Windows are indispensable components of homes and buildings. Every homeowner or a builder will invest time, energy and money in buying good quality windows and doors for their properties.In the windows and doors market, there are two main types of windows that have been prominent. They are the North American Windows and the European windows. Climate, energy costs and energy policies have influenced the two continents to manufacture windows and doors differently. These impact the long-term performance of the windows.
Points of comparison between the European windows and North American windows:Energy Efficiency The European windows have been tested for higher standards in energy conservation and product quality. They have stood the test of time and proved to be more efficient. They are eco-friendly as they strictly adhere to the Passivhaus standards and hence, reduce the building’s ecological footprint. The high energy costs in Europe has prompted the designers and technicians to use maximum natural resources of sun and air. European windows can be regulated to allow maximum circulation of air between the exterior and the interior of a home. The warm air is allowed to escape out and the cool air is allowed to enter in through various features. The North American windows come with limited options for tapping the energy for self-sufficiency. The other major factor in prompting little innovation in sustainable mechanisms of the windows is cheaper energy costs.
Thermal efficiencyMore number of glass panes used, better the insulating property. European windows are better resistant to condensation which reduces the energy consumption especially, in colder climates. While most North American windows use double pane windows, European windows either have triple panes or even quadruple panes along with integrated blinds. Although recently, the North American windows have been using triple panes, they have smaller spaces between them compared to the European ones. Hence, they are less resilient to the outer climate. The use of non-conductive materials in the European windows - UPVC, Low-E glass and a low U-value improve the thermal efficiency of the window panes. UPVC windows reduce the infrared and UV rays that penetrate through the glass, without minimizing the amount of light that enters the house. This keeps the heat out in summer and prevents the indoor heat from escaping during winter. This reduces the energy loss by 30-50%. On the other hand, North American windows mostly use PVC and non-Low-E glass which are conductors of heat.
The European windows and doors come in a variety of styles. They are large and fill huge open spaces. They are tilt and turn windows in minimalistic, modern or classic style. On the other hand, the North American windows are more of a traditional design- double-hung colonial style commonly manufactured from float glass.