FAQs - ENERGY STAR® Fenestration Products 1. Why should I buy ENERGY STAR® qualified windows, doors or skylights? • Windows, doors and skylights – collectively known as fenestration products – are a major source of heat loss in Canadian homes. Fenestration products that qualify for the ENERGY STAR® mark have been independently tested and certified to be among the most energy-efficient on the market, so installing them in your home will reduce your energy consumption and save you money. But there’s more: energyefficient windows will also increase your comfort, cut down noise levels from outside the home, have less condensation in cold weather than standard products, and allow fewer ultraviolet rays to pass through glazed areas, thus better protecting your valuables from sun damage. Last but certainly not least, by reducing your home’s energy consumption, ENERGY STAR® qualified windows, doors and skylights also reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are contributing to climate change. Please see: Reason #5 (Quiet Window Technology), Reason #6 (Diamond Premium Glass), Reason #9 (The Right LOW-E Glass), Reason #11 (True North Technology Achieves R8+) in your 17 Reasons magazine.
FAQs - ENERGY STAR® Fenestration Products 2. Why should I be concerned about climate change? • Climate change is a serious environmental problem that could have significant consequences for our health, our economy and our children’s future. All Canadians contribute to the problem, and we all need to be part of the solution. Making smart energy choices around the home – including installing ENERGY STAR® qualified fenestration products – is a great way to start.
FAQs - ENERGY STAR® Fenestration Products 3. How much money can I expect to save by installing ENERGY STAR® qualified fenestration products? • Homeowners who replace all of their old windows and doors with ENERGY STAR® qualified products will typically save about 7 percent on their energy bills, depending on the number of windows and doors replaced, how old they are, and how much air leakage was occuring. Buyers of new homes with ENERGY STAR® qualified fenestration products can save up to 12 percent on their energy bills compared to standard products (the savings tend to be greater for new homes because they are typically larger and have more windows and doors than older homes.) The truth is windows result in only 7 - 12 percent savings on your energy bill, period. If you have been promised more, you should definitely ask for proof in writing. Replacing your windows is about something far more important than 7 -12 percent. It’s about your family’s comfort.
FAQs - ENERGY STAR® Fenestration Products 4. How will I know if I need new windows, doors or skylights? • Unusually high energy bills, uncomfortable drafts around doors and windows, and frost on your windows on cold winter days are among the clues that fenestration products may be in need of repair or replacement. In addition, your local VWD dealer, armed with LOW-E Detectors, will complete a no-charge, no obligation test on your existing windows. Just contact us and we’ll look after everything else. They don’t even have to ring your doorbell!
FAQs - ENERGY STAR® Fenestration Products 5. How will I know if a window, door or skylight is ENERGY STAR® qualified? • It’s easy - just look for the familiar ENERGY STAR® mark on the product or in the manufacturer’s literature. If the map on the ENERGY STAR® label indicates that the product is qualified in the Canadian climate zone where you live, you’ve found a winner! To maximize your long-term energy and cost savings, consider purchasing a product that is ENERGY STAR® qualified for a colder climate zone than where you live. This strategy is especially recommended if you live in a location that is significantly higher in elevation than the surrounding area, such as in southern and central British Columbia. A combination of: Reason #8 (Stainless Warm Edge Spacer) Reason #11 (True North Technology Achieves R8+) and Reason #16 (Warmware) in your 17 Reasons magazine... will ensure that you’ll be comfortable even in the coldest region of Canada. Please see next question.
FAQs - ENERGY STAR® Fenestration Products 6. How does the climate zone system work? • Canada has been divided into four climate zones based on an average annual temperature indicator called a heating degree day (HDD). The higher the HDD value, the colder a location and the longer the heating season. As the climate zones become progressively colder, fenestration products must meet increasingly rigorous performance requirements to qualify for ENERGY STAR®. This means that a window, door or skylight that is ENERGY STAR® qualified in Zone A - the mildest region in Canada - may not be qualified in Zone D, the coldest. That’s why it’s important to make sure the product you choose is ENERGY STAR® qualified in the climate zone where you live. In addition to everything on question 5, please see: Reason #2 (VWD in the top 100 manufacturers of 2012), Reason #7 (PPG Glass Package by VWD), Reason #15 (The Technology is Built Right In) in your 17 Reasons magazine.
