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Anytime you are looking to upgrade or make a change to your home, a key consideration needs to be the benefits that will arise from the upgrade. Does it add aesthetic appeal, will it be more convenient, and in the case of windows, is it going to help increase my home’s energy efficiency.

If your home needs a window replacement, of course, the visual appeal of your new windows is important, and the convenience of operation is equally important, but ensuring your new windows are high-efficiency will yield multiple benefits for years to come.

To help explain what high-efficiency windows are, we asked one of our windows and doors consultants to share with us how he explains high-efficiency windows during a consultation, here is what he shared.

Energy-efficient windows in Canada should be ENERGY STAR certified. The ENERGY STAR label identifies the highest level of energy efficiency as dictated by this government of Canada-run program. To get this designation, windows must first pass certain criteria and high standards.

There are four main components that make up a high-efficiency window:

Window Panes: All modern windows are at a minimum double-pane window. These windows include 2 panes of glass to increase the thermos-insulation. Replacement windows in triple and even quadruple pane, which increases the windows’ ability to insulate incrementally.

Low-Emissive Coating:  Low-E coating helps reduce heat loss in the winter months and heat gain in the summer months through your windows. This coating is designed to reflect long-wave infrared energy which has the added bonus of protecting your furniture and belongings from UV damage. Ultimately, Low-E coating helps reduce the fluctuations in temperature that you can experience in your home, making it more comfortable all year round.

Gas-Filled Panes: When the air between your window panes is replaced with either Argon or Krypton gas, it can help increase your windows insulation value further reducing heat loss and protecting your home from cold external temperatures.

Spacers: All high-efficient windows have a spacer that holds the panes of glass at the proper distance from each other and seals the glass layers. These spacers can be made of different materials, such as steel, aluminum, or synthetic elastomeric spacers.

Frame: Window frames can also be built using different materials such as wood, vinyl, and aluminum. A frame with a low U-value will provide better thermal performance.

Even though you may purchase ENERGY STAR labeled windows that have all of the high-efficiency features, the installation of your window also has a big part to play with how energy efficient your window replacement will be. Spray foam, silicone caulking, and weather-stripping will all help your windows provide you high-efficiency windows that will help you reduce your energy consumption and save costs for years to come.