Best Energy-Efficient Windows For A Cold Climate

  • Canglow
  • December 5, 2016
  • Energy Efficient Windows

Many homes in the northern hemisphere are designed to maximize winter solar heat by increasing south-facing window area. But for this design element to be useful, the solar heat admitted must be stored within the house so it can keep the rooms warm later in the afternoon and at night.

But during the cold winter months, this alone is not enough to keep the interior warm, forcing you to incur high energy costs. Fortunately, you can reduce your energy consumption by installing energy-efficient windows.

So, what are the best energy-efficient windows for a cold climate?

There are many different factors to consider when choosing windows for your home. The most important ones with regard to increasing efficiency are:

Efficient Window Frames

Energy-efficient windows must not have any air leakages. Manufacturers ensure this by using the appropriate types and designs of window frames, as the conductivity of the material used for the window frame impacts the energy efficiency of windows.

Some of the commonly used materials for window frames include vinyl, fibreglass, wood, and aluminum. Vinyl frames are the most efficient, plus they require low maintenance. Fibreglass frames are also a good option with regard to efficiency, and so are timber frames, except for the high maintenance requirements. Aluminum is highly durable, but it has low efficiency and is not recommended for cold climate.

Proper Glass Selection

Choosing the right window glasses can help to reduce heat loss and save on the energy needed for heating your space. There are three factors to consider when choosing window glass:

  • Visible transmission (VT) – This is a measure of the amount of daylight passing through the glass. It is recommended that you use window glasses with a higher VT value in cold climates. Their high efficiency reduces and even eliminates the need for turning on the lights.
  • Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) – This is a measure of the amount of heat passing through the window glass. The recommended value for window glass in cold climates is 0.55.
  • U-value – The recommended value for window glass in cold climates is 0.33 or less.

Beyond these values, there are other ways to increase the energy efficiency of your windows, including:

  • Using multi-pane windows (as opposed to single-pane style) that use a vacuum between the panes to improve insulation and reduce energy loss. The panes can also be filled with an inert gas, such as argon, krypton, or xenon to maximize their efficiency.
  • Using low emissivity (low-e) glass, which uses a metallic oxide coating on the inner surface to inhibit heat transfer from warm to cool environments. The low-e coating should be applied on the external side of the innermost glass in cold climates.

Lastly, you may consider mounting storm windows on the inner or outer side of your main window glass to boost thermal efficiency, and nonmetallic warm-edge spacers to prevent condensation from forming on inside panes. As a rule of thumb, only shop for Energy Star qualified windows, as they are guaranteed to reduce your energy bills during the cold months.

Recent Posts

Best Way To Clean Windows – Streak Free Window Cleaning

Having spotless windows is a goal of many people, and it doesn’t matter how old or new your windows are. Clean windows go a long way in ensuring that natural light can efficiently get into your home. Everyone seems to have a different method of how they clean windows and the best way to clean […]

Read More
The Benefit Of New Windows In Medicine Hat

If you’re putting plastic wrap all over your windows in the winter in order to prevent the cold and drafty air from getting in, then there’s a good chance you’ll be missing the view of the outdoors very fast. Old windows can become a frustrating nuisance quickly, and if you’re wanting new windows in Medicine […]

Read More
What’s Involved In Bay Window Replacement?

Bay windows started to become very popular throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Around 20% of houses had these windows installed. If you’ve owned a house that’s had bay windows in it since 1970, there is a good chance that it’s beginning to reach the end of its life. If you need to do a bay […]

Read More
A Guide On How To Remove Tape Residue From Windows

When people aren’t quite ready to do a full window replacement yet, they’ll resort to other methods to prevent the cold air from getting in. One of these methods is to apply duct tape to the windows. While duct tape might be a quick and temporary fix, it’s also one that will leave you with […]

Read More

Leave a Comment