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Replacement Window Ratings Explained

May 2, 2023
Products

Understanding The Ratings On Replacement Windows For Your Purcellville, VA Home

The Story The Numbers And Codes Tell You

If your Purcellville, VA, home requires replacement windows, you may be putting off replacing them. Why do homeowners tend to put off such an important task?

Not only is replacing windows often something you need to plan for financially, but you may have confusion over which window is right for you. Not to worry, as many people find that they cannot make any sense out of all the numbers and codes that come with the rating of these windows.

Every window on the market will have a rating label that tells you all about the window and what you can expect. However, it doesn’t do your Loudoun County home any good if you cannot understand what is being said!

Luckily you are in the right place to learn about the ratings and the story behind all those numbers and codes on the label!

The Codes And Numbers You Will See

When first looking at a label on a replacement window, it might seem like you’re reading Greek. All the codes and numbers directly correlate to how efficient a window is.

When you look at any window, you will find that there are two labels. One is the Energy Star label, and the other is the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) label. Each label will give you valuable information, so it is essential that you understand it.

Energy Star Label

The energy star label is straightforward to understand. Any window with the iconic Energy Star label means you are looking at something energy efficient.

Products that get the Energy Star label mean:

  • They are manufactured by a partner with Energy Star.
  • They have been independently tested, meaning the NFRC has conducted testing on the windows.
  • The numbers on the label are all meeting the energy-efficient guidelines that the US Environmental Protection Agency has set.

Ultimately, if you go with any window with the Energy Star label, you get a quality and efficient window that will benefit your home.

However, don’t just pick the first Energy Star window you see. You will find that the NFRC label goes into more depth to give you more control over what type of window you put into your home.

NFRC Label

The confusion over the labels seen on replacement windows comes with the NFRC label. As stated, the NFRC will independently test these windows to give these ratings.

The information you will see on these labels can help you determine the best window for your Loudoun County home based on the numbers. You will see the following codes and numbers on these labels:

  • U-Factor: Measures how well the window keeps heat from escaping your home. The range of the numbers is 0.20 – 1.20. For a better product, you want to look for a lower number.
  • Solar Heat Gain Coefficient: These numbers range from 0 to 1. It measures how well the window will resist heat before it leaks into the home, which is important on hot summer days. The lower the number you find, the less heat it will transfer into your home, meaning less cooling you have to do.
  • Visible Transmittance: The rating here will refer to how much light can get through the window into your home. The range of numbers is from 0 to 1. You will want to find a rating that is as high as possible to allow the most light to transfer into your home.
  • Air Leakage: This should be a number lower or equal to 0.3. The lower number means fewer chances of outside air entering your home.
  • CR: This value may or may not be included on the label you see, as it is up to the manufacturer to include this. However, it refers to the resistance the window has to condensation and is a value between 0 to 100. You will want to find the highest number possible.

If the CR value concerns you and is not on the label, you can check with the manufacturer for these ratings. It is tested by the NFRC, it simply is not mandated to be on labels now.

Who Decides On The Ratings For Replacement Windows?

The actual ratings that individual windows are getting are decided on via the testing done by the NFRC. However, the EPA is the governing body that makes the rules for manufacturers to abide by when making windows to ensure energy efficiency.

The EPA aims to ensure that the environment is safe and the people are protected. The minimal energy-efficient ratings manufacturers must meet add to the goal of ensuring a more energy-efficient country.

In addition to ensuring that energy efficiency standards are met, the EPA also states the minimum window requirement according to your region. For example, the window replacements that work best in Arizona may not be the best for someone in Purcellville, VA.

Luckily, a licensed professional understands these guidelines and can steer you in the right direction regarding what window will work best for your home, the weather, and your budget.

Ready To Replace Your Purcellville, VA Windows?

If you are ready to replace your Purcellville, VA, window, we understand your frustrations with the energy labels. However, we can help by offering windows made in Virginia for those who call our state home.

Set up your appointment to discuss window replacement by calling us today at 703-581-2761. The quote is free, and we are happy to answer any questions about the energy efficiency of our windows.

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