What Are Energy Star Windows?
Identifying an Energy Star window is simple. These products are clearly marked with the familiar logo. Understanding what defines these windows is a little more complicated. What are Energy Star windows? According to EnergyStar.gov, these windows have three telltale characteristics:
- Energy Star windows are made by a certified partner.
- They are independently vetted, verified, and certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council.
- They bear NFRC ratings according to standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency.
What do these characteristics really mean? Energy Star windows are energy-efficient windows. As the U.S. Department of Energy notes, up to 30 percent of residential heating and cooling energy goes to fight off the results of heat gain and loss through windows. As a result, replacing older, leaky windows with more efficient ones can make a significant difference in both your energy bill and your comfort. The Energy Star program’s informative, user-friendly labels make it easy for consumers to identify energy-efficient windows.
Look for the Logo
When shopping for Energy Star windows, the first step is to look for the logo. It’s drawn on a bright blue square. “Energy” is written in a cursive font and followed by a white star. A white line arches above. Below, block letters spell out the words “Energy Star” in white print in a blue rectangle.
Check Your Climate Zone
While selecting a window with the Energy Star logo is a great start, it’s not enough to ensure that you’ve got the best window for your property. You’ll need to complete a few more steps. Consider this: Windows are like coats. Climate should be a factor when you’re selecting them. That’s why the Energy Star label includes information about the climate zones in which a window will function best. As you’re shopping for new windows, take a little time to review their Energy Star labels to verify that they’re appropriate for your location.
Weigh Performance Measures
After you’ve located a few windows that you like, you’ll need to decide which windows deliver the best performance for your budget. As This Old House explains, weighing a few measurements found on the Energy Star labels attached to every Energy Star window can guide your choice:
- U-Factor: A window that can keep heat inside the home helps you to maintain your environment. U-factor ranges from 0.2 to 1.2. Lower numbers are preferred.
- Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC): The sun is a powerful force, but not all windows allow it to penetrate your home equally. SHGC measures it on a scale of 0-1. An efficient window will score a lower number.
- Air Leakage: A measure of draft resistance, air leakage impacts both efficiency and comfort. Look for less than 0.3.
Choose Your Style
With the popularity of Energy Star windows, these products are widely available. Several trusted manufacturers offer wide selections of windows that meet the standards for Energy Star windows in various designs, materials, and colors. As a result, you won’t have to sacrifice style to secure energy savings.
If you love to tackle do-it-yourself projects, you might be able to handle the installation of windows, but that doesn’t mean that you should. Proper installation is one of the key factors in maximizing the efficiency of your windows. The best window can’t deliver amazing results if air leaks around it due to a lackluster installation. Having a pro install your new windows can truly make a major difference.
Liberty Home Solutions is your source for energy-efficient replacement windows in the Ozarks. As an exclusive Soft-Lite Window dealer, we’re delighted to offer our clients an amazing range of styles and colors of vinyl replacement windows. If you’re searching for Energy Star windows, contact us. Our expert team will be happy to help you find the perfect product for your project. Call Liberty Home Solutions today to explore your options or request a quote.