Energy Star Windows & Doors: Understanding What This Means

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It’s costing more and more every year to heat and cool Ontario homes and that’s why It’s never been more beneficial to install energy-efficient doors and windows. Fully insulated and engineered with advanced materials, modern doors, and windows seal your home from the elements, helping your HVAC regulate and maintain temperatures more easily. Windows and doors meeting these industry standards are designated by NFRC labels and Energy Star ratings to help educate consumers.

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Energy Efficiency in Ontario

Ontario sees wild swings in temperature all year long from frigid temperatures in winter to sizzling temperatures in summer. That’s why having energy-efficient doors and windows is so important in this province. With enhanced insulating technologies throughout, modern windows and doors are built to create a solid seal.

That means your HVAC system won’t have to work so hard to meet the thermostat. A more efficient HVAC means lower utility bills, and because you’re using less energy, you’re lowering your output of greenhouse gas emissions.

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What is Energy Star?

Energy Star is a symbol and program backed by public and private partnerships. The Energy Star label lets consumers know an appliance, window or door meets certain standards for energy efficiency, making you feel good about your eco-conscious investment.

Across Canada and the United States where Energy Star is followed, it’s estimated that the program has saved people more than $500 billion in utility bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 4 billion metric tonnes.

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Understanding the Energy Star Label

The Energy Star logo typically looks like the outline of the earth with a white star and the word “energy” written in a cursive font, all set against a blue background. The words “ENERGY STAR” are typically included underneath the main logo.

In Ontario, if you see this logo on your window or door somewhere, you know that it’s a certified, energy-efficient product for your home.

Energy Star-rated windows must be 20% more energy efficient than the average window, doors should be 15% more efficient than the average door, and skylights must be 35% more efficient than the average skylight. There is an even higher designation known as Energy Star Most Efficient where in this category windows and doors are 55% more efficient than your average windows and doors.


The NFRC Label in Ontario

Another type of energy-efficient designation in Ontario is the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) performance rating for doors and windows. NFRC labels give consumers valuable data about these products and help them compare the energy efficiency of doors and windows.

Key Components of NFRC Label

For Windows:

  • U-factor
  • Solar Heat Gain Coefficient
  • Visible Transmittance
  • Air Leakage

For Doors:

  • Product Description
  • Glass Area
  • Door-specific Rating

Each metric listed here tells you about the door or window’s ability to retain heat and help regulate a comfortable temperature inside your home, saving you money on your utility bills and helping you reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Interpreting U-Factor and Its Importance in Ontario

The U-factor concerns how well a door or window can keep heat from getting out of a room. In a range between 0.00 and 2.00, the lower the number is the better your door or window will be at retaining heat. This is a critical metric for Ontario homeowners because of the harsh winter climate. Reducing heat loss and saving energy is key.

Understanding Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) in Ontario’s Context

This measurement speaks to how well a door or window can stand up to non-desirable indirect or direct radiation. Radiation can raise the heat levels of your home, regardless of what the thermometer says outside all year round. Of course in the cold Ontario winters, solar heat gain is a bonus, keeping heating costs down. But in the summer, it can make your AC work harder than it should have, driving up your energy costs and emissions.

Visible Transmittance (VT) for Natural Daylighting in Ontario

This metric tells you how much natural daylight a window or door can let in. This is important because if your doors or windows let in more natural light, you’ll be less inclined to use artificial light and therefore increase energy consumption. The higher the number is in the VT category, the more natural light the product lets in. This is especially crucial in Ontario where daylight hours are very limited in the winter months.

Air Leakage and Its Impact on Ontario’s Climate

The air leakage number indicates how much air the door or window will let you into your home. To avoid drafts in your home, pick a product with a lower number. Air leakage is an important consideration when you’re buying windows and doors for an Ontario home to keep humidity and cold air out of your home. Having a well-sealed home enhances comfort and lets your HVAC system run more efficiently.

Energy Star Rebates and Incentives in Ontario

There are thousands of dollars of rebates and incentives available for homeowners who choose to install Energy Star-rated windows in Ontario. First, you must get an environmental assessment by a registered energy advisor. Then, get your report of suggested upgrades. Next, you install the energy-efficient windows and doors and get reassessed again. If your home has improved scores on energy efficiency, you could be eligible for a rebate of up to $325 on each window, as well as a rebate of up to $600 for the costs of your environmental assessments.

More information about rebates for installing energy-efficient windows and doors in Ontario

Ready to Improve Your Windows and Doors?

Are you ready to improve the look of your home and the comfort of your family, all while lowering your utility costs and lessening your impact on the environment? Milano Windows and Doors have the Energy Star windows and doors you need to qualify for energy retrofit rebates in Ontario.

If you’re looking to upgrade your windows and doors, make sure you’re exploring available Energy Star-certified products from reputable distributors and installers who know which doors and windows can best help an Ontario home keep energy costs down. Contact Milano Windows and Doors now to book your free consultation.