As the outside temperatures drops around the fall time, a lot of people become concerned with the energy efficiency of their homes. Naturally windows and doors become a big area of concern as this is where a lot of the warm air escapes to the outside or mixes with cold air. We wanted to highlight some of the features of modern Winnipeg windows and doors that ensure the minimal amount of heat loss.
Your home loses heat through the windows in four distinct ways:
Radiation: directly through the glass panes
Conduction: through frame and spacer material of the window
Convection: through the movement of air between the panes
Air Leakage: between moving and operable frame components in slider, casement, or awning windows
Modern manufacturing technology has come up with ways to significantly eliminate or reduce heat loss by creating materials that answer specifically to each type of energy transfer.
Remember, regardless of the add-ons, a poorly installed window pretty much voids any of the positive effects any upgrades may have had.
We wanted to take some time today to discuss injection foam and why it is a crucial material used in eliminating conduction heat loss. Conduction losses mostly occur through the edges and frames of the units. That is why sealing those areas properly is an important part of a correct installation.
Traditionally window installations utilized blanket insulation to fill the space. Blanket insulation offers great
thermal resistance but is not very effective in protecting against air and moisture. That is why installers in recent years have turned to using foam for efficient and effective insulation. Injected polyurethane foam became the CSA standard for new windows and doors because of its high resistance to the passage of air and water. Depending on your installer, the insulation used may be one or two component foam. The difference is that one component foam takes 10-20 minutes to dry, while two component foam takes only a couple minutes.
Window installation and insulation
Properly insulated windows begin with a good measurement and correct installation. If the amount of space between frame and wall is too small, the amount of foam will be inadequate to properly insulate the opening. If the space is too wide, most of the weight of the window will be resting on the foam, causing the unit to sag. The installer should make one pass with the foam gun on each plane of the window, as long as no gaps remain then no extra foam is added. Any minor gaps should be sealed with caulking.
ETI Foam in Window Frames
A major advantage of vinyl windows is that injection foam can also be used in the hollow parts of the frame for extra efficiency. Developments in that area have led to the creation of special foam that is used inside the vinyl frame. Most window companies today offer ETI foam as an adittional upgrade.