You may already have seen these white labels on composite, wood, or vinyl replacement windows indicating ratings for things like U-factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, and others. But what do these ratings mean, and how will they help you make the right window choice?
Let us share with you this quick guide on window performance ratings.
The NFRC Label
The white labels in question are issued by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) after testing and certifying a replacement window, door, or skylight for their energy performance. The NFRC labels serve as a reliable and standardized way to determine a window’s energy properties.
There are four ratings on every label:
U-Factor – U-factor measures how well a product keeps heat from escaping from a room, expressed as a number between 0.20–1.20. The lower the value, the better the replacement windows are at keeping your indoors warm.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) – SHGC measures a product’s resistance against heat gain from external heat sources. Expressed as a number between 0.0 and 1.0, you will want a lower value if you need cooler indoors.
Visible Transmittance (VT) – VT measures how well a product lets natural light in, expressed as a value between 0.0 and 1.0. The higher the value, the more natural light it lets in.
Air Leakage – Air leakage is represented by values between 0.1 and 0.3. The lower the value, the lower the chances of experiencing drafts.
How the NFRC Label Can Help You
Different homes have different requirements. For instance, if you have drafty windows, then you should make it a point to choose replacement windows with low air leakage values. Or if you’re looking into letting more sunlight in but doesn’t want the additional heat from the sun, replace your windows with ones that have low SHGC and high VT. Conversely, choose low VT values if the room is too bright for comfort.
Our expert consultants can help you find window replacement with balanced energy ratings for your home. WMGB Home Improvement serves property owners in and around Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Muskegon, MI. To know more about our energy-efficient replacement window options, call us today at (616) 328-6625 or fill out our contact form for a free, no obligation quote.