If your resolutions for 2017 included saving money, you may want to consider adding renovation windows to your savings plan. The recent cold weather was certainly a reminder of how efficient or maybe inefficient your current home energy is. Vinyl windows can replace single pane, or double pane glass in an older home or upgrade less efficient windows. This can prevent the warm air you've already paid to heat from escaping outside.
Canada uses the same standards as the US, determined by the NAFS (National Fenestration Rating Council). These ratings measure the performance of windows by region and by the application.
When we say that our windows are designed for the west coast, it's because performance ratings are specific to location. The amount of wind pressure a building experiences in one region of Canada will be different from other regions. Likewise, the amount of driving rain that we experience here on the coast is significantly different from other regions. Modern renovation windows are manufactured specifically for the weather they will be enduring. When you buy a window or skylight that is certified, it means that it has been tested against conditions by an accredited laboratory, and that a third party has verified the results.
Energy Zone: Canada recognizes 4 distinct climate zones based on the annual average temperature, described as zones 1, 2, and 3. Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast are within Canada’s mildest zone 1 and require a Zone 1 Rated window. By the way, Modern also manufactures windows suitable for zones 2 and 3.
PG Grade: This refers to the minimum Performance Grade. The larger the size of the window, the higher the rating required. Residential windows have the lowest PG rating and architectural windows have the highest.
Air Penetration: Windows are tested against a standardized flow of air pressure simulating winds of 40km/hr to test their durability in the frame as well as how much air passes through. All windows and sliding glass doors must be rated for their air tightness and are given a rating between A1 (Canadian minimum) and A3.
Wind Load Strength: Windows are also tested to measure the force of wind they can withstand. These results are also divided into different categories depending on the climatic conditions that range from C1-C5.
Water Penetration: This test measures the amount of moisture that can pass through a window, simulating the conditions of the driving rain that we can experience on the coast, and range from B1-B7. For windows on the east and north coasts of Vancouver Island, a rating of B3 is required, B4 for the west coast, and B5 for Haida Gwaii. The highest rating of B7 would withstand leakage at up to 120km/hr.
U Value: A U-value measures how readily heat transfers to or from a window. The lower the U-value number, the slower the transfer of heat from a warm area to a cold area (inside-out). In this case, the lower the number is, the better the efficiency. The R-Value is the opposite, which measures a window's resistance to transferring heat. The higher the R-Value number, the better its insulating properties are.
If you’re considering renovating your windows this spring and are comparing products, give Modern a call. Not only do we sell windows, we also manufacture them right here in Powell River. Our staff can help you find the best solutions for your new construction or window renovation project.