When it comes to upgrading your home, government window rebates are a great option. They’re now better than ever, allowing customers to save a huge amount on their project. Our Centra Window Geek Anton Van Dyk spoke to CTV Morning Live about what kind of windows qualify for these rebates.
Tell us about the rebates we can access, because replacing windows can be expensive.
There are two types of rebates available today – one from the federal government, the other from the provincial government. These rebates are designed to incentivize people to use products that are better than code. It’s like how you could get a rebate for an electric car, but not a regular one. You need a high-performance, energy-efficient window.
Can you tell us what to look for when it comes to energy-efficient windows?
There are three things that make up a window – the glass, the IGU (insulated glass unit), and the frame. The difference between glass panes – single, double, and triple, and the different efficiency levels they give – is pretty common knowledge. But if you’re making your decision whether or not to buy a window based on that alone, you may not qualify for the rebates. You need to factor in the other components, and it’s important to get a Window Expert onboard.
Tell us a bit more about these other components of energy-efficient windows.
When glass is combined in a double or triple-pane scenario, we get what is called an insulated glass unit. This comprises multiple layers of glass using a spacer bar, which can be made of ultra-thin stainless steel. The reason we like to use this material is because it is not conductive, and won’t conduct energy across the unit which improves the efficiency. There are also synthetic materials that have similar benefits. This helps us achieve what is referred to as a window’s U Value. In order to get the rebates, you need to install a window that meets or falls below a very specific U Value.
Is there any other technology we should know about when it comes to a window’s efficiency?
The cavity that separates the window panes is actually a very important component too. We try to optimize it to a half-inch cavity and then put in argon gas. This is a gas with large molecules, a lazy gas, which likes to stay put. It basically creates stagnant air between the glass panes, which further boosts the efficiency of the window overall.
And you said there’s a third component to energy-efficient windows?
The last item is the frames. Old aluminum frames are highly conductive products, but vinyl does not transmit energy like aluminum does. As time has gone on, we’ve improved the design of vinyl window frames too. Older frames may only have two or three chambers. These chambers are very important, as they help keep the home warmer when it is cold outside. Nowadays, we’re looking at six or more chambers in newer vinyl windows. These extra pockets create a honeycomb effect which adds to both the efficiency and structural integrity of the window.
It’s a lot of information, and for a homeowner could seem overwhelming. Tell us the importance of going to a professional to get your project off the ground and access the rebates.
First of all, you have to know whether your energy consumption qualifies you for rebates. There are also programs such as the income-based rebate which can help customers save a lot if they qualify. The federal rebate and $40,000 interest-free loan require an energy audit by a third-party professional who will help guide you through and determine whether you qualify. Getting an expert aboard who understands all these programs will make the process a lot smoother.
Centra has resources to help customers understand whether they are eligible for the window and door rebates. Reach out and speak to our team today!