The Okanagan is a beautiful place, and it’s also home to an extremely unique climate in Canada. It’s not usual to experience extremely dry and hot days during the summer, just like you’d find in a desert. In the winter, snowfall can blanket the area much like it does everywhere else in Canada, especially in many of the mountainous regions in and around the area.
The area is semi-arid, and quite often the Okanagan is referred to as Canada’s only desert, however, this isn’t actually true. Although it has many regions that appear like a desert, especially in the southern part of the valley, the Okangan is technically a shrub-steppe region. Shrub-steppe is a type of low rainfall grassland, and in Canada it is unique to the Okanagan and southern parts of the Similkameen Valley to the north.
With such a unique climate that can reach extreme temperatures in the summer, with plenty of snowfall in the mountains during winter, what types of windows and doors are best for a region that varies so much from season to season?
What’s a Climate Zone for Windows and Doors?
For a long time, the government has provided a climate zone map in order to help consumers purchase energy star rated products for their region. It was based on a formula of average temperatures, and most of the Canadian population fell within zone 2.
The Okaganan Valley, and other parts of coastal BC, fell within zone 1, due to our unique climate. Those that have travelled British Columbia can already see a big problem with the climate zone system: There’s a big difference in climate between a city home Nanaimo, Kelowna, and a mountain home in between.
For the reason’s mentioned above, and the fast pace at which insulation technology has advanced, the Energy Star climate zones are going away on January 1st, 2020. Energy Star requirements will be the same for all of Canada.
With the new criteria, you’ll want to make sure you’re buying the right windows for your home. If you buy a window meant for a warmer climate, you may find the insulation value isn’t what you were hoping for.
Provincial Requirements for Windows and Doors
Just in case you were thinking that the new zone structure would remove complications, the government of British Columbia has climate zones they use for building code regulations on the insulation value required by windows and doors.
On top of that, your local municipality may have their own regulations. The local level is where you’ll find the most accurate info on the requirements for your climate and location.
Since you’re likely to find the best information locally, you should deal with a window and door company that covers your area. At Euroclad Windows and Doors, we’re a little larger than most companies, so we have extensive experience in most climate regions in Western Canada.
We’ll be able to help you find the perfect windows and doors for you home, whether you’re facing the scorching sun in the valley, or a cold winter higher up.
When you’re shopping for your next window and door, contact the Euroclad team or drop by our showroom to find out what products will meet your requirements (and building code), and we will ensure you’re getting the right windows and doors for you home.