Natural Resources Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Office of Energy Efficiency Links

 

Business: Residential

Purchasing Toolkit – Purchasing Guidelines


ENERGY STAR® – Windows‚ Doors and Skylights

The criteria for ENERGY STAR qualified windows, doors and skylights were developed to qualify factory-built fenestration products that are intended for installation in small buildings as defined by Part 9 of the National Building Code of Canada. These buildings are usually residential or light commercial, are three stories high or less and have less than 600 square metres of floor space. The criteria can serve as a guideline for non-Part 9 buildings but may not be suitable where there is the potential for high solar gain or high internal heat loads (example: office buildings). In addition, windows, doors and skylights designed for high density housing or for the commercial market may not be able to meet the ENERGY STAR level for the zone of installation due to structural load or flame spread considerations.

Climate Zones - How do they Work

Because the climate varies widely across Canada and because windows‚ doors and skylights are part of the building envelope‚ four climate zones in Canada‚ based on an average annual temperature indicator called a heating degree-day (HDD)‚ were developed specifically for the ENERGY STAR program for windows‚ doors and skylights. A heating degree-day is the annual sum of the degrees of the average daily temperature for all days below 18°C.

This accumulated sum is then averaged over a 30-year period to provide a good indication of the average temperature in a certain location. The higher the average HDD value‚ the colder a location and the longer the heating season‚ usually with very cold winter temperatures. Zone A is the mildest region in Canada‚ and Zone D is the coldest region.

Canadian Climate Zones

For locations that are significantly higher in elevation than the surrounding area‚ it is better to purchase a product rated for at least one zone colder than indicated on the zone map. This is especially true in southern and central British Columbia‚ where energy efficiency levels have been determined for major urban centres‚ which are normally located in valleys.

Criteria for ENERGY STAR Qualified Windows, Doors and Skylights

  • Many products may qualify for more than one zone. For example, a model that qualifies for Zone C also qualifies for Zones A, B and C.
  • The values in Table 1 and Table 2 are for total product performance only‚ not centre-of-glass.
  • Participants are required to include installation guidelines for their products when they are shipped to dealers or end-users.

Criteria for Windows and Doors

  • Windows and doors may qualify for ENERGY STAR with either their U-value or Energy Rating (ER) value. The qualifying levels for each zone are shown in Table 1 below.
  • There is also a maximum air leakage rate for windows, sliding glass doors, and skylights of 1.65 (m³/h)/m or 1.5 l/s/m² (CSA A440.0/CGSB 82.1‚ Level A2) for all zones
Windows
Zone Heating
Degree-Day
Range
Compliance Paths
Energy Rating (ER) or U-Factor
Minimum ER
(unitless)
Maximum
U-Factor 2.00
W/m²•K
(0.35 Btu/h•ft.²•°F)
  Maximum
U-Factor W/m²•K
(Btu/h•ft.²•°F)
Minimum ER
(unitless)
A ≤ 3500 21 or 1.80 (0.32) 13
B > 3500 to ≤ 5500 25 or 1.60 (0.28) 17
C > 5500 to ≤ 8000 29 or 1.40 (0.25) 21
D > 8000 34 or 1.20 (0.21) 25
Doors
Zone Heating
Degree-Day
Range
Compliance Paths
Energy Rating (ER) or U-Factor
Minimum ER
(unitless)
Maximum
U-Factor 2.00
W/m²•K
(0.35 Btu/h•ft.²•°F)
  Maximum
U-Factor
W/m²•K
(Btu/h•ft.²•°F)
Minimum ER
(unitless)
A ≤ 3500 21 or 1.80 (0.32) N/A
B > 3500 to ≤ 5500 25 or 1.60 (0.28) N/A
C > 5500 to ≤ 8000 29 or 1.40 (0.25) N/A
D > 8000 34 or 1.20 (0.21) N/A

Criteria for Skylights

Skylights may only qualify with their U-value. The qualifying levels for each zone are shown in Table 3 below.

Skylights*
Zone Heating Degree-Day Range Maximum U-Factor
W/m²•K
(Btu/h•ft.²•°F)
A ≤ 3500 2.80 (0.50)
B > 3500 to ≤ 5500 2.60 (0.46)
C > 5500 to ≤ 8000 2.40 (0.42)
D > 8000 2.20 (0.39)

*includes Tubular Skylights

Additional Criteria

Mandatory Labelling

All production models registered with NRCan for ENERGY STAR must be labelled with a Fenestration Qualification Label (FQL) and the label(s) required by the agency who certified the models in accordance with the Labelling and Promotional Guidelines for ENERGY STAR Qualified Windows, Doors and Skylights Sold in Canada and the labelling requirements of the certification agency who certified the model.

