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Improving Energy Efficiency using Modern Window Technology

Guest Post | Feb 5, 2021

Energy efficient ecoline windows - Improving Energy Efficiency using Modern Window Technology

“An average Canadian spends approximately $130-$150 per month on gas and $125 - $160 on electricity, which makes it on average a total of $3,000 - $3,700 utility bills per year. This means utility bills, which cover a large part of your home or office heating and cooling, would be taking a large chunk of your money”, - says Arkadi Lykovsky, Ecoline Windows expert from Vancouver.

However, the amount of energy Canadians spend is highly dependent on how committed they are to taking steps to reduce the amount of energy their homes or office consume daily, monthly and yearly. One major step to take to reduce the amount spent on utility is by choosing energy-efficient windows, doors and skylights that would save money and keep your home comfortable in all seasons.

Energy-efficient windows and doors help you save energy. The glass in our windows comes with a standard Low-E coating. Rooms that get a lot of direct sunlight can overheat during the day. Low-E glass reflects sun rays away from the house and keeps your home comfortable. There are different Low-E coatings based on how much sunlight you want to block. The same technology stops heat from escaping your home during the winter, reducing heating costs.

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High-performance energy efficiency windows and doors must meet specific standard requirements to ensure they perform efficiently. This article will discuss in detail the industry standard and requirements they must meet.

Industry Standards

Industry standards are the criteria that exist in a particular field and are commonly the accepted requirements that must be adhered to in that industry. In this context, we take a look at those requirements that energy-efficient windows should meet to be considered standard.

Certification Requirements

Certification requirements are the demands every high-performance energy efficiency window must meet to be certified. For energy-efficient products to be certified, they must pass through the ENERGY STAR scrutiny.

Standard Specification

Standard specifications are a set of components, materials, or processes needed to achieve uniformity and efficiency of a set of products.  Standard, high-performance energy efficiency product has a standard specification. This specification is issued by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authorized NRCan to issue the ENERGY STAR name and symbol in Canada.

To be entitled to the ENERGY STAR certification, there is a need for third-party organizations to test energy-efficient. These organizations received their accreditation from either the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) or Standard Council of Canada (SCC) to meet specific U-value, Energy Rating and air-tight efficiency specifications for Version 1, 2020 dated January 1, 2020.

  • U-Factor

The U-Factor calculates how much a product can prevent heat from leaking out of a room. One way to know this is to check for how high or low the number is because the lower the number, the better the product is at preventing the heat from leaving the room.

  • Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)

Basically, SHGC is the fraction of solar radiation passing through a window, skylight, or door. It might be either transmitted directly or absorbed and consequently emitted as heat within the house. The lower the SHGC, the less solar heat it spreads and the higher its shading facility.

  • Air Leakage

This calculates the amount of air that is likely to gain access to your home via a product. The amount of air leakage you will experience is dependent on the number.

  • Energy Rating (ER)

When it comes to window products, the Energy Rating (ER) is an authorized neutral organization's evaluation. A rigorous standard procedure takes place to assess the products. Basically, ER rating for windows measures its overall efficiency based on the following factors:

  • solar heat gain
  • air leakage heat loss
  • heat loss through frames, spacer, and glass

The key rule here is: the higher is better. A higher rating leads to better performance.

What is NFRC?

National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) is a non-profit organization in the United States. It focuses on the responsibility of sponsoring energy efficiency certification and issue labels for windows, skylights and doors.

The NFRC is a program set up for a purpose: provision of performance ratings for energy-efficient products. These products are in five groupings and they include:  U-value, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, Visible Transmittance, Air Leakage and Condensation resistance. This enables you to set up a comparison of the energy efficiency that exists among products and ascertain if each product meets the required standard.

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The NFRC is operating under strict monitoring processes as regards the NFRC certification programs, thereby ensuring that your energy efficiency products meet the highest quality standard for best performance.

What is NAFS-11?

North American Fenestration Specifications for windows, doors and skylights, NAFS-11, is a standard that is measured when two or more windows joined together align with specific performance assessments.

What is the ENERGY STAR?

Energy Star is a program set up by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy (DOE). The program has a focus, which is to provide support to consumers to save money while they have access to safe environmental practices through energy-efficient products.

