The days of installing windows and doors as merely fixtures have long gone. In the wake of energy conservation and cost reduction, there is a need to install windows and doors that fit perfectly into these goals.
Modern windows and doors are made to reduce heat loss and retain heat gain from the sun during the winter and reduce heat gain in the summer. Windows and doors are constructed in different ways to meet diverse levels of energy need within the home.
Windows and doors are made according to different levels of energy efficiency, and this determines their prices. Meanwhile, energy-efficient windows and doors, irrespective of their prices, help to save the cost of energy, which pays off over time for the cost of their purchase.
How Windows and Doors Are Rated for Efficiency
The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) is the non-profit body that certifies the energy efficiency of windows and doors. As a result, windows and doors have the Energy Star label explaining their levels of energy efficiency. Below are energy ratings of windows and doors:
1. The U-Factor
U-factor measures how easily heat passes through windows and doors. To reduce heat loss, windows and doors having a low U-factor are preferable. Old windows having a single pane of glass in an aluminum frame may have a U-factor of 1.3 while energy-efficient windows may have a low U-factor of about 0.1.
Note that the lower the rating of the U-factor, the better the insulation property of the windows and doors.
2. Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)
This is the fraction of the solar heat or radiation that enters the house through the windows and doors. The lower the number, the less heat is allowed through the windows and doors. Windows and doors without higher numbers will make the indoor temperatures high, which may not be preferable during the summer.
As a result, windows and doors with lower SHGC ratings in warm climates are best to reduce the need for air conditioning which higher number SHGC should be chosen in cooler climates to enable the sun to heat the home in the winter. It is crucial to balance U-factor and SHGC with your area.
3. Air Leakage
This is the rate at which air passes through the windows and doors’ frames. Lower numbers indicate that the window or door is more airtight. 0.3 is the standard code, but a lower number is not bad.
4. Visible Transmittance
Thus, rating concerns windows and doors with glass only. It is the amount of light allowed to pass through. A lower number indicates that the room will be dimmer, and vice versa.
5. Condensation Resistance
This measures how much moisture can build upon the surface of windows or doors, or between glazing layers. A lower number indicates more condensation on the windows and doors can build up.
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