What Are Energy Performance Ratings for Windows?
As we usher in a new age of green technology, modern homeowners are looking for living spaces that are cute, comfortable, and above all, efficient. If you’re wondering what exactly it means to be efficient, it’s the act of preforming a function at the highest level using a smaller amount of energy than traditionally required. We’ve written before about the importance of ensuring you HVAC system is running at peak efficiency, but what about your windows? New windows all have an energy performance rating. It can be hard to understand the number and how it applies to your home. Because of this, we’re sharing what energy performance ratings for windows are.
What Are Energy Performance Ratings?
An energy performance rating is an assessment of a window’s energy efficiency. This means that if the window has a good energy performance rating, you will save money in the long run. If you’re wondering how this works, it’s simple. Modern windows are made to naturally insulate the home; meaning they keep warm air in during the winter and cool air in during the summer. In turn, new energy efficient windows can save you money over time on your utility bills. Windows with a high energy performance rating also allow your HVAC system to work smarter, not harder, which puts less strain on the system. Windows with a high rating will help your HVAC system live a long life and preform at peak efficiency. We like to call this a win-win situation.
What Does the Label Mean?
Most windows are labeled with an energy performance rating. This is similar to the yellow performance rating sticker you see on appliances like a TV or refrigerator. The label has four sections, they are:
- U-Factor – The U-factor measures the window’s energy efficiency. The measurement is used to indicate the amount of heat transfer the window allows. You want to look for lower numbers with this label, the lower the number, the better it is at heat retention. Numbers can range from 0.20 to 1.20.
- Solar Heat Gain Coefficient – This part is very important for our Central California homeowners. The solar heat gain coefficient rates how well a window can resist outside heat. You’ll want to see a number between 0 and 1 if you want to save on your utility bill.
- Visible Transmittance – One of the first things we notice in a home is natural light. The visible transmittance number lets a homeowner know how much natural light a window will let in. This rating can range from 0 to 1. You’ll want a higher number closer to 1; the higher the number, the more natural light you’ll see.
- Air Leakage –Nothing is worse than closing your window only to feel a draft coming from it. The air leakage rating shows how much air a windowpane lets in. This will also be a big factor when it comes to your utility bills. The more outdoor air that gets in, the harder your HVAC system needs to work to maintain your desired temperature settings. For this one, a low number is the best number, we’re talking something smaller than 0.3.
Why Should I Care About Energy Performance Ratings for Windows?
Beyond the savings we mentioned above, there are more than a few reasons you’ll want to opt for windows with a high performance rating. Most homes can lose up to 30% of treated air through inefficient windows. This loss of cool or warm air can force your HVAC system to work twice as hard to make the same amount of air—the opposite of energy efficiency. When too much treated air is lost through windows, it puts extra strain on your HVAC system which could result in expensive repairs and premature system failure. Another reason to consider windows with a high energy performance rating is that modern windows give homeowners so many options. From type of frame and number of windowpanes to options for window coating, the combinations are endless so homeowners can find an individual window to meet the expectations of their lifestyle.
Want to Learn More About Energy Performance Ratings for Windows? Call us.
The window experts at Bell Brothers are standing by and ready to answer any questions you may have about energy performance ratings for windows. They will work with you to find the best window solution for your home. If you live in Sacramento, Stockton, or Vacaville call the number at the top of the screen or click here to book an appointment online.