Installation Guidelines

Manufacturers are required to include installation guidelines for their products when they are shipped to dealers or end-users.

Cost Savings for ENERGY STAR Qualified Windows, Doors and Skylights

The ENERGY STAR Simple Savings Calculator does not include windows, doors and skylights because these are not energy-consuming products, but rather components of the building envelope.

However, the following general cost-savings guidelines are provided:

  • If all of the original windows and doors in an average older home were replaced by ENERGY STAR qualified windows and doors, the household energy consumption would be reduced by about 7 percent, which would save three quarters of a tonne of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions annually.
  • If ENERGY STAR qualified windows, doors and skylights where installed in an average new home instead of conventional products, energy consumption would be reduced by about 16 percent.

Sample Procurement Language for ENERGY STAR Qualified Windows‚ Doors and Skylights

The following language is recommended for use in procurement contracts so that you receive ENERGY STAR qualified windows‚ doors and skylights. As with all purchases‚ be sure to ask the appropriate questions so that you get exactly what you want.

The vendor must

  • Ensure that the window‚ door or skylight model will bear the ENERGY STAR Fenestration Qualification Label by a manufacturer participating in the ENERGY STAR initiative. (Mandatory for all registered qualified production models effective June 1, 2010)
  • Ensure that the window, door or skylight will bear the label(s) required by the agency who certified the energy performance (CSA, QAI, Intertek, NFRC) (Mandatory for all registered qualified production models effective June 1, 2010)
  • Ensure that the model qualifies for the area where the product is installed (or for a colder area) according to the heating degree-days and climatic zones (A, B, C, D) as per the information in the preceding section and on the Fenestration Qualification Label.
  • Ensure that windows, sliding glass doors, and skylights do not exceed air leakage rates of 1.65 (m³/h)/m or 1.5 l/s/m².
  • Ensure that ENERGY STAR qualified windows, doors and skylights are shipped with installation guidelines included.
  • Ensure that ENERGY STAR qualified products meet user requirements for performance, reliability and cost-effectiveness.

Information Resources for Windows, Doors and Skylights

List of Models

NRCan maintains four separate lists of ENERGY STAR qualified products sold in Canada:

  • Windows
  • Sliding Glass Doors
  • Entry Doors, Sidelites and Transoms
  • Skylights

The lists can be found on the Canadian ENERGY STAR Web site.

The on-line searchable databases and downloadable lists of qualified models include the following information:

  1. Style
  2. Material
  3. Brand
  4. Product Name
  5. Model
  6. Glaze
  7. Low E
  8. Gas
  9. Spacer
  10. Grills/Dividers
  11. U-Value
  12. SHGC
  13. ER (not for Skylights)
  14. ENERGY STAR Zones

Each on-line database of qualified models may be searched in three different ways:

  1. Specific Search – enter brand name and style
  2. Specific Search – enter product name or model number
  3. General Search – enter market area, ENERGY STAR zone and product style

NRCan maintains searchable list of heating degree-day values and ENERGY STAR qualification zones for a number of locations in Canada, by province

How to Access

List of models: Windows

List of models: Sliding glass doors

List of models: Entry doors, Sidelites and Transoms

List of models: Skylights

Product specifications for Windows, Doors and Skylights are available on the ENERGY STAR website.

Original Data Source

Data supplied to NRCan by participating manufacturers.

Update Frequency

ENERGY STAR criteria are updated as required.

The list of qualified models on the ENERGY STAR website is updated as manufacturers report new information.

Definitions

Window - An assembled unit consisting of a frame/ sash component holding one or more pieces of glazing functioning to admit light and/or air into an enclosure and designed for a vertical installation in an external wall of a residential building.

Door - A sliding or swinging entry door system designed for and installed in a vertical wall separating conditioned and unconditioned space in a residential building. The primary function of a door is to allow for egress.

Skylight - A window designed for sloped or horizontal application in the roof of a residential building, the primary purpose of which is to provide daylighting and/or ventilation. May be fixed or operable. Skylights have their own set of ENERGY STAR criteria. Tubular Daylighting Devices are included under the skylight criteria.

Sliding Entry Door - A door that contains one or more manually operated panels that slide horizontally within a common frame. Sliding doors are included under the door criteria and definition.

Swinging Entry Door - A door system having, at a minimum, a hinge attachment of any type between a leaf and jamb, mullion, or edge of another leaf or having a single, fixed vertical axis about which the leaf rotates between open and closed positions. Swinging entry doors are included under the door criteria and definition.

