When consumers choose windows and doors for their homes or remodelling projects, appearance is usually their first consideration. In Canada, the amount of exterior glass installed in homes and buildings has increased steadily over the past 25 years. Statistics show that the glass-to-floor area ratio has increased from an average of 9 per cent in 1990, to nearly 15 per cent by 2015 – in some provinces, this could be as high as 22 per cent. The increase in glass-to-floor area ratio over the past two decades is primarily due to the growing preference for more natural light and the aesthetic appeal of larger windows. Energy performance for residential windows is measured through several metrics, which each cover a different product attribute.
Increases in glass-to-floor ratio can result in higher heat loss in the heating season, and higher solar heat gain in the cooling season. Windows are a two-way street when it comes to energy. They allow heat to escape but also allow passive solar heat gain. Windows in low-rise residential homes can account for up to 35 per cent of heat loss during the heating season, some of which (about 15 per cent) can be offset through passive solar heat gain. During the cooling season, solar heat gain can increase air-conditioning costs and adversely affect the comfort of the occupants.
JELD-WEN understands the intensity and variability of Canadian weather, and with a local Winnipeg manufacturing facility, they design their products specifically to endure and perform in the Western Canadian climate, keeping homes insulated and energy costs down. JELD-WEN manufactures products to meet all Canadian building codes, as well as National Energy programs such as ENERGY STAR. They provide a suite of Glass Unit Solutions for both new construction and renovation projects. These product solutions are designed to be adaptable to changing energy codes and meet or exceed government-driven programs. JELD-WEN products are made using high-quality aluminum, steel, vinyl, wood and glass with argon gas and low-E coatings. The quality of the materials, the design of the system and the products’ ability to perform are what make JELD-WEN stand out when compared to other manufacturers.
The final influencing factor in the performance of the product is installation. Poorly or improperly installed windows and doors can be a major energy squander. Improper installation can cause air to leak around or through a window or door system. If an installer does not understand the design characteristics of an individual product and how it interacts within the building envelope, they may be unintentionally influencing performance.
Aesthetics are important, but the overall performance and cost of a product are well deserving of thoughtful consideration. While consumers are captivated by the cost of off-the-shelf products, the realized cost greatly depends on the product’s durability and energy efficiency. Energy efficient products save money every month.
For more information on energy-efficient doors and windows, stop by your local Co-op Home Centre today.