order to improve your home’s energy efficiency? Energy Star windows and triple-glazed windows are highly recommended, but what else should you look for? 


Our blog goes into further detail about energy efficiency and your windows.  

Energy efficient windows

What You Should Look For 

Energy efficiency is measured through three basic criteria: direct conduction, air leakage, and heat radiation.  


  • Direct Conduction – This refers to the immediate loss of energy through the window, whether by the glass, glazing, frame, or door. It’s related to the U-factor, the rate at which windows conduct heat. A lower U-factor means a more energy-efficient window.  

  • Air Leakage – This occurs around and through windows. Windows that have a lower leakage rating are much more energy efficient than ones with higher ratings.  

  • Heat Radiation – Heat radiation is how the sun warms the home. A measurement of the solar heat that enters your home is called the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). Windows with higher SHGC ratings collect more heat during the winter, whereas windows with lower ratings are better at blocking the heat in the summer.  


Choosing the Right Frame for Your Ottawa Home 

Selecting the right material for your window frames can make a big difference in their energy efficiency. For example, wood frames are much less prone to heat transfer than aluminum ones. A quick rundown of the most common window frame materials includes: 

  • Vinyl – vinyl is a much more affordable material, but that doesn’t mean it’s “cheap”. If it is well-constructed and well-installed, vinyl windows can be a practical choice budget-wise while also offering excellent energy efficiency.  

  • Wood – wood windows are the best option for insulation, hands down. However, they require much more upkeep than other choices. It has the potential to rot, which makes it not ideal for humid or rainy climates.  

  • Wood-clad – Wood-clad windows can offer the best of both worlds: a low-maintenance exterior, usually vinyl or aluminum, that encases an energy-efficient wooden interior. However, you should take care, as wetter climates can still cause the wood in your window to rot.  

  • Aluminum – In terms of heat transfer and loss, aluminum is not one of the most efficient materials. However, it is much more practical in rainy, humid climates, such as Ottawa, but are strong and durable.  


Get the Most Out of Energy Star Windows in Ottawa 

Energy Star windows are certified to lower household energy bills by up to 13% when you replace single pane windows with triple-glazed windows. Lower energy consumption also means reduced greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and homes, so you’re also improving your carbon footprint. When you want to replace your windows and boost your energy efficiency, all you need to do is give Canadian Comfort a call.  


At Canadian Comfort, we bring over 50 years of excellence to the Ottawa area. We provide energy-efficient windows for homes, helping you reduce your energy bill. Contact us today to request a quote.   


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