If your home’s windows are well-maintained, they can last for years, but eventually, there will come a time when your windows will need to be replaced. When the time comes, there are a few key things to keep in mind for selecting quality windows that will serve as a good investment for your home. Here is everything you need to know about selecting the best windows for your home and how to get the most bang for your buck.
The most important place to look when selecting windows is at the NFRC sticker. The NFRC, or National Fenestration Ratings Council, is an independent company that conducts tests on windows to see how good they really are. Since all manufacturers tend to market their windows as “the best”, it is important to have an objective and professional opinion to help you make the most informed decision when it comes to window selection.
The NFRC tests windows for four key things:
- The U-Factor: The U-factor is a value which indicates how well windows keep heat in a room. The scale ranges from .2 to 1.2; the lower score a window receives, the better it is at retaining heat in a space.
- Solar Heat Gain: This tests how well a window resists heat from the outside. Solar heat gain is more important in areas where air conditioning is used more frequently than heat. While it is an important factor to consider overall, customers in our area do not need to be as concerned with a flawless solar heat gain assessment. When looking at a window’s solar heat gain score, a lower number translates to less solar heat.
- Visible Transmittance: Visible transmittance is measured by how much light is allowed through the window and how clear it appears. The more tint you put on a glass window, the less light is going to come through. Because of this, it is important to find a happy medium for people where the tint helps to maintain energy efficiency, but is also not super cloudy to the point where you cannot see in or out of your windows. When it comes to scoring visible transmittance, the higher the value the more visibility!
- Air Leakage: Air leakage is the amount of air that leaks through a window. Despite what some manufactures may say, no window has zero leakage. Our imperial window allows only 19 ounces of air through per minute, where the average window leaks over a gallon per minute! With that being said, it is important to select windows with a low air leakage value.
Refer to the NFRC sticker when selecting new windows and you’re bound to find a great window option for your home. Omaha Door & Window prides itself in partnering with some of the most innovative and technologically advanced window manufactures in the country (such as Softlite, Provia, Weathershield, and Jeld-Wen) to offer you the most energy efficient windows in the industry. For more information on selecting new windows or window installation, click here to visit our website.