At some point in time, nearly all homeowners find themselves wondering if they should repair or replace the windows in their houses. Whether the windows have gotten damaged or simply don’t seem to function as well as they once did, figuring out exactly what steps to take can be a challenge, particularly for those who aren’t familiar with the residential renovation process.
As you read this helpful guide, you will discover important products labels and ranking systems you should know before you purchase either new windows or replacement windows. Once you figure out what your priorities are in regard to purchasing windows for your home, you will have much better luck determining which styles and product lines you should focus on as you shop.
What is an NFRC label?
National Fenestration Ratings Council (NFRC) labels help consumers understand how various window models rank for five different categories – U-Factor, Visible Transmittance, Condensation Resistance, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC), and Air Leakage.
The NFRC label doesn’t tell whether a specific window is “good” or “bad,” per se, but helps shoppers understand where a particular style ranks in regard to things that matter to them. Each piece of criteria is succinctly defined below.
U-Factor – Measures how well a window insulates
Visible Transmittance – Measures how much light passes through a window into a residence; key for people who prioritize natural light
Condensation Resistance – Measures how likely it is that condensation will form on the inside of a windowpane
SHGC – Measures the efficacy of a window’s resistance against undesired solar gain
Air Leakage – Measures how much air from outdoors is likely to “leak” into an interior space
What is an EnergyStar rating?
The EnergyStar rating system is a program sponsored by the United States government. EnergyStar rated appliances have gone through rigorous testing to meet specific protocols in regard to U-Factor, SHGC, and Air Leakage.
In some parts of North Carolina and South Carolina, homeowners can take advantage of local tax credits for replacing outdated appliances and windows with EnergyStar-rated furnishings. Federal rebates are sometimes also available.
What is the R-Value?
No matter which windows you are thinking about buying, the odds are good that you will run across the term “R-Value” more than once. This refers to the amount of heat a specific windowpane will retain – in other words, it helps homeowners understand how much heat transfer will occur between outdoors and the interiors of their houses.
The R-Value scale ranges from R-3.57 to R-8. Anything over R-5 is considered a high-quality choice for homeowners throughout the Carolinas.
What are AAMA and WDMA ratings?
A variety of third-party agencies, including the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA), also provide ratings for window products.
Typically, these two agencies work together to publish detailed reports about how effective different window and door materials actually are in day-to-day life.
If you are ready to discuss investing in replacement windows for your home, contact the Hatch Homes team at your earliest convenience. We are here to serve you and look forward to helping you turn your house into the home of your dreams!