Fenestration as a system

Each window, door or skylight is an opening in a building’s envelope: a portal for light, fresh air and the heat of the sun.

The number, type, placement and quality of fenestration products in a structure can affect the comfort—and even the health—of everyone inside.

Drafty windows often lead to overworked heating or air conditioning systems. Leaky windows, doors and skylights can lead to condensation and mould. Poorly sealed windows and doors can let in noise and dust from outdoors and affect air quality.

Experts at Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) have gained a great deal of experience with retrofit work over the last four decades. One of the most important lessons is that a house or building works as a system. Each part is related to all others and making a change in one place causes an effect elsewhere.

Choose fenestration products that work well together.

Think about each window, door and skylight as part of a larger lighting, heating and ventilation system. It will help you make choices that add up to smarter, more energy-efficient homes and businesses.

More information on energy efficiency in residential fenestration products is available in these NRCan publications: