Why and when should you get awning windows?
We have previously written that casement windows are the most popular choice for comfort and efficiency in Edmonton. We have also covered how slider windows can provide acceptable performance levels for a lesser price.
But what’s so special about awning windows? How do these windows compare to the other types, and when is a good time to get them for a replacement project?
We will try to answer some of these questions in today’s post, as well as look at how windows from local Edmonton companies compare.
Awning windows use the same technology as casements.
As we already mentioned it previously, as well as in this post, casement windows are the best option when it comes to performance and efficiency. Why is that? The reason is in the very design of the windows. Modern awning and casement windows utilize a compression seal in the area where the moving sash meets the frame. When closed, this compression seal creates an airtight unit out of your window and prevents drafts and air leaks.
Older casement style windows, as well as current slider models, rely on fiber weather stripping instead of compression seals. This weather stripping is much less efficient and results in lower performance ratings for the window.
Essentially, awning and casement windows are the same window that opens a different way. This operational difference gives awnings a unique advantage: these windows can be open year round without letting precipitation into the home. That’s why awnings are ideal for kitchens and bathrooms. They allow you to circulate the air in your home with ease.
Another important feature of both awning and casement is the crank hardware that operates the window. Because sashes in new windows can often get quite heavy, putting windows above counters or in hard to reach places, can create problems with their operation. Crank windows require about 1/10th of the force needed to open a slider window.
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.
Below, we compared awning window performance ratings from top Edmonton window companies: All Weather Windows, Ecoline Windows, Durabuilt, Hometech, Canadian Choice, and McLeod Windows and Doors.
Take note of the different windows’ ER ratings, U-Factor, and SHGC. Also, keep in mind the value ranges for each performance factor. Often it is possible to improve a unit’s performance ratings with extra add-ons.
The ratings provided below are for single triple-pane awning windows with a Low-E coating application and an argon gas fill.
Not seeing a company you are interested in? Information about all Energy Star rated window companies can be found on this Natural Resources Canada page.
There are plenty of window companies in Edmonton that offer a great variety of products. When you are considering who to go with, remember one more thing: the success of your replacement project depends just as much on correct installation as it does on the quality of the windows you purchase. Any advantages of efficient windows can be nullified if the unit isn’t installed properly.