Earth Day ENERGY STAR Canada

Earth Day (Sunday April 22) is quickly approaching, and it’s that time of year where we need to consider how our actions are affecting the planet. This goes for everything from our homes to our waste and recycling practices to our purchasing decisions. One of the best ways to protect our planet is to use energy efficient and ENERGY STAR certified products in our homes.

Did you know that an average household spends more than 40% of its annual energy budget on heating and cooling costs? ENERGY STAR certified products save energy, save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, making the earth healthier all around.


ENERGY STAR is a government-backed voluntary partnership program that promotes environmental protection and energy efficiency in products, buildings and homes. Here are 3 ways to participate in the battle for a greener planet:

1. ENERGY STAR Certified Windows

New windows are definitely an investment, but when you think about how much money you’ll save on heating and cooling costs, you’ll see they’re worth every penny. Gentek windows are performance-engineered for advanced energy savings to help reduce fuel consumption for heating and cooling homes. For increased energy savings, Gentek windows are available with ENERGY STAR qualified glass packages for thermal protection and year-round energy conservation.

Gentek’s Regency and Regency 400 windows have been selected as ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2017 for meeting meticulous ENERGY STAR performance criteria. Included in the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient designation are all Regency and Regency 400 windows built with EnergyPlus glass. Available in custom colours and decorative options, the windows feature fusion-welded masterframe and sash corners, dual-pane insulated glass technology, multi-layer weatherstripping and integrated insulating components for weathertight protection against energy loss.

2. ENERGY STAR Certified Patio Doors

Gentek patio doors are beautiful practical, and ENERGY STAR rated. Patio doors are a stylish way to fuse the indoors and outdoors, making your space more welcoming. Energy efficient patio doors help maintain comfort in your home and will help you save on energy bills. Gentek offers a full line of patio doors to suit any home design.

3. ENERGY STAR Rated First Impressions’ Doors

If you want to replace your front door with one that’s going to protect our planet, you’ll want to know about Gentek’s custom First Impressions’ doors. They’re designed to deliver superior energy efficiency and reduce consumption of fossil fuels for heating and cooling. They’re ENERGY STAR rated and their material is reused for other products to reduce environmental waste. Custom made with the exact measurements of your door openings and crafted with simple upkeep in mind, Frist Impressions’ doors are one of the best home investments you can make.

Earth Day is coming. Use Gentek products to make your home greener and our environment healthier!


What Does “Energy Efficient” REALLY Mean for My Home – and My Wallet?

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With summer on the edge of our heels, it’s the perfect time to make changes around the house. Creating an energy efficient home not only helps the environment, but can also be a lifesaver for your wallet. Whenever you cut back on using energy, you’re saving money, so there’s really no downside of being more energy savvy around the house.

Some energy efficient options you’ll have to invest in at the start, but you’ll save money in the long run. It’s little changes we can make in our day-to-day lives that will make the most significant impact. From making sure your computer is on sleep mode when you’re not using it, to planting a shade tree on the side of your house that gets the most sun, incorporating energy efficient options around your home is easy and impactful.

Check out 6 ways to be more energy efficient at home, and watch your bank account grow.

1.Switch to Energy Efficient Windows

Changing your windows to energy efficient Energy Star windows means less condensation and heat loss in winter (or too much heat in summer), and better-balanced window temperatures. All this contributes to a much more comfortable home environment, and fewer cold spots. The money you save by avoiding leakage through old or inefficient windows adds up quickly – you could save as much as 15% on heating and cooling costs just by installing Energy Star windows!

2.Use Sleep Mode on Your Computer/ Laptop

When you’re not using your computer, make sure it doesn’t stay running the whole time. And don’t confuse screen savers with sleep mode. Letting your computer/laptop run when you’re not using it sucks up so much energy! Set your laptop to go to sleep after a few minutes of inactivity. It will consume less energy and will be quicker than starting it up after it’s been shut down.

3. Switch to Fluorescent Light bulbs

Yes, fluorescent light bulbs cost more than incandescent, but they last 8-12 times longer, which means you’ll be saving significantly in the long run. Energy efficient light bulbs use 25% to 80% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, so you can help the environment and your wallet.

4. Plant a Shade Tree

You know the side of the house that gets the most sun in the summer months? Plant a shade tree to provide relief when it gets extremely hot. This will help keep your home cool when the sun is beating on it, so you don’t have to crank up the air conditioning too high.

