As the sustainability movement grows in awareness, many U.S. homeowners are looking for ways to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Installing energy efficient windows is one of the best ways to reduce your home’s energy usage, not only lowering your home’s environmental impact but also lowering your monthly utility costs.
Investing in new windows may be an expensive investment upfront, but the energy savings and possible tax credit incentives can offset the cost over time. Energy efficient windows are designed to prevent energy loss, reduce heat transfer, improve temperature control, protect furniture from UV rays, and more.
Windows often have a label that indicates their energy efficiency and performance. In this article, we’ll review how to read energy performance labels to help you think more critically about which windows are best suited for your home.
Related Article: How to Identify Energy Loss to Save Money and Protect Your Home
Understanding Energy Performance Ratings
The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) created their energy performance label to help manufacturers and homeowners compare energy-efficient products by breaking down their energy performance. Products that are NFRC-certified are tested and labeled to help you make the best purchase decision.
The NFRC’s Energy Performance Label has several different indicators for window performance. Reading or inquiring about the label before purchasing windows can make a difference in keeping your energy costs down.
A typical energy performance label includes the following ratings and indicators:
- U-Factor – U-Factor measures heat loss and gain through heat conduction. A low rating indicates windows are effectively resistant to heat flow.
- Solar Heat Gain Coefficient – Solar heat gain, or heat gain through UV radiation, is measured using the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient. A lower rating indicates the window is effectively blocking solar heat.
- Visible Transmittance – Visible Transmittance, expressed as a number between 0-1, indicates how much light is transmitted through the window. A higher rating means more light is being transmitted.
- Air Leakage – The Air Leakage rating measures how much air passes through a window per square foot of the window’s size. Lower numbers mean you’ll experience less drafts, which is essential to the efficiency of your home’s HVAC system.
- Condensation Resistance – Condensation Resistance is an optional rating that indicates how well a window resists moisture. A higher number indicates the product is better at resisting condensation.
Another common label that indicates energy efficiency is provided by ENERGY STAR. However, this label does not break down energy performance. It simply indicates the product is manufactured by an ENERGY STAR partner, evaluated by the NFRC, and meets the efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Ready to Upgrade? Invest in Energy Efficient Windows Today!
At Advance Roofing, Windows, Siding & Doors, our deep industry knowledge provides homeowners great peace of mind when undertaking any home improvement project. Our services result in a home addition or upgrade that’s beautiful, functional, and energy efficient.
We offer a variety of window installation and replacement options and put quality and energy efficiency first when installing new windows. We are proud to provide our customers a wide variety of window styles that are both functional and aesthetic.