Is Low-E for Me? Your Guide to Window Energy Ratings
Ever seen that label on one of your windows and wondered what all the numbers on it mean? Windows are labeled much like cars are to help homeowners make more informed decisions as they shop for energy efficient windows. If terms like “U-factor” and “Solar Heat Gain Coefficient” intimidate you, never fear — here is a brief guide to window energy performance ratings and how you can select the right windows for your home.
How to Read a Window Energy Efficiency Label
The energy efficiency label you commonly see on windows is called the NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council) label. Two major pieces of information you will find on this label are:
U-Factor — how well the window can prevent indoor heat from escaping
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) — how well the window can resist unwanted heat gain (which is especially important during the summer)
U-factor ranges from 0.20 to 1.20. The lower the number, the better the window is at keeping heat in. SHGC ranges from 0 to 1. The lower the number, the less you’ll spend on cooling your home. If you live in a hot climate, you should definitely look for low numbers when looking at both U-factor and SHGC. Lower numbers indicate better insulation and protection from solar gain (temperature increases due to sunlight) during the hot summer months.
Choosing Energy Efficient Windows for Your California Home
Now that you know a thing or two about how windows are rated for energy efficiency, you may be wondering why this is important as you select new windows for your home. Windows can have a major impact on your home’s comfort and overall energy efficiency. When you select energy efficient windows — especially low-E windows which are specially coated to reduce solar gain — you minimize the effect that sunlight has on temperatures in your home. Your windows will make your home more comfortable, and you’ll save big on your heating and cooling bills.
If you’re here in the El Dorado Hills area, then you know how hot and sunny the climate can be. That makes it especially important to choose energy efficient windows. The right windows for your home will feature a low U-factor for better insulation and a low SHGC for better protection against solar heat gain. If you’re looking for new windows for your home in the Sacramento area, talk to an expert at California Energy Services. We can talk to you about Milgard windows and other innovative products we work with, helping you find a design that perfectly suits your home.