Shopping for new windows and doors for your home can be confusing. There are so many different styles available, and you may become confused by the various ratings for energy efficiency. Keep in mind that you should always take these into consideration or you could end up buying doors and windows that are poorly constructed, causing drafts, energy leaks and disappointment. Fortunately, the National Fenestration Rating Council has designed a ratings system for Energy Star windows that many manufacturers display on their windows and doors.
U-Factor: Heat Flow Indicator
The U-factor for windows and doors indicates the rate at which non-solar heat flows out and around the window. The lower the U-rating, the more energy efficient your windows and doors will be. In most cases, manufacturers use the U-factor developed by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), which rates the entire window or door, including frames, spacers and other elements as well as the glass.
Understanding Solar Heat Gain: High Or Low?
Solar heat gain sounds simple, but when you’re comparing windows and doors, you need to keep in mind your personal preferences. Solar heat gain indicates the amount of solar radiation that is released into the home through your doors or windows. A low coefficient for solar heat gain means less heat from the sun will be released into your home; a high coefficient means your home will experience more solar heat release into your home. Be sure your new windows and doors are using the solar heat gain to your family’s advantage. A high solar heat gain will mean a warmer house in the winter, but a low coefficient will reduce cooling costs in the summer. To choose wisely, take your heating and cooling costs into consideration as well as the direction your doors or windows face.
Discuss Your windows And Doors With An Expert
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, you’re not alone. That’s why Opal Enterprises offers a comprehensive consultation with anyone shopping for windows and doors. We can explain the various energy efficiency ratings and help you choose the ideal windows or doors for your home. We can evaluate your window and door locations, taking into consideration their orientation, the surrounding landscaping and other factors in order to make a financially sound recommendation for windows and doors you’ll love. Although the NFRC ratings are important, they aren’t the only factors that impact the energy efficiency of windows & doors. Proper installation is also crucial to performance.
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