During consultation appointments, our representatives often get asked the question, “Where are your windows manufactured?” In most cases, it is a well-founded worry on the part of the homeowner for the well-being of our economy. We all want to buy local, support local businesses and create jobs in our communities. Yet in some cases this question arises from misinformation. While this blog is not about Ecoline Windows, it is well suited to use this company to answer this question.
Seeing as you are reading this post on the Ecoline Windows website, it is safe to assume that you know a little bit about the company. You know that it is one of the window companies in Winnipeg, that it replaces windows in Calgary as well as windows in Edmonton. What you may or may not know, is that the windows being installed in these three northern cities are manufactured in Ontario. On numerous occasions, we have been told by misinformed homeowners that because of this, Ecoline Windows product is less suitable for the local climate. To set the record straight for all proud Canadian window manufacturers with 100% Canadian windows and doors, we would like to identify the two things that make a window or door acceptable for a specific climate.
- CSA Certification
The first factor that makes Canadian windows suitable for installation in different provinces is CSA Certification. CSA, also known as the Canadian Standards Association, is a standards development organization and certification body. CSA certification shows that a product was independently tested to meet safety and performance standards. Amongst these, performance standards is the ability of a window to function properly during harsh weather confitions. Opening mechanisms, locking mechanisms, and the material itself are all put under rigorous testing to ensure that when the temperature falls well below zero the units will maintain their integrity and functionality.
Attention: There is a difference between window suppliers being CSA certified and CSA compatible. If it is certified that means that CSA representatives have put the product to the test and have given it their stamp of approval. Compatibility means that the product meets the same specifications as other CSA certified windows but has not undergone CSA scrutiny.
- Energy Star
The second aspect that qualifies a window as energy efficient in Canada is Energy Star certification. Energy Star is an independent agency dedicated to testing various home products for energy efficiency. Windows and doors qualify based on either U-value – which is used to express insulation rate or energy rating. In addition to insulation properties, Energy Star windows are also tested for air tightness.
As of January 2020, homeowners no longer have to consider a Climate zone when shopping for windows that are ENERGY STAR® certified in a particular area. A product in Canada is either ENERGY STAR® certified or not, with a single standard applied nationwide.
But keep in mind that if you are looking to purchase new energy-efficient windows, you should only consider models with a minimum ER (energy rating) of 34 to make sure that these windows meet the Canadian government fenestration standards.
As you can see, there is nothing about manufacturing a product locally that makes it more appropriate for that area than one that was manufactured in a neighbouring province. While it is important to do your best to support local industry, the overwhelming concern for every homeowner should be keeping their home warm and airtight year around. Windows should be compared to other similar windows to ensure that the best product is selected. In this regard, a windows manufacturer should be judged based on the quality of their product, rather than the location of their factory.
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