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Passive Home

Energy Star Ratings & What They Mean for You

November 17, 2021

Everyone has seen products with the Energy Star sticker on them, but do you know what that rating really means? Energy Star is actually a government-backed symbol for products that are energy efficient and better for the environment. This label was established to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants caused by the inefficient use of energy. With ongoing efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions many countries throughout the world have adopted one form or another of certifying product that meet energy efficient requirements and in North America, arguably, one of the most recognized certifications is Energy Star.

To be Energy Star certified, windows must have a U-Factor of .27 BTU/(hour·foot²°F) or less. At Access Window & Door Design Centre however, we set our standards much higher than that, and always have. Our windows range from .15 – .17. From the beginning, our focus has always been to produce windows and doors that have been designed to be more energy efficient, and our goal has always been to provide our customers with a superior product.

When it comes to U-Factor ratings, the lower the number, the better as heat loss through the window is proportionate to this number. Our windows and doors provide almost half as much heat loss when compared to the Energy Star requirements.

What does this lower number mean for you as a homeowner? Reduced heating and cooling costs! With less heat escaping through your windows and doors in the winter and less heat entering your windows in the summer, spending more money on a superior product in the beginning will mean cost savings for you in the future.

While there are more cost-effective options for windows and doors on the market, we found that most either don’t hit the requirements for the Energy Star rating or just barely surpass the minimum requirement. As mentioned before, our products have tested at nearly twice as efficient as the minimum Energy Star requirement to ensure that all of our clients can feel confident that their home has some of North America’s most efficient windows & doors.

To obtain an Energy Star rating, companies must provide 3rd party results in Canada through a licensed and independent testing laboratory. Similarly, a manufacturing company must have their products subjected to physical testing in the United States through a similar process. Once testing is complete a full report on the product is sent back which is used to apply for the different certifications.

When we applied for the Energy Star rating in both Canada and the United States, we passed with flying colours. Prior to the Energy Star certification, we also acclaimed the PHIUS (Passive House Institute of the US), and the NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council) certifications – both of which are prestigious North American certification institutes with high standards for certification.

An increasing number of builders, architects, engineers, and homeowners have become more energy conscience and are specifically on the hunt for windows and doors with the Energy Star rating, among others. There are also often incentives for homeowners to choose Energy Star products with added tax advantages given by their provincial or state legislative bodies. Often, homeowners can claim up to 10% of the product cost on their yearly taxes, as long as they are living at the residence, and the product they’ve invested in is Energy Star certified. Energy Star certifications are not limited to windows and doors and can apply to a wide range of things such as appliances, shower heads, lights, etc.

At Access Window and Door Design Centre, we have always held our products to high standards which we are happy to provide our potential customers. With an incentive to purchasing a more energy efficient options for windows and doors as well as long term heating a cooling savings, there really isn’t a good reason to not go this route. Are you interested in upgrading your home or are interested to learn more for your new home? Our knowledgeable team would love to talk to you about your options. Contact us today to get started!