ENERGY EFFICIENT WINDOWS & DOORS
HOW CAN ENERGY-EFFICIENT WINDOWS & DOORS REDUCE YOUR ENERGY COSTS?
Howeowners can spend up to $2,500 on annual heating and cooling bills, in addition to other household energy consumption costs. Admittedly, you don’t have any control over continuing fluctuations in the cost of fuel and energy company rate hikes; however, consumers do have a choice when it comes to selecting from our large inventory of energy-efficient windows and doors. Progress in the design, construction, and availability of energy rating systems has translated to attractive windows and doors from an architectural standpoint. Moreover, these modern windows also work to reduce your household’s energy costs. Best of all, this is benficial for the environment, as the amount of fossil fuel and coal burning is reduced, which reduces carbon emissions.
HOW IS A WINDOW OR DOOR MADE TO BE ENERGY EFFICIENT?
The primary factors that go into energy-efficient designs include:
- The method of construction and engineering behind the frame and sashes
- The type of glass used (single, double or triple pane)
- Weather stripping
- The type of low-emissivity coating on the glass
- If argon or krypton gas is present
As experts in energy-efficient doors and windows, the Alpha team will help you navigate through all of the applicable ratings, which otherwise may be a confusing process for the layperson.
WHAT IS AN ‘R-VALUE’ AND HOW DOES IT IMPACT THE SELECTION WINDOWS AND DOORS?
In truth, the U-value is probably the most important number pertaining to the evaluation of windows and doors; however, the majority of consumers are often more familiar with the R-value (aka R-factor). This is a measurement of the window’s resistant to the transference of low heat. In essence, the higher the R-factor, the better its insulating capability.
THEN, WHAT IS A ‘U-VALUE’?
The U-value (aka U-factor) is the measurement of a window’s ability to conduct heat (i.e. how much heat is transmitted through the window). In this case, a window with a lower U-factor translates to better home insulation.
WHAT IS THE SOLAR HEAT GAIN CO-EFFICIENT?
The Solar Heat Gain Co-efficient (SHGC) represents the amount of heat going into a house. The lower the number, the less heat penetrates the house. When a home is primarily air-conditioned, the SHGC value is the correct rating to be aware of when selecting from the product lines offered by Alpha Windows and Doors.
Hurricane impact-resistant windows or doors with Clear glass feature a SHGC of 0.72, while Bronze and Gray glass hold a 0.55 and 0.56 SHGC value, respectively. So, the darker the appearance of the glass, the less heat can get through a window or door.
WHAT IS THE NFRC?
NFRC, or National Fenestration Rating Council, is a program that has been established by the Department of Energy (DOE) . It was created to assist consumers in comparing various window and door products.
Window and door manufacturers who voluntarily participate in this program are required to label all units to their specific level of thermal performance.
This rating program acts as a customer’s guide to the products they are considering, so they will know whichwindows and doors meet the NFRC production and energy conservation standards.
In truth, there are some manufacturers that have opted out of this program due to the requirement of outside third party inspection and rigorous product tests, which affects their bottom line.
WHAT IS ENERGY STAR®?
ENERGY STAR, a program run by the U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created to assist both consumers and businesses in protecting the environment by way of improving energy efficiency.
The ENERGY STAR label applies only to windows and doors that meet specified U-value and Solar Heat-Gain Co-efficient ratings for one or more regions of the United States.
These ratings are assigned during the process of independent testing that is conducted in accordance with NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council) standards.
Each window and door design has its own set of applicable ratings, which takes into account manufacturing variables, such as:
- Glass type
- Frame material
- Style and product design
To learn more about the ENERGY STAR program, visit their website at www.energystar.gov.
WHAT IS ‘LOW-E’ AND HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO HAVE IT ON YOUR IMPACT WINDOWS AND DOORS?
Low-E stands for low emissivity and is a fairly new advancement in glass technology. Basically, it’s a microscopic, metallic coating applied to a surface of glass that reflects and re-radiates heat energy either into or out of a home, depending upon climate conditions.
Having a Low-E coating application is an excellent way to increase the energy efficiency of windows and doors, since it directly affects how heat comes into or is kept out of your home.