Wondering about Energy Star® – what it is and what it means for you? HomeRite Windows & Doors wants to help you better understand exactly what Energy Star is and the benefits of Energy Star windows. Many of our window products are Energy Star rated and are the highest quality, most energy-efficient windows you can buy.
What is Energy Star?
Energy Star is a government program that was started by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1992. It is operated under the Clean Air Act and the 2005 Energy Policy Act. The sole purpose of Energy Star is to provide consumers with information about the energy efficiency of various products in order to save money on utility bills and encourage a greener world. Buyers who purchase these products are able to realize significant energy-efficiency without sacrificing quality and performance.
The EPA establishes certain energy efficiency requirements and uses these standards to label Energy Star products according to the following:
- A product must furnish a significant energy savings.
- In addition to the energy savings, the products must possess the most popular features and performance.
- The labels must provide clear energy consumption and performance information to keep buyers informed.
- Efficiency must be able to be measured and tested.
- A more expensive, higher-efficiency product can ultimately enable consumers to recoup the cost of the product in savings.
What Types of Products Can Carry the Energy Star Label?
- Windows, doors and skylights
- New Homes
- Heating and Cooling Systems
- Imaging Equipment
Energy Star Performance Ratings for Windows
Energy Star ratings for windows are determined by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). The NFRC consists of window and door manufacturers, suppliers, code officials, researchers and government agencies. It is a non-profit organization. The rating system is based on whole product performance.
To allow consumers to have the proper information to compare products, the NFRC rates windows based on the following:
- U-Factor – The U-Factor rates the amount of heat loss in the window product. A lower U-Factor indicates the product’s increased ability to resist heat. This is especially important in Florida, as heat is a major part of our climate.
- Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) – This measures the amount of solar heat radiation that the window absorbs and in turn, releases indoors. A lower SHGC window will emit less solar heat. You can expect to see numbers between 0 and 1.
- Visible Transmittance (VT) – As many windows manufactured today have special coatings, visible, infrared and ultraviolet light is often filtered. The VT is an optical calculation that indicates the amount of light being let in. A higher VT is preferred, as more light can come through. However, the special coating, low-E is necessary in Florida’s extreme heat to avoid the solar heat from going into the house. This rating is also between 0 and 1.
- Air Leakage (AL) – All windows have some air leakage. However, windows with lower AL are the most desirable. The NFRC, AAMA’s Gold Label, Keystone Certifications, Inc.’s NAFS Structural Certification Label, National Accreditation & Management Institute’s (NAMI) NAFS Structural Label, and the WDMA’s Hallmark Certification Label all require a rating of .30 or less to qualify for Energy Star Certification.
- Condensation Resistance (CR) – CR rating tells how well a window will resist the formation of condensation. The measurement is done based on 30%, 50% and 70% indoor humidity combined with an outdoor temperature of 0 Degrees Fahrenheit and 15 mph winds. A higher number indicates more CR. This rating is expressed in whole numbers of 1 to 100.
Why Choose Energy Star Windows?
Remember that Energy Star is available on many new home installations and replacement windows. Some of the many reasons you would want to consider them include:
- Windows with the Energy Star label provide you with energy savings and are better for our environment.
- These specially-rated windows will increase the comfort level in your home by helping to keep you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
- Condensation is a problem in Florida due to extreme heat outside and cool air conditioning on the inside. Energy Star windows can help to prevent this issue.
- Your home will be lighter and your view, better.
- Letting too much light in can cause your furniture and flooring to fade. Using Energy Star products with Low-E coating and high AT cuts down on fading.
- You will see a significant savings in your heating and air conditioning costs.
- Additionally, there are many utility and state programs that give rebates for energy efficient windows. You can check out some of those incentives here.
HomeRite Windows and Doors, located in Jacksonville, FL, offers a wide selection of energy efficient windows, many of which carry the Energy Star rating. Call us today to get a free consultation and estimate: (904) 296-2515.