Are slider windows warm enough for the Saskatchewan climate?
Absolutely! As long you get the right ones.
In this post, we will break down the unique features in slider windows, how to compare them, and what to look out for when buying slider windows in Regina.
But if you don’t read any further, here are three key takeaways you must know:
- While slider windows aren’t as efficient as casements, they can still provide acceptable levels of comfort and performance for a lower cost.
- The main performance difference between the two types of windows is that slider windows use weather stripping, and casement windows rely on compression seals. When closed, windows with compression seals make an airtight unit and are more efficient.
- When comparing slider windows, you should consider BOTH, their heat loss conductivity (U-Factor) and energy rating (ER) for a true sense of how the window performs.
Casement or Slider windows? What’s the difference?
As we mentioned above, the biggest performance difference between these two types of windows has to do with how they seal out cold air. Casement windows are much better performing, easier to operate, and generally look more modern than sliders. Slider windows may not perform as well, but they get the job done for a considerably smaller cost.
What are tilt-and-turn windows?
As you are looking for slider windows, you will probably come across options where the moving sash can also be turned inward. How do these slider windows differ from real tilt-and-turn windows? Although this feature makes the windows look more modern and practical, its purpose is for cleaning and maintenance only. [hypotext target=”2″]Expand to read more[/hypotext] [hypotext id=”2″]The sash in slider windows can turn at a 90-degree angle into your house. This allows for cleaning of the outer side of the window from the inside of the house.
You shouldn’t keep the sash in a turned-in position as the weight of the sash can cause stress on the frame resulting in deformation or even breakage. This is especially crucial in triple pane slider windows because their sashes are much heavier.
When cleaning the sash, it is advisable to support it at the bottom, so that the weight of the moving component doesn’t put stress on the frame. [/hypotext]
How to compare slider, and any other type of windows.
Remember, regardless of the window type or style, all windows you consider should be ENERGY STAR rated. ENERGY STAR is an international organization that qualifies efficient products that help you reduce energy usage in your home. When it comes to windows in Canada, ENERGY STAR divided the country into three distinct climate zones. Regina and much of Southern Saskatchewan fall under Climate Zone 2. In order to be considered efficient in this area, windows must meet a minimum ER rating of 29, and maximum U-Factor value of 1.4 [hypotext target=”3″]Expand[/hypotext] [hypotext id=”3″]
ER Ratings are a value given to windows, based on a calculation of different performance factors. These include the U-Factor and Solar Heat Gains. The ER rating has been devised specifically to make it easier for consumers to understand and compare window performance from different manufacturers.
U-Factor is a calculation of how conductive a window is, how it is affected by convection heat loss and the emissivity of the glass in the panes. At the very basic level, the lower the U-factor, the better your window is at keeping heat inside the home.
SHGC: The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient measures how much heat from the sun a window gains. Although ideally, you want as much heat from the sun in the winter months, most modern windows with high SHGC end up overheating the home. High SHGC factors are great for windows that see very little direct sunlight and can maximize energy gains in those places. The lower SHGC, the less heat from the sun your windows let through. [/hypotext]
ER Ratings or U-Factor: What’s better for comparing windows?
Both values play an important role 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 losing heat. [hypotext target=”4″]Expand to read more[/hypotext] [hypotext id=”4″]
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.
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. [/hypotext]
We have compared slider window performance ratings from most popular Regina window companies: All Weather Windows, Ecoline Windows, Regina Windows and Exteriors, Glacier Glass, Sunview, Northome, and Clearview.
The ratings presented below are for vinyl triple-pane slider window with an application of Low-E coatings and argon gas between sashes. Consider both the ER and U-Factor performance for windows from different companies. Also, be sure to take note of the value ranges for windows from each company. It is often possible to increase a window’s performance with additional or different features.
Not seeing a company you are interested in? Information on all Energy Star certified window companies can be found on this Natural Resources Canada website.
Why is information about some window companies missing?
As you have noticed, a couple of companies don’t have information available for their slider windows. This information is not listed under the company’s registry on the NRCan website.
This could mean one of two things: either slider windows from that company are not ENERGY STAR rated, or the company gets their slider windows from elsewhere. But usually, the former is true. Slider windows usually rank at the borderline levels of acceptable performance. That is why they often require additional features to improve their performance. As you can see by the chart some company’s slider windows barely reach that level, even with additions like Low-E and gas fills.
Also, take note that some companies work with the same window dealers. This way you may be getting the same windows for different prices.
Check out these window replacement articles:
How To Pick A Window Company
Find Out The Cost of Replacement Windows
One Thing You MUST Know Before Scheduling A Window Replacement Quote