Tubular Daylighting Device (TDD) or tubular skylight - A non-operable device primarily designed to transmit daylight from a roof surface of a residential building to an interior ceiling surface via a tubular conduit. The device consists of an exterior glazed weathering surface, a light transmitting tube with a reflective inside surface and an interior sealing device, such as a translucent ceiling panel. TDDs are included under the skylight criteria.

Dynamic Glazing Product - Any fenestration product that has the fully reversible ability to change its performance properties, including U-factor, SHGC, Visual Transmittance or Energy Rating. This includes, but is not limited to, shading systems integrated into the frames or sashes, between the glazing layers and chromogenic glazing.

  1. Switch-able Glazing Product: An electrochromic glass system that can be tinted or untinted in response to an electronic control signal or environmental change.
  2. Internal Shading System: A fenestration product that includes blinds or shades positioned integrated into the frames or sashes or between glass panes that can open or close.

Window, door, and skylight components - Components used by an ENERGY STAR Participant in the construction of an ENERGY STAR qualified window, door, or skylight including, but not limited to, coated glass, frame profiles, and warm-edge spacers.

Residential - For the purposes of ENERGY STAR, "residential" refers to products designed to be installed into buildings that meet Part 9 of the National Building Code of Canada. These buildings are three stories or less in height and less than 600 square metres in area.

Insulating Glass (IG) Unit - A preassembled unit, comprising lites of glass, which are sealed at the edges and separated by dehydrated space(s). The unit is used in glazed fenestration products.

Private Labeller - A company that markets under its own name window, door, or skylight models manufactured by a different company.

U-factor - The heat transfer per time per area and per degree of temperature difference. The U-factor multiplied by the interior-exterior temperature difference and by the projected fenestration product area yields the total heat transfer through the fenestration product due to conduction, convection, and long wave infra-red radiation. Expressed in units of W/m2K or Btu/hft2°F.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficent (SHGC) - The ratio of the solar heat gain entering the space through the fenestration product to the incident solar radiation. Expressed as a value between 0 and 1.

Energy Rating (ER) - a unitless value derived from a formula that balances heat loss (U-factor), air leakage loss and potential passive solar gain of a fenestration product. The ER formula is found in the CSA A440.2 Standard.

Visual Transmittance (VT) - the fraction of incident visible light that passes through a fenestration product. Expressed as a value from 0 to 1.

Condensation Resistance (CR) - a measure of the resistance to moisture (condensation) forming on the interior side of a fenestration product. Expressed as a value from 0 to 100. The test procedure is found in the NFRC 500 Standard.

Temperature Index (TI) - a measure of the resistance to moisture (condensation) forming on the interior side of a fenestration product. Expressed as a value from 5 to 95. The test procedure is found in the CSA A440.2 Standard.

Standards Council of Canada (SCC) - a Canadian federal Crown corporation that accredits standards writing organizations, test laboratories, certification agencies, quality management and environmental management registration bodies.

U.S. National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) - an organization in the U.S. that develops energy performance standards for fenestration products and provides independent third party verification of energy performance and other related values for fenestration products.

Test Standards

Energy Performance

CSA A440.2-09 Fenestration Energy Performance

NFRC 100-2004/2010 Procedure for Determining Fenestration Product U-factors

NFRC 200-2004/2010 Procedure for Determining Fenestration Product Solar Heat Gain Coefficient and Visible Transmittance at Normal Incidence

NFRC 500-2004/2010 Procedure for Determining Fenestration Product Condensation Resistance Values

Physical Performance

CSA A440.0-00 Windows

CGBS 82.1 M89 Sliding Doors

CGSB 82.5 M88 Insulated Steel Doors

AAMA/WDMA 101/I.S.2-97 Voluntary Specifications for Aluminum, Vinyl (PVC) and Wood Windows and Glass Doors

AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440-05/08 North American Fenestration Standard/Specification for windows, doors, and skylights (NAFS) and Canadian supplement to AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/a440-05, Standard/Specification for windows, doors, and skylights.

Insulating Glass Unit (IGU) Durability

The approved certification agency determines the IG durability standard.

Approved Certification Agency

Certification agencies must either be SCC accredited or EPA approved to certify the energy, IG durability, and, if applicable, physical performance of fenestration products.

Product Specification Summary
Name of current specification ENERGY STAR Qualifying Criteria for Residential Windows, Doors and Skylights Sold in Canada - Version 3.0
Effective date of current specification October 1, 2010
Notes on future updates  
Reminder: Always check the ENERGY STAR website to ensure you have the most current product specifications and other program information.

< Contents >