At Vaillancourt, as a manufacturer and distributor of doors and windows, we strive to offer our customers high-performance products, which is why our aluminium and PVC windows, and our steel and fiberglass doors meet the highest industry standards for insulation, durability, and energy efficiency.
All Vaillancourt Doors and Windows products meet and exceed the standards set by the following organizations: NATURAL RESOURCES CANADA, CSA, NAFS, and NFRC. While these standards are performance indicators used to compare similar products, they should not be the sole criteria when purchasing doors and windows for your home.
Important criteria to consider when buying windows
The manufacturer’s reputation, the warranties offered, the service provided, product durability and installation, and price are all very important points to consider. The choice of window opening system and materials must also correspond to your needs and to the style of your home: Whether you’re looking for hybrid (aluminium/PVC) or all-PVC windows, casement, awning, hung, or sliding windows, we have a wide range of products that will satisfy your needs.
Talk to your Vaillancourt doors and windows representative, who would be pleased to assist you!
- Energy efficiency and performance of windows
- Complete doors and windows guide (Sill to Sash)
- Harmonized NAFS (AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440-11)
- ER value (energy rating)
- U value (heat transfer coefficient or thermal conductivity)
- R value (thermal resistance)
- SHGC (solar heat gain coefficient)
- ENERGY STAR
- NFRC certification
Energy efficiency and performance of windows
Here is a video about Section 11 of the Québec Construction Code, Chapter I Building, on energy efficiency requirements, intended for designers, contractors, owner-builders, and self-builders.
Watch the video
Complete doors and windows guide (Sill to Sash)
Follow this link (Sill to Sash) to find out everything you need to know about doors and windows.
Harmonized NAFS (AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440-11)
In Canada, all reputable manufacturers must work with the new NAFS (North American Fenestration Standard), which governs the performance of windows and sets out the minimum requirements for air leakage resistance, water penetration resistance, wind resistance, forced-entry resistance, and operating force. It also defines the minimum requirements for all window parts and materials, from hardware to screens, weather-stripping, finishes, and adhesives. The National Building Code of Canada as well as most provincial codes require that windows meet the NAFS. Each line of windows must be tested by an accredited independent laboratory and meet the minimum requirements for three performance elements: air leakage resistance, water penetration resistance, and wind resistance. The results of these tests are subsequently published.
- Air leakage resistance test (A rating): This test is performed at a pressure of 75 Pascals (Pa). The air leakage index is measured in litres per second per square metre of window surface area. The A2 rating (1.5 L/s/m2) represents the maximum acceptable leakage in Canada, followed by the A3 rating (0.5 L/s/m2). Even a fixed window can leak air, in which case it is given the AF rating (0.045 L/s/m2).
- Water penetration resistance test (B rating): The water penetration resistance test involves spraying the window with a constant stream of water at increasingly high pressures to simulate rising wind speeds, while observing for leaks. Each level (CP15 to CP100) represents a wind load starting at 140 Pascals (Pa) up to 720 Pascals (Pa).
- Wind resistance test (C rating): This test measures the wind resistance of the window components under increasing pressures representing rising wind speeds. Windows are subjected to significant variations in air pressure, simulating hurricane-force winds. Ratings can vary from PG15 to PG100.
The results are indicated in the primary and secondary designators. The primary designator lists the performance class (R – residential, LC – light commercial, CW – commercial, or AW – architectural), the performance grade (PG), maximum window dimensions, and window type. The secondary designator lists the results of the wind resistance, water penetration resistance, and air leakage resistance tests.
The previous CSA A440 standard classified windows using three ratings according to the air leakage resistance test (A-1 to A-3), the water penetration resistance test (B-1 to B-7), and the wind resistance test (C-1 to C-5). The new NAFS classification evaluates windows according to these criteria but, instead of the A-B-C ratings, uses only one reference rating, the performance grade (PG), which can range from PG15 to PG100.
Consult the performance grade calculator to determine the category of window you need, depending on where in Canada you live.
The ER value indicates a window’s overall energy efficiency and is based on three factors:
- Solar heat gain (SHGC)
- Heat loss from the window frame, spacer, and glass (U value)
- Heat loss due to air leakage (A rating)
The ER value, expressed in watts per square metre, measures only a window’s performance, regardless of how it was made or what material it is made from. The lower the ER value, the greater the heat loss and the higher the heating costs will be.
The higher the ER value, the better the window will be at harnessing heat and the less heat it will allow to escape during cold weather, resulting in lower heating bills.
The U value (heat transfer coefficient or thermal conductivity) indicates the rate of heat transfer by a material in watts per square metre, i.e., the rate of non-solar heat loss or gain. The lower a window’s U value, the more slowly heat will transfer from the warm side to the cold side of the window. This value is used as a reference by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) and is also used to classify ENERGY STAR® windows according to their respective climate zones.
The R value (thermal resistance coefficient) is the opposite of the U value. It is a measure of a material’s resistance to heat flow. The higher the R value, the better insulated the window. Neither the U value nor the R value represent the thermal energy produced by the sun (solar heat gain). This value is used as a performance indicator by suppliers of sealed window units.
The solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) is the fraction of solar radiation admitted through a window and subsequently released as heat inside a home. It is expressed as a number between 0 and 1. Clear glass windows admit more solar energy into the home and therefore have an SHGC between 0.60 and 0.85. Soft-coat low-E glass has an SHGC between 0.15 and 0.40, and hard-coat 0.40 to 0.60. The lower the SHGC, the less solar heat the window will transmit.
ENERGY STAR® is the international symbol of premium energy efficiency. Its use in Canada is administered by Natural Resources Canada. Doors and windows that display this symbol are among the most energy efficient in their category. This includes all types of aluminium and PVC windows: casement, awning, hung, or sliding windows, and door systems.
An ENERGY STAR® qualified window is a product that:
- is certified by an accredited independent laboratory;
- meets strict energy efficiency requirements;
- is 20-40% more efficient than standard models.
ENERGY STAR® benefits
By minimizing heat loss, ENERGY STAR® qualified products allow you save up to 12% on your heating costs when you replace all the old windows in your home. Since your heating costs account for more than 50% of your electricity bill, replacing your windows is an investment that will pay off!
- Increased comfort:
- Less outside noise
- Less condensation in cold weather than traditional models (at equal humidity levels)
- Fewer ultraviolet rays admitted, thus better protecting your furniture from sun damage
- Superior quality (will last 20 years or more)
- Collective effort
If you choose ENERGY STAR® qualified doors and windows suited to your climate zone, you’ll save energy and money for as long as they last. Now, imagine multiplying those savings by the increasing number of energy-responsible households in Québec that are choosing to replace their old windows, and it’s easy to see how choosing ENERGY STAR® products can make a huge difference.
Established by the CSA and used exclusively in Canada, this value is used, among other things, to classify ENERGY STAR® windows according to their respective climate zones. Zones 2 and 3 are required in Quebec.
Vaillancourt’s aluminium and PVC doors and windows also comply with the standards of the National Fenestration Rating Council, a non-profit organization that performs numerous tests to assess and rate the energy performance of doors and windows. NFRC certification is one more criterion that consumers can rely on to make balanced and informed decisions.
Find out more:
www.nfrc.org (National Fenestration Rating Council)