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What Makes a Window Qualify for an Energy Star Rating?

Posted 20 December 2015

Window replacement in Western Springs

What Makes a Window Qualify for an Energy Star Rating?

More homeowners than ever are focused on making their residences as energy efficient as possible. If you fall into that category, you’ve most likely heard of the Energy Star Rating. You might also be wondering what qualifications a window manufacturer has to meet in order to have an Energy Star-worthy window. Give yourself a lesson in energy efficiency if you’re considering window replacement in Western Springs.

Manufacturer and Performance Criteria

Before earning an Energy Star rating, the manufacturer first has to be classified as an Energy Star partner. Not only that, but the window also has to be certified and tested by the National Fenestration Rating Council, otherwise known as the NFRC. All NFRC ratings are set by the United States Department of Energy.

As for the window’s performance criteria, you should make sure it’s designed for your area’s climate. Newer windows can be designed so that you stay either cooler or warmer, depending on the local weather. An Energy Star window’s rating is also dependent on whether it meets the requirements for the local climate zones and NFRC ratings.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) and U-Factor

While deciding on window replacement in Western Springs, be sure to check on the U-factor and SHGC. Specifically, the U-factor for windows intended for homeowners in the northern part of the country should be either less than or equal to .30 while any SHGC rating qualifies. The same U-factor applies to homes in the northern central part of the country, but the SHGC should be less than .40.

Homeowners residing in the south central area of the country will want windows with a U-factor that’s below .35 and a SHGC of less than .30. Those in the south, however, are better off opting for a .59 or lower U-factor and a SHGC of less than .27.

Take a careful look at the options you’re considering for window replacement in Western Springs. While they might all be energy efficient, they might not have an Energy Star rating.

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