One of the biggest things we preach to homeowners is the importance of doing some research prior to your window replacement consultation appointment. But just how much information do you need to know?
If you’re like most customers you probably won’t care about the details and little things involved in your installation. You just want the job to be done right. And while pretty much every company out there will tell you that their windows are the best, there has to be a way of holding them accountable to some standard.
In fact, in Canada, the government goes to great lengths to protect the interests of consumers and make sure they are getting quality windows with accreditation. The Natural Resources Canada website is a great place to begin learning about what good windows are made of, and how they should be installed. It features a lot of in-depth information and guides on properly choosing products and the right people to install them.
To unify and make their standards consistent, NRCan utilises the Energy Star rating system for evaluating window performance and efficiency. Energy Star, in turn, relies on the ER number calculations to give energy-efficient windows a quantitative rating.
As of 2015, Energy Star has changed their climate zones for the Canadian market. We covered these changes in previous posts, but as a refresher, examine the table below:
Climate zones in Canada are created with Heating Degree Days (HDDs) in mind. They are charted specifically in mind with the climate and annual temperatures of specific cities like Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, etc. These climate zones also require specific ER ratings to make the window compliant for that zone.
Thus, if you are looking to purchase windows in Winnipeg, you should be looking at something with a minimum ER rating of 29 to make sure that these windows meet the Canadian government fenestration standards.
Make sure to ask about Energy Star ratings in your consultation, to see how different Winnipeg companies windows compare across the board. In general Energy Star compliant windows share most of these features:
- double- or triple-glazing, with a sealed insulating glass unit
- low-E coating on the glass
- An inert gas, such as argon or krypton, in the sealed unit
- low-conductivity or “warm edge” spacer bars
- insulated frames, sashes and door cores