One of the big things you will hear people talking about when it comes to replacement windows is the use of the Energy Star rating system, in fact you’ll see it mentioned a lot right here on the replacement windows guide. But exactly what does it mean? And what significance does it have?
The Energy Star rating system is a system which has been put into place to identify windows which are more energy-efficient and which generally outperform other, none Energy Star rated windows. In order for any window from any company to receive the Energy Star window rating they must meet certain strict standards which have been put into place by the Department Of Energy, in the U.S. These standards are designed to meet those measurements which have been set out by the NFRC or National Fenestration Rating Council.
The NFRC considers several factors in their overall window rating, each of these are covered in more detail in our replacement window ratings guide, however in brief NFRC will measure the following:
- The U-Factor
- The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)
- The Visible Transmittance (VT)
- Air Leakage (AL)
- Condensation Resistance
All of the above have acceptable ranges which have to be met in order to meet the requirements of NFRC and Energy Star.
Whilst the way the windows are manufactured is not specifically governed, the requirement of these factors does often alter the way the windows are built and improves the overall quality, durability and energy efficiency of the window, providing you (the customer) with a better “end of the line” finished product. After all, it’s not the look or the way the window’s are put together that matter to the NFRC, it’s how they perform when put into testing.
Why Choose Energy Star Rated Windows?
So the question is, should you choose an Energy Star rated window supplier over a non-rated one? The short answer is probably yes. Choose an Energy Star rated product gives you the confidence in a product which you know has undergone rigorous testing to meet very specific requirements. The standards specified by the NFRC means that you are getting a product which will:
- Minimize Heat Loss
- Minimize Heat Gain
- Improve Overall Home Energy Efficiency
It’s therefore highly likely that your overall home energy bills will be reduced.
Are Energy Star Rated Windows More Costly?
Because Energy Star rated windows have to meet stringent quality standards and specific energy guidelines, this makes the manufacturing process more expensive, thus providing you with a better quality product. However, quality comes at a price and you will pay more for a replacement window with the Energy Star rating than one without. But it’s likely that much of this additional outlay can be offset against the savings you are going to make from having a more energy-efficient home.
Who Supplies Energy Star Rated Windows?
There are a huge number of window companies providing Energy Star rated window products, Energy Star have a window search page where you can find a local supplier to you, or use our window cost calculator to find prices from Energy Star approved companies. For a list of recent window reviews of the top companies visit our replacement window reviews section.