In Canada, our winters can be long and cold. Although many among us have come to appreciate their harshness, either through picking up skiing or having learned to build impressive snowmen, for some others, however, the cold climate is still and foremost synonymous with energy losses, energy costs, and discomfort.

According to Natural Resources Canada, space heating represents on average 63% of the energy used in Canadian homes. Moreover, they specifically identify windows as being responsible for up to 25% of all heat losses in our homes. In the case of an older house, overall air leaks can even account for up to 40% of total heat losses.

So, what can you we do to maximise our home’s energy performance? Which energy labels and programs exist to help us ensure a successful energy transition?

Energy Star

ENERGY STAR® Doors and Windows

When buying new doors and windows, make sure to look for the ENERGY STAR® certification, an international label guaranteeing high-energy efficiency.

In Canada, the ENERGY STAR® name and symbol are managed by Natural Resources Canada and used to certify a wide selection of products meeting the strictest technical criteria with regards to energy efficiency. An additional designation, ENERGY STAR Most Efficient, is also awarded every year to products showing the very best energy performance in their category.

All ENERGY STAR® doors, windows, and skylights reduce energy loss and condensation. According to Hydro-Québec, these energy-efficient models are effectively 20% to 40% more efficient than traditional ones. Financially, this higher efficiency represents savings of up to 10% on heating costs.

Natural Resources Canada attests that windows which received the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient designation (and met the highest performance specifications) are up to 40% more efficient than standard double-pane windows. Choosing higher-efficiency ENERGY STAR® windows hence represents a smart financial decision.

Maison haute efficacité

The RénoVert Tax Credit

The Québec Government is still offering its refundable tax credit for eco-friendly home renovation work: the RénoVert Tax Credit.

The eligibility period for recognized renovation work has been extended to March 31, 2019. The product order must be completed before this date; however, the installation, itself, can be done later. As expected, the replacement and addition of doors, windows, and skylights with ENERGY STAR®-certified models appear on the recognized renovation work list.

The maximum amount you can claim is $10,000, which represents 20% of the portion of your expenses exceeding the first non-admissible $2,500 and paid between March 17, 2016 and January 1, 2020.

All work must be completed by a qualified contractor. Finally, this program is open to owners and co-owners of a single-family home, prefabricated house or mobile home, condominium, or winterized cottage, among others.

About us:
Portatec is a company specialized in creating superior quality entry door and door window systems.

The Rénoclimat Program: Advice and Financial Assistance

Created by the Gouvernement du Québec in 2017, the organization Transition énergétique Québec (TEQ) initiated the Rénoclimat Program with the aim of helping citizens improve their home’s energy efficiency.

The advisory portion of this Program includes, among others, home visits and personalised consultations to help reduce energy consumption as well as pre/post-renovation-work energy evaluations.

In particular, a blower door test can be carried out using a special device to assess the airtightness of your home. With the resulting measures, air leaks can easily be located, thus enabling owners to better seal their house. And better airtightness not only means greater comfort, it also implies lower energy bills.

The financial assistance portion of the Program, if you are eligible, can be applied toward improving insulation or airtightness, replacing doors or windows, and installing or replacing mechanical systems (such as ventilation or heating systems). The same renovation work could also be eligible to the RénoVert Tax Credit mentioned above: make sure to inquire.

In the case of door or window replacement, the new ones must absolutely be ENERGY STAR®-certified and note that their frames must also be replaced in order to benefit from the $60 per rough opening provided in this Program.

Novo Climat

Novoclimat Program: Construction of New High-Energy Performance Homes

TEQ also created another program, the Novoclimat Program, this one to encourage the construction of new, high-energy performance homes. The immediate financial assistance offered as part of this program can be quite interesting.

Long-term advantages of new Novoclimat houses also are numerous and include, among others, greater comfort as well as 20% savings on energy bills.

