Along with casements and sliders, awning windows are one of the most popular choices for replacement projects in Calgary.
Awning windows are designed and operate in the same way as casement windows, except they open vertically while casement windows turn horizontally to open.
We previously compared casement and slider windows based on their performance. A similar comparison can be made between awning and hung windows.
What sets awning windows apart?
As we mentioned above, awning windows use the same technology as casements. A distinctive feature that gives these windows a superior level of performance are the compression seals in the area where the window sash meets the frame. But what does it do?
Older crank windows and modern sliders rely on fibre weatherstripping in the area where the window closes. Fibre weatherstripping is not as good at keeping the elements out and usually wears out much faster.
In windows with compression seals, the seal perfectly fills the space between sash and frame, making the unit airtight. As a result, the window is less susceptible to leaks and drafts.
A major feature that makes awning windows desirable is that these windows can be opened year round without letting rain or moisture into the house. This is key for areas where ventilation is always required, like kitchens and bathrooms.
Another reason homeowners in Calgary choose crank windows, is because they are significantly easier to operate than sliders. A sash in slider window has to be moved manually, which can get tiresome. Crank windows require roughly 1/10th of the strength to operate.
How to compare awning windows?
Regardless of the window type or style, in order to get the most out of your replacement project all windows you consider should meet local ENERGY STAR performance requirements. ENERGY STAR rates household appliances and building products based on whether they help reduce energy consumption in your home. In Canada, ENERGY STAR has designated three specific climate zones based on weather information in those areas. Awning windows in Edmonton must meet climate zone 2 requirements in order to be considered efficient.
That means the window has to meet a minimum ER rating of 29 and a U-Factor of 1.40
ER Ratings or U-Factor: What’s more important for comparing windows?
Both of these values are crucial in determining whether any window is efficient enough for your local area. But which is a better representation? A window’s ER number can be significantly improved by higher SHGC factors. U-Factor, on the other hand, measures how resistant the window is to lose heat.
An ER number is a more encompassing measure of how a window “transfers” energy. The more heat it gains rather than loses, the more efficient a window is considered. Therefore, it is always important to look at the SHGC number to see how it plays into the window rating. Windows with higher heat gain ratings will be considered more efficient. The U-Factor, on the other hand, assesses a window’s resistance to heat loss. This is especially important to consider in Canada as we often have longer nights in the winter where it is essential for a home to retain as much of its heat as possible.
The ratings below are for triple-pane single awning windows with an Argon gas fill and low-E coating applications.
Not seeing a company you’re interested in? Information about all ENERGY STAR rated windows is available on this Natural Resources Canada website.
As you can see, there are plenty of good local companies in Calgary that deliver energy efficient product. What’s more important is that you understand exactly what you are paying for, and why your windows are priced the way they are.