What are ENERGY STAR Requirements?

Any product with the Energy Star label showcases that it is a top-rated, cost-effective and high-performance product. Below is a representation of how residential windows, doors, and skylights in Canada are certified in the ENERGY STAR program.  The requirements are reflected in the Tables below. To be certified, at least of the requirements in them must be met.

Table 1: U-factor Criteria for Residential Windows and Doors

ProductMax U-factorMax U-factor
Windows and doors1.22 W/m2.k0.21 Btu/h.ft2°F


Table 2: Alternate ER Criteria for Residential Windows and Doors

ProductMin ER
Windows and Doors34


Ecoline Windows Case Study

Below is a case study of Ecoline Windows, energy efficiency windows manufacturer in Canada. They have over 40,000 installations, and all their products are ENERGY STAR rated and NAFS 11- tested.  Below is the evaluation of the qualities of some of their specific products.

New Stage Ultra Plus R9 IG Units

The Ultra plus triple is a high-performance energy-efficient window certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), Stage Ultra Plus, R9 IG units, has a triple glazing system is produced to deliver a 0.11 U-Factor, which compares to an insulating factor.

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The New Stage Ultra Plus, R9 IG units, was produced to help conserve energy and increase comfort during summer and winter seasons through its optimized features like the low-e, Ultra plus glazing system and silicon expanded foam soap spacer.  Another unique highlight to the Ultra Plus R9 IG units is its German high performing Hot Melt sealing process.

Double and Triple Pane         

In what circumstances is a double or triple pane required?

Ecoline Windows: Because glass panes are the largest and most vulnerable part of a window, it is necessary to provide an adequate amount of insulation for harsh climate conditions, which is why a minimum of 2 panes is always required. However, triple pane windows are best for areas with low winter temperatures. Our Ecoline triple glass has high energy rating standards.

Ecoline windows cross section - Improving Energy Efficiency using Modern Window Technology

LoE Coated Glass

Can you briefly explain what the LoE Coated Glass does?

Ecoline Windows:  Our Low-emissive glass coatings help keep in the internal more than an ordinary glass would, especially during cold winter seasons while it serves as a sun shield by filtering harmful UV rays and lessening heat penetration in summer. We have different combinations of LoE glass coatings available for different levels of performance.

Argon and Krypton Gas 

What does Argon and Krypton Gas do?

Ecoline Windows: Our Argon and Krypton gas conduct about 50% less heat in the air. They use these gases to consume the spaces between the double and triple pane windows which protect against heat loss, condensation and cold weather to save more energy and provide comfort. The Ecoline windows are equipped with different unique features which play a vital role in enhancing their functionality. Below are some of these features:

●      PVC Profile Walls

How thick are PVC profile walls?

Ecoline Windows: Our PVC walls are 7 to 10 % thicker than the regular for all the types of windows. It includes casement, casement fixed, picture windows and awning.

  • True Multi-Chamber Design

What is the purpose of the True Multi-Chamber Design?

Ecoline Windows:  All our Ecoline windows use the True Multi-Chamber design for three basic purposes: to improve structural performance, improve sound insulation and reduce warping.

●      Multiple Glazing Options

What multiple glazing options do you have available?

Ecoline Windows: we have a variety of glazing options available. For the traditional double glazing, it is equipped with 7/8 overall thickness. While the triple glazing options are 1-3/8. And they are primarily used for awning, casement, casement fixed and picture windows. All the options we have available for sliders and hung windows are 1-1/4 without grill limitations.

●      Screen Groove Port Design

What is the function of the Screen Groove Port design?

Ecoline Windows: The purpose of the Screen Groove Port Design is to basically for improved push-down screen fit in the casement and awning windows.

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The Bottom Line

Modern window technology is the key to conserving energy, protecting the environment and living comfortably in all seasons as they help you pay fewer bills on heating and cooling, provide warmth or cold to suit your needs and reduce greenhouse emissions. However, energy efficiency products go through a series of scrutiny to be fit to use, all of which have been discussed in this article. To ensure you make the best decisions when determining if an energy efficiency product would yield high performance, it's important to consider the certification requirements demanded of every energy efficiency window for best results.


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