While shopping for new doors and windows for your home, you have undoubtedly noticed the ratings stickers affixed to them. The information on the stickers can be confusing, but it is important to understand them if you want to find windows that offer the highest levels of energy efficiency. To help you make an informed decision, here is what you need to know.
What Is Heat Gain and Loss?
Once installed, your doors and windows can lose heat through air leakage, heat from the sun, the interior walls, and conduction through the glass and frame. Unfortunately, the more heat that is allowed in and out of your home through your windows and doors, the higher your energy bills can be.
The ratings sticker affixed to the doors and windows provides information that helps you to determine just how much heat gain and loss is expected to occur. The U-factor, air leakage, and solar heat gain co-efficient ratings are three of the most important to look for.
What Is the U-Factor Rating?
The U-factor rating refers to how
A low U-factor rating is preferable because it means the flow of heat is relatively low. The ratings range from
What Is the Air Leakage Rating?
Air leakage references the air that flows around your doors and windows. A low air leakage rating is an indication that the area around the door or window is tight and there will be very little air getting in and out through the surrounding area.
The air leakage ratings range from
What Is the Solar Heat Gain
The solar heat gain co-efficient rating, or SHGC, refers to the solar heat that is transmitted through the door or window. The heat is either pulled into the home directly or through absorption.
A low SHGC rating indicates that there is less transmission of heat. In this instance, the door or window would provide adequate shading from the heat. Unlike the other ratings, whether or not you need a high or low SHGC rated can vary from window to window.
Factors, such as whether or not the door or window is directly hit by sunlight, can influence what rating is best. For windows that are directly in the sunlight, a low rated window might be best. However, a window that is shaded by trees or other structures, could do well with a higher rated window.
A contractor can help assess your windows and doors and determine which ratings would work best for your particular home. Check out the site to learn more about doors and windows.