The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) reports that the average household spends $1,500 to $2,500 on energy bills each year. These costs are piled on top of mortgages, property taxes, and many other household expenses. For homeowners, paychecks seem to slip away at every opportunity, so finding a way to lower monthly expenses is crucial.
One way homeowners can save money is by improving the energy efficiency of their homes. Energy efficiency is a growing trend in the United States, as it helps not only the planet but also the consumer’s wallet.
So, what exactly is energy efficiency and why should homeowners know more about it?
Understanding Energy Efficiency Key Terms
Energy efficiency can be a complicated concept with unfamiliar terms, ratings, and indicators. In basic terms, energy efficiency is the method or practice of reducing energy consumption. The goal is to use less energy while achieving the same use level or result. For example, using LED light bulbs reduces energy consumption by 80% while still providing the same level of light as traditional incandescent bulbs.
To help you navigate energy-efficient methods and products, here are some common energy efficiency terms and their meanings:
- Energy Rating Label – Created by the NFRC, this label indicates the energy performance of certain products, equipment, and appliances.
- U-Factor – This measures heat loss or gain through heat conduction. For example, a low U-Factor rating indicates windows are well-insulated and resistant to heat flow.
- Solar Heat Gain (SHG) – SHG is also used to measure heat gain, but it uses UV rays as the factor. Like U-Factor ratings, a lower number means less heat, or energy, will pass through the window.
- Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) – This is the fraction of solar radiation admitted through a product, such as a window. As defined by energy.gov, the lower the SHGC, the less solar heat the window transmits and the greater its shading ability.
- Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) – This rating is used by the HVAC industry to determine the cooling output of an air conditioner for a given amount of energy.
Related Article: How to Identify Energy Loss to Save Money and Protect Your Home
Why Improve Your Home Energy Efficiency?
There are several benefits associated with investing in energy-efficient products or appliances. One of the most compelling benefits is cutting your monthly bills and lowering expenses. Energy-efficient products and appliances can also improve the longevity of your home and increase your level of comfort with less effort.
Energy-efficient windows and doors:
- Reduce the burden on your HVAC system to keep your home at a comfortable temperature
- Lower the amount of electricity and other resources that your appliances use so that you can lower your energy bills and decrease your environmental impact
- Prevent environmental exposure, such as UV rays and humidity, from damaging your home and interior furnishings
- Might qualify homeowners for tax deductions and savings
How to Get Started with Energy Efficiency
Depending on your budget, there are several options available so you can start saving energy and money, including:
- Installing new doors and windows
- Reinforcing window treatments
- Replacing light bulbs
- Investing in energy-efficient appliances
Here at Advance Inc., we are proud to offer our community reliable resources and outstanding services. We are confident that our energy-efficient products and installation services will improve the functionality of your home, enhance its structural integrity, and save you money.
When selecting new energy-efficient windows, be sure to ask us about the Energy Rating Label from the NFRC. Each label includes a rating for the U-Factor and Solar Heat Gain.