You probably guessed by now – and rightly so – that only the installation of ENERGY-STAR®-certified doors and windows is authorized, due to their greater airtightness and energy efficiency.

For more information on TEQ’s Rénoclimat and Novoclimat Programs, and to find out whether you are eligible, visit http://www.transitionenergetique.gouv.qc.ca/en/home.

To purchase energy-efficient doors and windows, do not hesitate to contact Portatec, a Canadian manufacturer specialized in premium door and window since 1984.

In need of inspiration for your front entry door? Contact Portatec, a Canadian premium door and window manufacturer specializing in custom entry doors for the last 35 years.

Door specialist for more than 30 years:
Portatec is a specialized custom front door, window and superior ornemental door window manufacturer.


It would be easy to think that all outdoor construction and renovation work comes to a complete halt once the cold season arrives. Many people would hesitate to install, say, an exterior door or exterior windows at the end of fall or in the midst of winter.

Yet, it is possible!

And there are numerous advantages to changing your fenestration products during this industry’s slow season. Notwithstanding a few minor limitations, benefits are more than interesting and definitely worth taking into consideration. You be the judge!

Advantages of Installing a Doors or Windows During the Winter

1. Better Installation Price:

The first advantage to choosing to install your doors or windows during winter is the lower installation price you will likely obtain. This is a simple matter of “Supply and Demand”: since professional installers are not as busy, they’re often more open to negotiate their price. And, rest assured: professional installation teams easily adapt to all conditions, including cold winter ones.

2. Competitive Pricing for your Fenestration Products:

When you do business with a specialized door and window manufacturer, it is often possible to negotiate the price of your purchase during winter. Indeed, during their quieter season, local manufacturers regularly offer discounts on their products. Since the cost of a new exterior door or new windows can sometimes represent a substantial investment for some, waiting for competitive winter pricing can be a wise choice.

3. Shorter deadlines:

Again, since winter is quieter in the fenestration industry, you often enjoy tighter deadlines all around, be it for production, delivery, or installation. The entire timeline shrinks: your products are manufactured faster, thus they can be delivered faster, and they can often times be installed… faster. A substantial advantage, assuredly!

About us:
Portatec is a company specialized in creating superior quality entry door and door window systems.

Limitations to Installing a Door or Window in Winter

Are there any real drawbacks to going ahead with the installation of exterior doors or windows when it’s cold outside?

No. Products will fulfill their function just as well, and their installation, if done by professionals, will be just as good and efficient. Nevertheless, two minor limitations must still be taken into consideration.

First, the temperature. The minimum temperature threshold required for the installation of a door in winter, or the installation of a window in winter, is minus 10 degrees Celsius (-10 ˚C), because of the sealant which must be applied on the products’ outer periphery. Below this temperature, sealants do not adhere properly, rendering caulking joints inefficient.

Second, bad weather. In the event of a big winter storm or if a heavy snow fall is forecasted, it is most likely that your installation will be rescheduled (for your own good). Yet, keep in mind that the risk of bad weather exists all year long. Indeed, heavy rain falls in the spring or searing summer heat waves could also cause one’s installation to be postponed.

Installing Doors and Windows During Winter? Yes!

So, to the question “when to install doors and windows?”, the answer is now clear: anytime all year around, even during winter! But only as long as you do business with professional manufacturers and hire professional installers, as they will be able to accomplish the work required efficiently and quickly.

Note that the period of exposure to the cold only lasts approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Competent installers know how to best prepare their worksite in order to limit the duration of this brief discomfort and rapidly seal the product. The indoor and outdoor finishing typically requires the longest amount of time… but, by then, the “hole” is already closed!

For additional recommendations regarding the installation of doors or windows – even in winter! –, do not hesitate to contact Portatec, a Canadian premium door and window manufacturer specializing in custom entry doors for the last 35 years.

Door specialist for more than 30 years:
Portatec is a specialized custom front door, window and superior ornemental door window manufacturer.