What Are The Best Windows For Cold Climates

What Are The Best Windows For Cold Climates

Its winter and temps have steadily been decreasing, along with snow increasing. If you have old windows and notice more cool drafts coming through them, consider replacing them to save on your heating bills and keep you warmer.

In today’s blog, we’ll discuss the best windows for cold climates.

What Are the Best Residential Windows for Cold Climates?

There’s no one-size-fits-all choice of windows; however, most experts say low conductive, foam-filled fiberglass and vinyl-frame casement windows (double or triple-glazing) are best. Couple it with very low U-factor (window insulation value – capacity of the window to block the transmission of heat), and relatively high solar-gain coefficient (shading ability of the window).

What Are the Best Windows for Mixed Climates?

If you live in an area that gets cold winters and hot summers, consider double-glazed windows with a proper solar-gain (SHGC) coefficient. The window U-value should be the same as cold climates; however, the SHGC value differs according to the side of the house. High SHGC glazed must be used with caution on the sun’s facing windows to help with overheating in summer.

Conversely, west and east-side windows should have low SGHC for solar heat gain limits and be small in size. Again, these windows can also contribute to overheating in summer. Tuning the type of glass for specific walls is vital for energy savings and comfort. Let’s talk about the different types of glazing.

Note that most types of glass for cold climates don’t usually work with a mixed-climate. For instance, south walls may require a different glass than north walls. In energy-efficient homes, triple glazing windows make sense in cold climates and are great for homes facing noisy locations. Be aware that large east and west-facing windows can create small periods of overheating in summer, so consider using recessed windows with summer shading.

Double or Triple-Glazed Windows?

In the US, the NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council) rates windows on these four criteria: the U-factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, Visible Transmittance, and Air Leakage.

Some people think triple-glazing is the best choice since it has the best chances of keeping cold out; however, it may not be best for a mixed climate, where summers are hot, and it’s more expensive. High-quality double-glazed windows will keep you warmer in the winter while cutting on energy costs; it’s also best for hot summer climates.

What Are the Best Replacement Windows?

You could get the best windows available, but if your home is poorly insulated or prone to leaks, it won’t provide the level of comfort or energy savings you need. If you decide you want to replace your windows, ensure your home is first properly insulated and any leaks fixed.

The ideal values for windows in cold climates are double or triple-glazed (if not in hot summers) with a very low U-factor and high solar-gain (SHGC) coefficient.


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If you have other questions, please contact us and let our experts help you. Our trained professionals can guide you to the right windows for your home. Call us today.