In general, windows take up a proportionately small area of thermal envelope. At the same time they are one of the most utilized parts of a home, as occupants use them for light, ventilation, passive heating or for aesthetic reasons.  In cold climates, windows can represent a significant heat loss, because of their low insulative value relative to the thermal performance of the other components of the building shell.  Conversely, windows can also provide valuable passive heat to a house.  Thus, having an appropriate window for the climate, coupled with appropriate placement, is important to maximize performance

The Cold Climate Housing Research Center provides extensive information on windows for structures in the circumpolar north. 

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Certified Alaska Tough Certified Alaska Tough distinguishes building products that can withstand the extreme climate conditions of Alaska, while meeting strict energy efficiency standards.
Evaluating Window Insulation CCRHC tested eight types of common window insulation treatments during a Fairbanks winter to see how they handled heat loss and moisture buildup. Exterior insulation methods, like shutters and storm windows, tended to perform the best and have the fewest condensation problems.
Interior Shutter Evaluation CCHRC evaluated an interior window shutter system that was designed to reduce heat loss through window while preventing moisture to condensate between the window and the shutter. The window was instrumented with thermocouples, a heat flux sensor, and relative humidity sensors.