FAQs - ENERGY STAR® Fenestration Products 7. Why were special criteria developed for Canada? • ENERGY STAR® criteria for windows, doors and skylights have been in effect in the United States for some time now. However, since the expected performance of these products is based on climate, and Canada’s climate varies significantly from region to region and compared to much of the U.S., it was determined that unique Canadian requirements were warranted. The initial Canadian ENERGY STAR® criteria covered windows and sliding glass doors and came into effect on April 1, 2004. In April 2005, the ENERGY STAR® criteria for these products were strengthened and additional criteria were implemented for entry doors and skylights. Please review your 17 Reasons magazine - especially Reason #17 (Windows for life™).
FAQs - ENERGY STAR® Fenestration Products 8. How does a window, door or skylight qualify for ENERGY STAR®? • To qualify for the ENERGY STAR® mark, fenestration products must meet strict technical requirements for both thermal and structural performance. Products are qualifed based on either their U-Value, potential solar gain and airtightness). The colder the climate zone, the more stringent the requirements. Windows, doors and skylights must also have good airtightness to qualify for ENERGY STAR®. To ensure the integrity of the ENERGY STAR® mark, all product testing is done by accredited laboratories under standardized,quality-controlled conditions. With 25 proud years of manufacturing Windows for Life™, VWD is one of very few manufacturers in North America to have an in-house R&D Department and in-house testing facility. VWD prototypes are tested and proven to meet your high standards before your CSA certified windows reach your home.
FAQs - ENERGY STAR® Fenestration Products 9. Are ENERGY STAR® qualified products more expensive to purchase than conventional windows, doors and skylights? • Not neccessarily – and where there is a cost premium, the money you save in energy bills will more than repay the extra cost, often very quickly. Excellent products are available at competitive prices, so shop around. Whether you’re building a new home or replacing existing windows, doors or skylights as part of a renovation project, it’s a good idea to select the most energy-efficient products you can reasonably afford. Low-priced, poor-quality models can end up costing you a lot more money in the long-term through higher energy bills, and can also lower the resale value of your home. And don’t forget the non-monetary benefits of energy-efficient windows, including increased comfort and reduced condensation and noise penetration. VWD authorized dealers don’t claim to be the cheapest, but they do promise to give you the best value. Please review your 17 Reasons magazine. If you can find a better window than VWD for your money, you should buy it.
FAQs - ENERGY STAR® Fenestration Products 10. What if I find a fenestration product with an ENERGY STAR® label that does not show information for the Canadian climate zones? • This may be a product that qualifies for ENERGY STAR® in the United States but not necessarily in Canada. Remember, specific ENERGY STAR® criteria have been developed for Canada’s climate, which tends to be colder in winter than most parts of the U.S. A fenetration product that does not show the Canadian climate zones may not qualify for ENERGY STAR® where you live. Every VWD window is labeled with the appropriate climate zone. Your VWD authorized dealer will explain your climate zone with you before placing the order to manufacture your windows. Can you imagine buying windows inNorthern Alberta that was zoned for Pelee Island, Ontario?
FAQs - ENERGY STAR® Fenestration Products 11. I am having a new home built – how can I make sure it has energy-efficient windows, doors and skylights? • Make it clear to the builder that you want top-quality, energy-efficient products installed in your new home. The ENERGY STAR® Web site includes a list of qualified windows and sliding glass doors (qualified entry doors and skylights will be posted soon), as well as participating manufacturers and dealers. If the products specified by your builder are not on this list, ask for a cost estimate to upgrade to ENERGY STAR® qualified windows, doors and skylights. VWD has a new construction division that has manufactured over 1,000,000 windows for new houses. For more information, please contact your authorized VWD Dealer.
