For 40 years, Magic Window Innovations has provided the GTA with some of the most advanced residential windows in the world. Our innovative, Energy Star certified replacement windows, patio doors and Window Walls can add style and performance to any home. Welcome to our blog, where we provide consumers with the information and inspiration they need to make informed decisions about replacing their windows.
When evaluating the overall performance of a set of windows it’s worth considering the role they play in every home. More than just aesthetic features, windows and glass doors serve a vital dual purpose: they simultaneously allow homeowners to feel connected to the outdoors and protect the inside of the home from the elements. And while any window provides a view, only expertly crafted, energy-efficient windows can serve both purposes effectively. One of the most reliable standardized measures of a window’s energy efficiency is the Energy Star program. Read on to learn more about the program and three convincing reasons to choose Energy Star windows for your home.
What is the Energy Star Program?
The Energy Star initiative acts as an unbiased program that reviews and evaluates the energy efficiency capabilities of various types of consumer products. It also helps businesses and commercial facilities identify energy-saving measures they take to make their place of business more cost-effective and efficient.1 When it comes to home consumer products such as windows, skylights and doors, Energy Star certification helps homeowners understand which products meet the rigorous standards of the program so they can make purchasing decisions that are good for their homes, the broader environment and their wallets.
1. Energy Star Windows Meet Rigorous Performance Standards
Though it’s not the only indicator of a high-performance window, Energy Star certification is a sign that a window unit has gone through a rigorous, independent evaluation and has passed based on certain performance indicators. After these performance indicators are quantified, the program assigns the window an overall energy rating. The program takes the following things into account when evaluating a window:
This term describes the rate of heat loss through a window. The lower the U-factor, the better the window is at mitigating heat loss. This is obviously a crucial factor in determining whether or not a window is energy efficient.
Low-E (Low Emissivity) Coating
Affects a window’s ability to regulate temperature. Emissivity refers to how effectively a material radiates energy. In the case of windows, this means external heat from the sun or internal heat from an HVAC unit. When glass has a low emissivity, it reflects this heat far better than it absorbs or emits it.2 The Low-E coating remains transparent to the solar energy from the sun and allows it to pass through into the home. However, it also reflects the radiant heat emitted by objects in a room back into the room, which can help to reduce heat loss during the winter.3 Above all, the Low-E coating is used to maximize the thermal efficiency of the window according to the climate zone (more on climate zones later).
Air leakage infiltration measures the amount of airflow into the building via the window and exfiltration is the flow of air out of the building. This is a fundamental performance metric for the Energy Star program.
Gas fills are an essential step in creating an insulated glass unit (an IGU). In these units, manufacturers fill the space between the glass units with krypton or argon gas. These heavier, noble gases are preferable to air because they can better impede the transfer of heat through a window.
Most IGUs on the market are separated by ½ – ¾ of an inch. Due to our innovative approach to window hardware design, we are able to extend that space to a full inch. This means we can fill our IGUs with 25%-50% more gas. More gas leads to more effective insulation. It’s these types of design features that allow our replacement windows to not only exceed the efficiency standards of the Energy Star program, but also other rigorous programs like the National Fenestration Rating Council.
To determine the overall energy rating, the Energy Star program created a formula. This formula balances heat loss (U-factor), air leakage loss and potential passive solar gain of a domestic window.
For more information on how Magic Window Innovations implements these performance criteria into all of our windows, consult The Parts of a Window: A Guide to Window Design.
2. Efficient Windows Perform According to Your Climate
Because Canada is such a large country with varied climates and temperature fluctuations, the Energy Star program has a system that divides the country up into three climate zones. In this system, zone 1 is the warmest and zone 3 the coldest:
In order for any window to meet the Energy Star certification, they must adhere to certain standards set for each respective climate zone. For example, homeowners in the GTA would fall into zone 2. As a result, those looking for replacement windows in Toronto must look for Energy Star windows that approved for this zone. Certain windows, such as ones formulated by Magic Window Innovations, are certified for all three Canadian climate zones. It’s important for homeowners to be aware of what climate zone they live in and ask for products that are certified for it.
Effective January 1, 2020, ENERGY STAR Canada zone criteria will be the same for all of Canada and will no longer be divided into three zones (1, 2 and 3). For more information on this upcoming change, click here.
3. Efficient Windows Can Save You Money
Purchasing Energy Star-certified replacement windows is not just an investment in more responsible, efficient energy use. It’s also a way to save money on energy costs. With the rising cost of energy becoming a perpetual concern, homeowners can rest assured knowing that Energy Star windows give them an opportunity to cut costs. On average, windows that adhere to the Energy Star program can save homeowners 8% on their energy bills. That said, it can get even better. The most efficient Energy Star-certified windows are up to 40% more efficient than standard windows.
Magic Window Innovations is an Energy Star Partner
At Magic Window Innovations, we design our windows to be as energy efficient as possible. As an Energy Star Partner, our products exceed all of Energy Star’s requirements. Consequently, our windows can improve a home’s efficiency by over 40%. That number doesn’t even take into account the efficiencies generated by our Integrated Blind Systems and Energy Blind Technology.
To learn more about how our replacement windows can improve your home’s energy efficiency, book a free consultation today. One of our certified project managers will help to explain the innovative design features that set our windows apart. Contact us today and see first-hand why Magic Window Innovations produces the world’s most advanced replacement windows.