Passive House Energy Rating

Energy Saving Windows & Doors

In conventionally constructed buildings, windows are one of the greatest areas for both air leakage and energy loss. Passive House buildings specify high performance, specially designed windows and doors to eliminate this concern.

With proper orientation and strategic placement Passive House windows actually become a significant part of a buildings heating system.  Commonly triple glazed with thermally broken spacers these windows are highly impressive machines.

High Performance Window and Door Construction

High efficiency performance doors and windows
What defines the difference between high quality energy saving windows and their inferior counterparts? The answer may surprise you. There are several factors that separate a traditional windows & doors from the high efficiency windows & doors that meet the passive house certification standards. Let’s start with the materials they are constructed from.

A window’s typical components consist of one or more glass panes enclose within a wooden, aluminum, or vinyl casing. A single pane window only has one barrier between interior and exterior temperatures. The thickness and quality of the glass will both improve it’s insulative quality as well as lifespan. Passive house certified windows use the highest quality engineered glass that technology has presented to date. In addition to the quality of the glass the windows themselves contain 3 panes separated by 3 completely airtight chambers. This effectively insulates both from the interior and exterior of the window, giving the highest possible energy efficiency. The framing itself also shares this completely airtight seal, which is in part how an “airtight building envelope” is achieved.

Energy saving doors share some similarities of their window counterparts. All doors are NOT created equal. Conceptually any glass portions of the doors share the same energy saving technology as the windows: multiple glass panes with completely air tight seals. Lower quality doors are constructed from thin composite materials and then formed into the styles that we’ve grown accustomed to over history. These very thin external surfaces with hollow cavities in the middle offer very little insulation where as the passive house certified doors are constructed from multiple layers of high grade materials with airtight layers of insulation. Possibly the most notable difference is how high efficiency doors are completely airtight when closed, whereas a lesser quality door creates a continuous draft, which leaks and ultimately increases your heating and cooling bills.

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