You may have noticed that replacement windows and patio doors come with energy performance labels and ENERGY STAR® certification labels. If you’re wondering about the significance of these labels, read on as local replacement window company Renewal by Andersen® of Greater Philadelphia explains their importance, and how they can help you choose the right doors and windows for your home.
Energy Performance Labels
Energy performance labels are the white labels that indicate ratings for energy efficiency metrics. These labels are provided by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), a non-profit organization that sponsors ratings for fenestrations: windows, doors, and skylights. Unlike most ratings systems, the NFRC does not categorize fenestrations as “good” or “bad” products; they merely provide performance ratings.
These ratings are divided into four categories:
U-Factor — The U-factor or U-value measures insulation, particularly how a product keeps heat from escaping a room. The lower the value, the better the insulation will be. Some literature on replacement windows refer to insulation ratings as R-value, which measures resistance to heat conduction. This means a product rated with low U-factor will have a correspondingly high R-value.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient — SHGC measures resistance against heat gain from solar heat, or infrared radiation. Replacement windows that feature low-E coatings, like our High Performance™ Low-E4® glass, can block solar heat, and typically have low SHGC ratings.
Visible Transmittance — Visible transmittance measures how well a fenestration allows natural light into the room. The higher the value, the more natural light it lets through. Low-E coatings make it possible to have window glass that has low SHGC and high visible transmittance ratings. That is, cooler and brighter interiors.
Air Leakage — Air leakage measures how much air can pass through a fenestration. The lower the air leakage ratings, the less chances of experiencing drafts.
ENERGY STAR Label
ENERGY STAR is intended to provide consumers a way to easily identify energy-efficient products at point of purchase, and is not intended to replace energy performance labels. In fact, ENERGY STAR certification for fenestrations are based on ratings from the NFRC. What this means for you, as a homeowner, is you have the assurance that you’re buying an energy-efficient product if it bears the ENERGY STAR label. In addition to fenestrations, ENERGY STAR labels can also be found on a diverse array of products, including computers and washing machines.
Renewal by Andersen of Greater Philadelphia is your leading provider of patio door and window installation services. Give us a call at (610) 563-2190. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve customers in New Jersey and Philadelphia.