Up to 25% of the warm air circulating in an average American home is lost through drafty windows and doors, which is why energy-efficient windows are highly recommended for homes in cold climates. Sprague Construction Roofing LLC, a local restoration services company, recommends prioritizing these qualities when shopping for energy-efficient windows.
ENERGY STAR® Label
The ENERGY STAR program, which is run by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, helps consumers identify energy-efficient products. Only products that have undergone independent testing and have met stringent performance standards are certified by the government-run program.
However, just because a window has an ENERGY STAR label, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s suitable for your home. Check the window’s NFRC rating, which can be found below the label, and reference which climate zones the window is certified in.
Here’s an overview of what the NFRC ratings mean:
- U-factor – A window’s U-factor gives you an idea of its insulative capabilities. The lower the U-factor, the better a window is at preventing the transfer of heat.
- Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) – The SHGC indicates how much heat from the sun can pass through the window glass. The lower a window’s SHGC, the less heat it will let into your home.
- Visible Transmittance – This rating gives you an idea of how much sunlight can pass through a window. The higher a window’s visible transmittance rating is, the better the natural lighting in your home will be.
- Air Leakage – The air leakage rating indicates how much air can pass through a window. The lower the rating, the less drafty your home will be.
Contractors recommend that homeowners living in cold climates choose windows with a low U-factor and high SHGC. Installing energy-efficient windows on the south side of your home, the part that receives the most sunlight, is also smart. That way, you can take full advantage of heat from the sun and passive heating.
Don’t Forget to Check Your Exterior
Of course, energy-efficient windows won’t be able to do much if they’re not installed properly or the exterior of your home is damaged. As such, you should only hire certified contractors to install windows and conduct other exterior work, like roof repair.
Looking for certified contractors in your area? Sprague Construction Roofing LLC, a GAF Master Elite® contractor with an accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, offers a wide range of exterior services, including window installation as well as gutter repair services. To get a free estimate, call us at (406) 534-1222 or leave us a message here. We serve homeowners in Cody, Wyoming, Billings, MT, and the surrounding communities.