Most homeowners looking at new windows understand that certain features contribute to the energy efficiency of the windows. However, not all know how to really compare different window companies and brand windows to each other. On top of that, not all window companies provide clear and straightforward estimates. Here are some tips to help you get new windows that you love that work within your budget.
Who is the NFRC?
You may see references on windows to the NFRC. The NFRC is the National Fenestration Rating Council. This independent non-profit organization manages the rating system for new windows and independently tests windows from the manufacturers who want the NFRC ratings on their windows, doors and skylights. Their ratings help you compare, in an apples to apples fashion, different windows to one another.
What is Considered an Energy Efficient Rating?
There are two parts of every NFRC rating. The ones that contribute to the energy performance of the window and the ones that tell you a little more about the window’s performance. When looking at energy efficiency, you look at the U-Factor and the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC). U-factor ranges from 0 to 1. The lower the number, the more insulative the window. In the DFW metro area a window is only considered ENERGY STAR rated if it has a U-factor of .30 or lower. SHGC has the same scale as U-Factor of 0 to 1. However, in our area, you want the SHGC under .25 to meet ENERGY STAR minimums.
The other part of the NFRC ratings don’t have minimums to meet in order to qualify for an ENERGY STAR rating. These ratings include Visible Transference (how much light comes into your home), Air Leakage (amount of air moving around a window) and Condensation Resistance. If you want less sun, choose a window with a lower VT number and if you want more light coming into your home, choose something closer to a 1. Air leakage doesn’t have a regulation but industry standard is .3. We recommend windows with lower than .3.
Work With an Independent Window Company
There are literally hundreds of window companies who market to homeowners throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area. However, when you choose a locally based company, you’ll get more for your investment. Local window companies, like Affordable Replacement Windows, don’t have to support C level staff in other states. They don’t pay for national advertising campaigns or spokes people. Because you can compare the window efficiency based on the NFRC window sticker, you can get the same rated windows often for significantly less by going local.
Affordable Replacement Windows is locally owned and operated and we buy windows from manufacturers based in the greater DFW metro area. We are a local business and support local businesses. Call or text us today at (817) 264-6509 for your free estimate. We promise to help you choose the best window for your budget and needs.