Now that it’s January, people are in the mindset of making New Year’s Resolutions. A popular one is to learn something new.
What are climate zones?
Natural Resources Canada is the government agency responsible for things like:
- Minerals and metals.
- Earth sciences.
As such, they have divided Canada into 3 distinct climate zones as they relate to windows, doors and other fenestration products.
- Zone 1: The warmest zone. This zone is only found in British Columbia.
- Zone 2: This is where we are. Covers most of the southern part of the country and all of Atlantic Canada.
- Zone 3: The coldest zone is also the largest one. Encompasses all of the territories and the central-to-north areas of all provinces (except Atlantic Canada).
Why are climate zones important?
Firstly, you need to know about the “heating degree day” (HDD) which is defined by Investopedia as:
- “The number of degrees that a day’s average temperature is below 18°C, the temperature at which buildings need to be heated.”
And in case you’re wondering, the 18°C benchmark was established in the National Building Code of Canada in 2010.
Here’s how to calculate HDDs (using 10°C average temperature as an example):
- Take the average of a day’s high and low temperature and subtract from 18
- 18 – 10 = 8
- Multiply the average temperature by days in a month
- 8 x 30 = 210
Do that for each month of the year, and you’ll come up with the HDD for that climate zone.
Remember, we’re in climate zone 2. That means, on average, we get between 3500 – 6000 HDDs (the higher the number, the colder the location).
What does this mean for doors and windows?
When you know your climate zone, you can ask for ENERGY STAR products that are certified for it.
Here’s what could happen if you purchase, say, a replacement vinyl window which isn’t certified for your particular climate zone:
- If the window is warmer than the zone you’re in, it will not provide adequate insulation once the winter months hit.
- However, if the window is colder than your climate zone, you can actually save money on energy costs by reducing heat loss.
Why purchase a door or window that’s not made for your climate zone?
In some instances, you might want a particular custom window or door style which looks amazing, but isn’t certified for your climate zone.
You can still purchase it. And if you take some smart precautions, you can greatly improve its efficiency:
- Invest in thick, energy-saving blinds, shutters (California shutters in particular), and curtains.
- Have them professionally sealed and/or caulked before your new window installation.
- Look for heat reflective Low E windows.
- Replace the weather-stripping around the door frame.
- Make sure the hinges in the door frame are installed tightly and in the right spots.
- Install an automatic door closer to ensure it shuts tight every time.
Looking for new windows or doors? Contact Fasada
If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to replace your windows or doors, Fasada can help you keep it.
And now that you know about Canada’s climate zones, you’ll be able to make the best decision for you, your family, and your home.
Here’s how you can start: