A Window Buyer’s Guide to Window Labels

If you have looked at labels on windows at home improvement shops or construction sites and felt overwhelmed by all the unfamiliar language, you are not alone. Fortunately, the window industry jargon and abbreviations printed on window labels is fairly limited. Once you learn how to read one window label , you should be able to read them all.

Human hands holding retro style eyeglasses

U-Factor
The lower a window’s U-factor, the more effective the window is at staunching the flow of heat. If superior insulation is a priority for you, look for a U-factor in the .2 to .5 range. Most windows have U-factors between .2 and 1.2.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)
Radiant heat from the sun is the type of heat that most obviously affects property owners in Central Florida. A measure of how effectively a window blocks this radiant heat, the SHGC is another important thing to look for on window labels. Always a number between 0 and 1, a lower SHGC means that a window is better at blocking heat from sunlight.

Visible Transmittance (VT)
This number, also between 0 and 1, reflects the extent to which light permeates through a window. A lower number means that less visible light is transmitted through a window. A lower VT is better for energy efficiency in a place like Central Florida, but it also means less natural light will illuminate your home. Consumers should carefully consider their preferences when assessing a window’s VT.

Standards and Certifications
Near the bottom of a window label, you should see notes declaring whether a window meets or exceeds the standards set by an organization or association for quality and/or energy efficiency. The  Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) standard  is the most common national standard, and a seal of approval from them is generally a sign that a window you are looking at is worth your money.

Regardless of how rigorous your demands for the replacement windows you are shopping for may be, you should be able to find window labels that satisfy you at Window World of Orlando. If you live in Central Florida and would like to work with a  reputable, no-nonsense window installation company  whose window replacement experts can satisfactorily answer any questions about window labels you may have, call (321) 282-6200. 

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