Considering window installation for your home? If so, you have probably spent some time examining the different options you like, and EnergyStar certification is bound to come up in your search. Check out a few things to know about EnergyStar-certified windows to give you a better understanding of this important designation.
What Does EnergyStar Certified Mean?
Most homeowners want EnergyStar-certified windows, but what does this actually mean? First, the windows must be made by a company that is considered an EnergyStar partner. The windows have to go through independent testing to gain certification of their performance, and those tests have to be verified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). The ratings verified by the NFRC must then meet the specific guidelines offered by the Environmental Protection Agency.
General Window Build
Quality frame materials, coated glass, multiple panes, and edge-spacers are just a few features windows must have to be represented by that desirable EnergyStar attribution. There can be a lot of options within these requirements. For example, aluminum and fiberglass frames can all both be certified.
In simple terms, the U-factor of a window describes how well the unit insulates against drafts or heated air. The lower the u-factor rating of a window is, the more effective it is at insulating your home against the elements. The U-factor can vary depending on the climate in which the window is used.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)
SHGC ratings refer to how much heat from sunlight actually passes through a window. These ratings can be anywhere from 0 to 1 but must fall within this range in order to be certified by EnergyStar. The lower the number, the less heat from the sun will pass through the window.
EnergyStar Certification Varies by Region
One thing that can get confusing when it comes to EnergyStar certification is that some windows are certified in some regions but not in others. For example, you may see units available in the northern parts of the country, like New Hampshire, that clearly have EnergyStar certification. However, these same windows may not be certified in a southernmost state like Texas.
When windows are tested for things like SHGC, they are tested against specific environmental conditions. Because the United States is home to multiple climate zones, windows can be exposed to different temperatures and environments depending on the location of the property. Therefore, different windows are most efficient in different regions.
Need Help Selecting the Best Windows for Your Home?
Choosing the best windows for your home makes all the difference when it comes to energy efficiency. Therefore, looking for top-rated units with EnergyStar certification is a wise move as a property owner. Are you on the fence about which windows would be the best option for your house? Reach out to Diamond Builders to find out more about our window installation services and the types of windows we trust the most for our clients.