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Heat Loss and Windows: What You Need to Know

With the colder winter months just around the corner, you may be dreading your wintertime hydro and energy bills to heat your home. Part of the reason people experience large fluctuations in heating costs is often due to heat loss through the windows on their home.

Windows take up around 25% of the homes’ exterior. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but also allow sunlight to get inside the home. However, what you may not realize, is one pane of glass can experience 10 times more heat loss compared to a comparable insulated wall of the same size!

To understand how heat loss works, let’s do a quick review of some basic scientific properties about air. Heated or warm air is lighter and moves to the upper areas of the room while cooled or cold air is heavier and moves to towards the ground.

Heat Loss and Windows: What You Need to Know

In the winter, as the warm air moves near the windows, it is cooled and heat loss is occurs, reducing the overall temperature in the home. This results in your furnace running more often to maintain your desire warmness level.

TIP: Condensation on windows in the winter means heat loss is occurring.

Another source of heat loss occurs when there are small gaps around the windows. You may notice this in your home if you feel cool air drafts near the windows. This means the windows are not properly sealed and are allowing cold air into the home.

Stopping Heat Loss

Today’s modern windows are designed to stop heat loss. Most designs are double-paned, which means there are two layers of glass with a gap for air in between each pane. This creates a type of air insulation to keep the warm air inside your home where it belongs. Well-fitted, modern windows also address problems with air gaps and cold air drafts.

Replacement, energy efficient and Energy Star rated windows are highly recommended for homes with windows that are more than ten years old. There have been several advances over the past decade and these work much better to stop heat loss.

In addition, you want to make sure replacement windows are rated at least with an Energy Star Rating for Zone 2 due to the cold Ottawa winters. Using Zone 1 windows will not be as effective at stopping heat loss. In some cases, like for windows that never get any direct sunlight a Zone 3 rating may be more appropriate for your home.

If you are not looking forward to another winter of costly heating bills, now is the time to consider getting Energy Star approved windows installed on your Ottawa home. Please feel free to contact Westend Windows & Doors at 613-491-5121 for assistance in selecting the best window styles to stop heat loss and obtain a free quote today!

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