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Energy Efficiency

How Can Energy-Efficient Windows Reduce Your Energy Costs?

On average, a homeowner can spend up to $2,500 on their yearly heating / cooling bills and other household energy consumption costs. While you have no control over the ongoing fluctuation of fuel costs and energy company rate hikes, you do have a choice in the right windows and doors to help with energy consumption. Our inventory of energy-efficient windows and doors have all of the technological advancements in the design, construction, and availability of energy rating systems. Not only can you find beautifully designed and architecturally appealing windows and doors, but you can be assured that they will keep your home at a comfortable temperature and reduce your home’s energy costs. This drop in energy consumption also benefits the environment, since less fossil fuel and coal will be burned, resulting in a reduced carbon emission.  

What makes a window or door energy efficient? 

The primary factors that go into energy-efficient designs include:

  • How the frame and sashes are engineered and built 
  • The type of glass used (single, double, or triple pane) 
  • Weather stripping 
  • The type of low-emissivity coating on the glass 
  • The presence of argon or krypton gas

What is an ‘R-value’ and how important is it in selecting the right windows and doors? 

R- Value is “the capacity of an insulating material to resist heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power.”  The R-factor of a window or door is the measure of its resistance to the transfer of heat flow.  

What is a ‘U-value’?

The U-value (or U-factor) is the measure of the window’s ability to conduct heat or, in other words, the amount of heat transmitted through the window. The lower a window’s U-value, the better it is at insulating your home.   

What is the Solar Heat Gain Co-efficient? 

The Solar Heat Gain Co-efficient (SHGC) represents the amount of heat going into a house. The lower the number, the less heat penetrates the house. When a home is primarily air-conditioned, the SHGC value is the correct rating to be aware of.  

Hurricane impact-resistant windows and doors with clear glass feature a SHGC of 0.72, while bronze and gray glass hold a 0.55 and 0.56 SHGC value, respectively. So, the darker the appearance of the glass, the less heat can get through a window or door.   

What is the NFRC and what should I know about it?  

NFRC stands for the National Fenestration Rating Council. It’s a program established by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to help consumers compare various window and door products. It is a free service offered online at https://www.nfrc.org/ 
 
Window and door manufacturers who voluntarily participate in this program are required to label every unit to its specific thermal performance level.  
 
This rating program acts as a customer’s guide to the products they are considering, so consumers can know which windows and doors meet the NFRC production and energy conservation standards.  
 
Not all manufacturers participate in this program, because it requires independent third-party inspections and extensive product testing, which are costly and affect their bottom line.  

What is ENERGY STAR®? 

ENERGY STAR is a program run by the U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that helps individuals and businesses protect the environment through greater energy efficiency.  
 
The ENERGY STAR label can be applied only to windows and doors that meet specific U-value and Solar Heat-Gain Co-efficient ratings for one or more regions of the United States.  
 
These ratings are achieved through independent testing done in accordance with NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council) standards.  

Each window and door design has its own set of applicable ratings, which takes into account manufacturing variables, such as:

  • Glass type
  • Frame material 
  • Style and product design

To learn more about the ENERGY STAR program, visit their website at www.energystar.gov.  

What is ‘Low-E’ and how important is it to have it on your windows and doors? 

Low-E stands for Low Emissivity and is a fairly new advancement in glass technology. Basically, it’s a microscopic metallic coating applied to the surface of glass that reflects and re-radiates heat energy either into or out of a home, depending upon climate conditions.  
 
Having a Low-E coating application is an excellent way to increase the energy efficiency of windows and doors, since it directly affects how heat comes into or is kept out of your home.     


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