Saving energy is one of the many reasons to consider replacing the windows on your home. But how will you know which window is more efficient than another? Look for replacement windows with these tell-tale features:
ENERGY STAR Certification
You’ve seen the blue logo on energy-efficient appliances, heating and air systems, water heaters, televisions, and other devices you use every day. Look for the logo on your replacement windows, too. Any ENERGY STAR window is certified a to meet high standards of energy efficiency – efficiency that can put money in your pocket. In fact, ENERGY STAR certified windows and doors reduce energy bills by an average of 12 percent over non-certified models.
These thin, transparent coatings reflect away the sun’s infrared rays (or heat). Rather than allowing infrared rays to pass through, windows with low-E glass reflect away these heat-producing rays; This reflection helps to keep home interiors cooler on hot summer days, reducing the reliance on expensive air conditioning. Unlike older models, modern windows with low-E glass also allow in a great deal of visible light; brightness and clear views won’t be compromised.
One common measure of window performance is the U-factor, which measures a window’s insulating ability (or resistance to heat flow). Windows with high resistance help maintain a difference in temperature between a home’s interior and the outside. This figure is expressed as a number between 0 and 1; the closer to zero, the less heat is allowed through. In a warm climate, one where we want to keep summer’s heat at bay, a value of 0.25 would be considered excellent. SmartSun™ windows from Renewal by Andersen offer an even better U-factor of 0.24.
Low Solar Heat Gain Coefficient
The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, or SGHC, is another common measure of window performance. SGHC represents the amount of the sun’s heat that is allowed through the window, and is expressed as a number between 0 and 1 – the closer to zero, the less heat is allowed through. In a warm climate – one where we want to reflect away unwanted heat – an SGHC value of 0.25 or less would be considered excellent.