FAQs - ENERGY STAR® Fenestration Products 12. What if I can’t find an ENERGY STAR® qualified fenestration product? • Look for products that have the features of a typical ENERGY STAR® qualified fenestration product. For windows, patio doors and skylights look for products that have double-or triple-glazing in a sealed unit; low-E coatings; an insert gas fill; low-conductivity spacers, insulated frames and sashes; and a high Energy Rating or low U-value. For entry doors, look for units that have insulated cores; wood, vinyl or thermally broken metal frames; good-quality weatherstripping; maintenance-free framing materials; a high Energy Rating or a low U-value; and a minimum of double-glazing in glass inserts with a low-E coating. Note: only ENERGY STAR® qualified windows, doors and skylights qualify for a grant under the ecoENERGY Retrofit program. If you cannot find ENERGY STAR® qualified products in your area, please call our Customer Service Department at 1.800.668.4820; we’ll make sure you’ll get your hands on ENERGY STAR® awarded Windows for Life™.
FAQs - ENERGY STARÂŽ Fenestration Products 13. How should I handle installation? â€˘ Installation of windows, doors and skylights is best left to a professional. A poorly installed fenestration product may not operate properly and could cause cold drafts, even if the product itself is energy efficient. Poor installation may also allow water to leak into the wall cavity, leading to costly damage. Most manufacturers offer installation services or can recommend a properly trained installer. A good way to ensure a quality installation is to find an installer who has been certified by the Window Wise program, which conducts comprehensive training seminars for installers. This is where we come in, your local window dealer...and this is our track record.
FAQs - ENERGY STAR® Fenestration Products 14. Where can I get more information on energy efficient windows, doors and skylights? • More information is available in the OEE’s publication on energy efficient fenestration products or fact sheet about ENERGY STAR® qualified windows, doors and skylights. As well, “Sill to Sash,” a consumer video guide to buying energy efficient windows and doors, is available on the website of the Canadian Window and Door Manufacturers Association. Canadian Window and Door Manufacturers Association is now called Fenestration Canada http://www.cwdma.ca/lang/en/ Did you know that more ENERGY STAR® Regstered window dealers have chosen VWD than any other manufacturer in Canada... and for seven consecutive years?
FAQs - ENERGY STAR® Fenestration Products 15. As a manufacturer or dealer, how can I participate in the ENERGY STAR® program for fenestration products? • Manufacturers and dealers who want to actively promote ENERGY STAR® qualified products must sign an Administrative Arrangement with Natural Resources Canada (there is no cost to register as an ENERGY STAR® technical specifications. More information for manuifacturers is available on the ENERGY STAR® Web site or by contacting ENERGY STAR® directly.
FAQs - ENERGY STAR® Fenestration Products 16. What are the benefits of participation for manufacturers? • Participating in the ENERGY STAR® program can give manufacturers of fenestration products a competitive advantage, particularly in the renovation market, where the demand for new windows, doors and skylights is strong. Canadian consumers are increasingly looking for the ENERGY STAR® mark when purchasing everything from home electronics and kitchen appliances to heating equipment and computers. The internationally recognized ENERGY STAR® symbol can draw attention to your advertising and other promotions and assure consumers of the quality and performance of your qualified products. Your company name and qualified products will be listed on the ENERGY STAR® website, and you may be able to participate in joint marketing and promotional campaigns or take advantage of training workshops. At VWD, manufacturing high quality products goes beyond ENERGY STAR® awards and their bragging rights. It’s about maintaining a 25-year-old bond between this company and Canadian homeowners. It’s about standing behind VWD products – for life. Please see Reason #17 in your 17 Reasons magazine.
FAQs - ENERGY STARÂŽ Fenestration Products 17. Bonus Question: What is the ideal air space between panes of glass to reduce heat loss from convection? â€˘ Air movement in the spaces between panes of glass results in heat loss from convection. If the space is too small, conduction through the air is significant. If the air space is too large, the still air rises, as it is heated on the warm interior side and falls as it is cooled on the cold exterior side of the window. This convection movement of the air passes heat to the exterior. The best spacing to minimize convection losses is 12 to 16mm (1/2 in. to 2.3 in.) between the glazings. Gases (argon and krypton) are often used to reduce convection heat loss. Optimum spacing for these gases can be different. Please see Reason #17 in your 17 Reasons magazine.