ENERGY STAR is the international symbol of premium energy efficiency. Products that display the ENERGY STAR symbol have been tested according to prescribed procedures and have been found to meet or exceed higher energy efficiency levels without compromising performance. NRCan’s OEE administers ENERGY STAR in Canada. In addition to enrolling participants in the program (if they are not already enrolled in the United States), the OEE promotes and monitors the use of the ENERGY STAR symbol across Canada. To qualify for the ENERGY STAR symbol, products must meet technical specifications designed to ensure that they are among the top energy performers on the market. ENERGY STAR is an international symbol of energy efficiency.
The ENERGY STAR Most Efficient designation is an extension of the ENERGY STAR brand and is designed to recognize and advance the most efficient products among those that qualify for the ENERGY STAR program. EnerGuard Windows has been a proud manufacturer of ENERGY STAR Most Efficient models since 2013.
The ENERGY STAR symbol helps consumers quickly and easily identify energy-using equipment that save energy. ENERGY STAR identifies products as the top high efficiency performer in their category. ENERGY STAR is a dynamic government/industry partnership that makes it easy for businesses and consumers to save money and protect the environment.
ENERGY STAR qualified windows will save you money by reducing your energy costs up to 12%. Not only that, they’ll help keep your home comfortable all year-round, reduce outside noise, and, depending on the amount of humidity in your home, will have a lot less condensation in cold weather.
How Does it Work?
- Canada has been divided into three climate zones.
- The climate zones for which a window is ENERGY STAR qualified will be shown on a label or on its sales literature.
- Simply choose a product model that is qualified for the climate zone that you live in.
If all of the original windows in an average older home were replaced by ENERGY STAR qualified windows, the household energy consumption would be reduced by about 7%, which would save three quarters of a tonne of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions annually. If ENERGY STAR qualified windows were installed in an average new home instead of conventional products, energy consumption would be reduced by about 12%.
Many products will qualify for more than one zone in Canada. The more zones a product qualifies for, the more energy efficient it is. So, if you buy a product that is qualified for one or more zones that are colder than where you live, you can save even more on your energy costs.
An ENERGY STAR qualified window will have many of the following features:
- double or triple glazing with a sealed insulating glass unit;
- low emissivity or “low-e” glass;
- inert gas such as argon or krypton in the sealed unit;
- low conductivity or “warm edge” spacer bars;
- insulated frames and sashes
- good airtightness
All ENERGY STAR qualified windows have been certified by an independent accredited agency for their quality and energy performance. Because of this, manufacturers often offer longer warranties for these products.
More About The Climate Zones
The three climate zones in Canada are based on an average annual temperature indicator called a Heating Degree Day (HDD). A Heating Degree Day is the annual sum of the degrees of the average daily temperature for all days below 18°C.
This accumulated sum is then averaged over a thirty-year period to provide a good indication of the average temperature in a certain location. The higher the average HDD value, the colder a location and the longer the heating season is, usually with very cold winter temperatures. Colder locations also require less or no air-conditioning in residential homes and apartments.
The number of zones and their boundaries simply and logically group Canadian cities and regions together to ensure that the colder areas of Canada require the more energy efficient windows and sliding glass doors. Zone 1 is the mildest region in Canada and Zone 2 & 3 are the coldest regions.
If you live in a location that is significantly higher in elevation than the surrounding area, then it is recommended that a product be purchased that is at least one zone colder than what is indicated on the zone map. This would apply especially to areas in southern and central British Columbia where the energy efficiency levels have been determined for major urban centres that are normally located in valleys.
A knowledgeable professional should install windows according to the manufacturer’s instructions. A poorly installed product may not operate properly and could cause cold drafts even though the product itself is energy efficient. Poor installation may also allow water to leak into the home, leading to costly repairs.
©Reproduced with permission of the Minister of Natural Resources Canada, 2010.