Are you thinking of replacing your old, broken or inferior quality windows due to issues like fogging, cracked glass, difficulty opening and closing, or as part of a home remodeling project? If so, then this information is for you. While there are many types, styles and custom variations of windows, it is vital to understand energy performance labels to know how windows compare in the areas that matter most. Quality windows will almost always carry an energy performance label that provides information to help you understand which ones work best for your climate and which provide the most bang for your buck. Energy-efficiency not only helps save money, but is a key part of eliminating energy waste.
What is an NFRC Energy Performance Label and How Is it Different from the ENERGY STAR® Label?
Working in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) tests and certifies window products, including all ENERGY STAR® windows. While an ENERGY STAR® label immediately informs you that a product is energy-efficient, the NFRC label helps you compare energy-efficient products by breaking down their energy performance levels. The EPA establishes the standards for ENERGY STAR® energy performance levels. Energy-efficient windows are rated based on five categories. You will find these ratings on NFRC energy performance labels on new windows to help you better determine the right windows for your area and your desire for energy savings.
U-factor – The U-factor indicates how well a window insulates (keeps heat from entering/escaping). The typical range is 0.25 to 1.25, with a lower number providing better insulation.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) – The SHGC is a measurement of how much solar radiation passes through a window. Quality windows should block infrared rays to reduce passive heating inside your home. The fewer rays (and less heat), the better. The amount of the SHGC is typically a decimal amount between 0 and 1. A lower decimal amount means the window is better at resisting unwanted heat gain.
Air Leakage (AL) – AL computes the amount of air leakage based on cubic feet of air moving through one square foot of window area each minute. A lower amount of AL equates to less air leakage. An acceptable AL rating that meets building codes is 0.3 cf·m/ft².
Visible Transmittance (VT) – VT measures the light level allowed through a window. The higher the number, the more light comes in. Typical ratings are 0.20 to 0.80.
Condensation Resistance – The Condensation Resistance level is how much condensation the window allows. A larger number means less condensation build-up will occur. Ratings vary from 0 to 100.
Saving Money with Energy-Efficient Windows from HomeRite
If the idea of saving money on windows appeals to you, HomeRite Windows and Doors has just the products you need. In addition to ENERGY STAR® windows, we also carry our exclusive brand of custom-manufactured SmartRite® windows. All of our windows come with superior warranties and local-based service. Our clients can also visit our Jacksonville showroom to see and touch a wide variety of window and door choices, including leading name brands like MI, PGT and others. We custom build all of our windows and doors, so you can rest assured that your new windows fit perfectly, every time. HomeRite has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a multiple Angie’s List award winner.
Buying energy-efficient replacement or new construction windows is an investment. While savings can add up, purchasing upgraded windows also increase the value of your home, and will ensure a solid return on investment when you sell it.