There are many components to an energy efficient window. An energy rating for replacement windows is based on four primary characteristics: The u-factor, which determines how much heat can escape, the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC), which determines how much heat can enter, visible transmittance (VT), which is the ability to see through the window, and air leakage (AL), which measures the amount of air allowed to flow through your window. Below is a brief guide on how to choose the right window according to these measurements how different construction elements affect each of them.
Having a low u-factor is less important in Orlando than it is in New York, because Floridians are primarily concerned with keeping heat out. In warmer climates, you can live efficiently and comfortably with window replacements that have a u-factor as high as .60. In colder climates, however, you’ll definitely need a lower number.
- Solar Heat Gain Coefficient
The SHGC rating you choose will also depend on the climate you live in. In warmer climates like here in Florida, you’ll want to stay below a .30 rating. Finding a window below a .27 will help maximize your energy efficiency.
- Visible Transmittance and Air Leakage
Energy Star doesn’t set limits on visibility or air leakage. Nonetheless, it’s nice to have a high VT and a low AL.
The frame doesn’t have to be made with a particular material, but it must meet quality standards for proper heat transfer and insulation. Fiberglass, vinyl, wood, aluminum, wood, composite, and combination frames can all qualify to be considered energy efficient when installed correctly.
- Multiple Panes
Multiple pane replacement windows are much more efficient than their single-pane counterparts. Inert gasses fill the space between the panes to provide for additional insulation, keeping conditioned air inside and the uncomfortable air out.
- Low-E Glass
A special coating on low-e glass helps to reflect light. In addition to helping keep your home comfortable, it protects your furniture from fading.
If you’re considering a new replacement window for your home, there’s more to think about than you may think. Modern windows are complex and come in a variety of styles, materials, and grades, and knowing what you’re looking for is important.
So if you’re wondering exactly what you should think about before you commit to that new window style , here are some thoughts.
- New vs. Replacement:
Windows are either classified as new construction or replacement. A replacement window on is designed to use an old window’s frame and requires minimal modifications, whereas a new construction window comes with its own frame and is designed either for new builds or for resized or repositioned windows.
- Type of Window:
You can find a lot of different types of windows. Sliders, casement, single/double hung, and awning windows are all design choices that may accentuate your home’s style. Within those categories you can also choose various styles of muntin, the material which separates the window frames.
- Window Material:
Wood, aluminum, vinyl, clad—each of these materials brings a different set of properties and design elements to your window replacement. You’ll also want to consider the environment you live in, as the elements react differently to climate.
- Efficiency Rating:
Most windows come with an NFRC efficiency label. While a more efficient replacement window might cost slightly more, you could save enough on your energy bill in a short amount of time to make up for the difference in cost.
There’s a little more to choosing a replacement window these days. For advice about your renovations ask your window installers, who can be a wealth of knowledge about local conditions and advise you on the best materials and energy ratings for your area. Final decisions about style are up to you.
Window World Orlando has more than 15 years of experience in working with homeowners to find the perfect replacement windows for their home. Schedule a free in-home consultation today and install new windows you’ll love.
Window World has certainly been in the national spotlight this year – American Chopper, Miss America Pageant, Entertainment Tonight, Good Housekeeping Magazine, ABILITY Magazine – and the month of May will certainly be no exception!
With the Indy 500 celebrating its 100th anniversary this May, the events surrounding the race are at an all-time heightened level of excitement – not only for those involved, but for our entire country as we honor this legendary American tradition.
In addition to the airing of the “Our Secret” television commercial during the pre-race and during the race, in-car camera coverage with John, and the Indy 500 Win-Win promotion, Window World and Window World Cares will be making history with the presentation of a modern day interpretation of the winner of the first Indy 500 – the 1911 Marmon “Wasp” – with the 2011 “Stinger” by Window World.
With the help of John Andretti, Andretti Autosport, and Richard Petty Motorsports, we have invited every living Indy driver to sign this car – making it an invaluable salute to a century of excellence – and with every signature, Window World Cares will be making a donation to our foundation partners in their honor.
If you’ve shopped for replacement windows before, you’ve probably noticed the National Fenestration Rating Council’s NFRC label , which explains each window’s performance ratings. This label has 6 different energy saving ratings , and each of them will give you specific information on a different aspect of the window’s performance.
The U-Factor represents the amount of heat which can escape through your window. You’ll usually see a number between .20 and 1.20. The lower the number, the better insulation your window provides.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)
This is a number between 0 and 1 which indicates how much solar radiation and heat can enter through the window. The lower the number, the less heat is let into your home.
Visible Transmittance (VT)
This is a number between 0 and 1 and indicates how much light is allowed through your replacement window. The higher the number, the more light is let in.
Air Leakage (AL)
This is the measure of how much air leaks through the window frame, expressed as cubic feet per minute per square foot of frame area (cfm/ft²). The lower the number, the better the seal on your window.
Condensation Resistance (CR)
This number, between 1 and 100, will tell you the relative ability of the glass to prevent condensation from building up on the windows interior. Windows with higher numbers have more resistance to condensation formation.
Light-to-Solar Gain (LSG)
The Light-to-Solar Gain rating is the ratio between SHGC and VT. Use this rating to find windows which permit very bright light to enter your home while blocking heat.
Understanding the NFRC label will allow you to better understand your replacement windows and make the right choice for your home. If you need replacement windows, check out Window World Orlando. Our professional window installers will make sure the job gets done right and at the best price you’ll find anywhere.
One of the first things to do when looking for replacement windows is to measure the size of the windows you’re looking to replace. If you haven’t done this before, there are some factors you’ll want to take into consideration when doing your measurements.
In this video, Tim Gipson leads you through the correct process to determine the size of the replacement windows you’ll want to buy. If you know what you’re looking for, this should only take you a few minutes to do, but measuring incorrectly may cost you time and money.
If you want it done right the first time, then let Window World come out to your home for a free in-home consultation. Our window installers will tell you the sizes you need, and help you find the perfect windows for your home.
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