How To Choose Energy Efficient Windows

If you’re a homeowner who’s trying to choose energy-efficient windows for your home, you are likely feeling a bit lost in all the technical jargon, options, and conflicting advice — but don’t worry, we can help! Platinum Renovations Windows & Doors is here to provide you with answers to the most frequently asked questions about windows, so you can make the best long-term decisions for your home.

Here are the top window question answers and key considerations to help you choose energy efficient windows:

What is the purpose of window energy ratings?

House energy efficiency rating. Small wooden model house on desk with energy efficiency graph, calculator, folding ruler, drawing compass, pencil, and a computer keyboard.

The purpose of window energy ratings is to provide you with a number that indicates how well the window will:

  1. Keep the heat inside during the winter
  2. Keep the cool air inside during the summer
  3. Allow light to pass through the glass
  4. Allow air to pass through the glass and frame

What is a window ER Rating?

Happy family lounging on a couch in a living room in front of large vinyl windows.

An Energy Rating (ER) is a formula that measures the U-value, air leakage, and the benefit of solar gain. When calculated, it provides a number that shows which products have the highest potential for annual energy savings. The higher the number, the more efficient the window.

To achieve ENERGY STAR® certification and qualify for Canada’s Greener Homes Grant, a window’s ER must be 34 or higher. If a window achieves an ER of 40 or higher, it receives the “most efficient” certification.

At Platinum RenovationsWindows & Doors, we sell EnerView Windows, a Canadian company in partnership with Vinylbilt, so you can enjoy the benefits of high-quality, energy efficient vinyl windows that are tested and have a proven 30-year track record.

How do window coatings help with energy efficiency?

Window coatings play a significant role in energy efficiency and will help to keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Everything is Energy Star rated these days, but what will give you better energy efficiency is Low-E coatings. Low-e glass has a thin, transparent coating, generally comprised of a thin layer of silver, or other low emissivity material, that reflects infrared energy. This coating is available in single, double, and triple versions, but there are also higher glazing options, like I89 glass, which will improve the ER rating of the window.

Summer Example: If you have a room that gets really hot in the summer, and you want to save on your cooling costs, then a Low-E coating 366 (3 coats of Low-E) would be ideal for reducing the solar gain in the summer.

Winter Example: If you have a room that gets really chilly in the winter, and you want to save on your heating costs, Low-E coated windows will help by reflecting the interior heat back into the room, creating a warmer and more comfortable environment.

Do more window panes help with energy efficiency?

The short answer is yes. You can also choose double- and triple-glazed windows to maximize insulation properties and reduce energy loss. Argon gas, between the panes, will offer additional insulation, which is good for keeping the heat out during the summer and the heat in during the winter. Additional panes will also help to enhance your security and sound insulation.

Making the best long-term decisions for your home shouldn’t be a stressful endeavour. At Platinum Renovations Windows & Doors, we’re here to empower you with knowledge and support you every step of the way. Contact us today, and let’s improve your home comfort, energy savings, and peace of mind.