5. Use Your Appliances Mindfully

I think we’re all guilty of running a load of laundry that wasn’t full, or keeping the freezer colder than it needs to be. Making these simple changes is very energy efficient and will save you tons of cash! Make sure your laundry and dishwasher loads are always full, wash your clothes on cold when you can, use a covered kettle or pot to boil water, etc. All these little things make a huge difference.

6. Insulate Your House

From your attic and ceiling to your walls and pipes, insulation is key to saving energy around the house. Adding insulation keeps the outside air out and inside air in, ensuring your house stays

warm during frigid winter temperatures and cool during hot summers. Insulating hot water pipes reduces heat loss and conserves water since you don’t have to wait as long for the water to warm up.

Do you have any more tips for making your home more energy efficient? We’d love to hear them!


Still An Energy Star: Gentek’s Regency Windows Make The Grade

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Even though windows, doors and skylights do not consume energy, they can be a significant source of heat loss in your home. That’s why when Canadians want to reduce energy use and save money, they look for the ENERGY STAR symbol to identify energy-efficient products.

A 2012 survey shows that 88% of Canadians found ENERGY STAR to be the most useful tool in finding energy-efficient products. That followed a 2009 study that found 7 in 10 Canadians choose ENERGY STAR qualified products over non-qualified products.

Energy Star compliance continues to be an important criterion in the vinyl replacement window industry and as of February 1, the federal government made notable changes to the requirements for products to be ENERGY STAR certified.

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Canada has now been divided into three climate zones based on heating-degree days, a measure of average annual temperature. Each zone has efficiency level requirements based on how well a window, door or skylight insulates against the cold and how well it uses the sun’s heat to supplement the heating system of a home or building.

Because the climate becomes progressively colder from Zone 1 to Zone 3, the levels are more stringent for each successive zone. This means that models that qualify for Zone 3 also qualify for Zones 1 and 2.

ENERGY STAR® Qualified Windows, Doors & Skylights

Here’s the great news:

Gentek’s Vinyl Replacement Windows meet the 2015 Energy Star requirements TODAY!  Regency, 70 Series and 80 Series Windows currently meet the new criteria with a qualifying glass package.

More good news: ENERGY STAR qualified products from Gentek save you money by reducing overall annual energy costs by about 8%. They also help keep your home more comfortable year-round. That’s what we call a win-win.


More Than A View: Understanding Window Energy Efficiency

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Energy efficient windows will keep your home warmer in the winter by reducing drafts and holding in heat. In summer, they help keep the heat out. Quality windows contribute to reduced energy usage, cutting annual energy costs by up to 20%.

But not all windows are created equal, so it’s important to learn a bit about how to evaluate the energy efficiency of a window before you set out shopping.

Here are a few of the things to look out for when it’s your turn to go window shopping.

Materials: The most common types of window frames are wood, vinyl (PVC), and aluminium. Wood frames are energy efficient, but can be expensive to purchase and need regular upkeep. Aluminium frames are inexpensive but not as energy efficient. Vinyl frames are less expensive and can be quite efficient.

Low Conductivity Spacer Systems: Spacers are used between the layers of glass in a window, to hold them together at the required distance. Conventional spacers were made from aluminium, but they provided poor thermal insulation. New spacer products have been developed from materials with a low conductivity rate and high thermal efficiency such as fibreglass, vinyl and others.

Glazing or Coating Systems: Low-e stands for low-emittance coating. Microscopically thin layers of metal or metallic oxide are coated onto the window glazing. Different types of coating have different properties, but all are designed to lower heat flow through the window.

Seals and Weatherstripping: Weatherstripping reduces air leakage by creating a tight seal between windows and the building structure. Choose a type of weatherstripping that will withstand the friction, weather, temperature changes, and wear and tear associated with its location.

Gas Fills: Energy-efficient windows have two or more panes of glass separated by an air gap to slow heat transfer and reduce noise. Traditionally air or dry nitrogen was used between the panes, but recent models are filled with a low conductance gas like argon or krypton that improves thermal performance.

Energy Rating Value:  A window’s ER rating is a measure of its overall performance, based on three factors: 1) solar heat gains; 2) heat loss through frames, spacers and glass; and 3) air leakage heat loss. A number is established in watts per square metre, which is either positive or negative, depending on heat gain or loss during the heating season. Natural Resources Canada provides an excellent Consumer’s Guide to Buying Energy-Efficient Windows and Doors. You’ll find it here.

One more thing to remember: window installation is as important to energy efficiency as buying high quality windows. Poorly installed windows – even very good ones — will function poorly. Gentek windows are backed by decades of window manufacturing expertise. Pride in our products and craftsmanship are at the heart of our commitment to quality. It’s what makes our windows among the best in the industry and our service second to none. Find out more here.