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Energy Efficiency and Home Comfort Can Be Compatible

Window Geeks

The team from Capture Energy speaks about the role Energy Advisors play in improving our homes.

As damaging storms, heat waves, and other extreme weather events grow more common, energy efficiency is moving higher up the to-do list for many of us. But working with an energy advisor to prioritize energy efficiency doesn’t mean you have to give up on comfort.

Think of an air-tight, well-insulated home as a thermos - it works just as well in keeping your lemonade cold as it does in keeping your coffee hot. Or in other words, you keep the warm air inside during the winter and trap cool air in the summer.

Natural Resources Canada created the software energy advisors use. It favours higher solar heat gain through windows to reduce reliance on other heating sources, especially in parts of the country where it is colder for more of the year than in B.C.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient

SHGC is how much solar radiation transfers through a window. It is rated on a scale of 0.00, which is opaque, to 1.00, which would be a hole in the wall. A higher SHGC is a great way to trap the “free heat” from the winter sun but it isn’t so great when your house heats up too much in the summer and you have to crank up your air conditioning.

So the question to answer is how to strike the right balance in solar heat gain. This is where flexibility comes in. Energy advisors don’t follow a prescriptive energy model - plugging data into a formula and spitting out a final number.

They measure every window in the house–whether you have 10 or 100. They consider the direction the windows face, their size, the window to wall ratio, and even whether there are awnings providing shade in the summer. Looking at the entire house as a system–not simply its individual parts. They get into the insulation, the heating and cooling systems, as well as the windows and how they all work together. What happens if we increase the insulation? Or increase the glazing on a south-facing window versus east or west-facing windows or give one window a higher SHGC than the others. How does that change the efficiency of the home?

There are thousands of scenarios for every home. Energy advisors work with the builder, the window consultants, and the homeowner to customize every part of the home to maximize efficiency while meeting budget requirements and, most of all, the comfort inside your four walls.

Capture Energy

This post was written by our friends at Capture Energy. Head on over to their website to see how they can help with your next home renovation project. For more information on windows and the difference they can make, reach out to our Window Geeks today and sign up for our biweekly newsletter!

Written by: Les Ferris , June 10, 2022
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