Once you’ve made the decision to install replacement windows in your Madison WI home, there are a host of options to consider. You should select replacement windows fitting your home’s style and you’ll have an assortment of materials to choose from a list of manufacturers. But, selecting replacement windows need not be a daunting task.
There are many things to consider for window replacement – color, style and materials to name a few. But, one area of concentration will bring them all together so you can compare replacement windows on an apples-to-apples basis. No matter what windows look like, are made of, or cost, they all are measured for their energy efficiency.
Rating Replacement Windows
- U-Factor – The U-Factor in replacement windows measures how much indoor heat escapes to the outside through the window – an important consideration during the winters in Madison WI. The lower the U-Factor number, the better a window insulates. U-Factor numbers usually range from 0.25 to 1.25. A good U-Factor rating can translate to lower energy costs.
- Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) – Measures the amount of heat from the outdoors entering the house through replacement windows. The lower the SHGC number, the better the replacement windows are at restricting heat from the sun from entering the house. These numbers typically range from 0.25 to 0.80. Replacement windows with a strong SHGC rating can result in significant savings in energy costs during the cooling season.
Another tool available to homeowners selecting replacement windows in Madison WI is the Energy Star rating system. Energy Star-qualified replacement windows are labeled to indicate the U.S. climate zone for which it is best suited – there are four zones, Norther, North Central, South Central and Southern. These ratings are based on the combination of the replacement windows U-Factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient scores. These scores are usually shown.
Understanding Labels On Replacement Windows Keeps Money Back In Your Pocket
Attention to details now, increases energy savings later when selecting replacement windows. The National Fenestration Rating Council’s (NFRC®) certification and labeling program for replacement windows requires a temporary and a permanent label be affixed to each product in order to be considered certified. When you purchase NFRC-certified replacement windows, doors or skylights, they should arrive with both labels in place. Sometimes, however, the temporary labels are removed during shipping or installation. That can make it difficult to track down energy performance information for the replacement windows.
The Temporary Label In Window Replacement
The temporary paper label is usually on the interior glazing surface. It explains the product’s energy performance ratings, including U-factor and SHGC. If the temporary label is missing, the product is not considered certified, whether it is authorized for certification or not. Temporary labels cannot be emailed, faxed or sent separately. If it is missing the manufacturer is required to perform onsite labeling, or if the product’s glazing option can be accurately identified, provide a Fenestration Manufacturer Certificate (FMC).
The Permanent Label In Window Replacement
NFRC’s permanent label is along the side jambs, at the top on the header, at the bottom on the sill or between the panes of glass on the spacer of the product. The permanent label can be an adhesive label, a tab included alongside other information, marks or etchings. The product’s NFRC identification codes are typically found on the right-hand side of the label. Unlike the temporary label, the permanent label does not display performance information. It may display a NFRC’s Certified Products Directory (CPD) number which can be used to get performance information.
ENERGY STAR® And Window Replacement
The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have developed an ENERGY STAR designation for products meeting certain performance criteria.
Windows must meet the locally applicable energy code requirements — ENERGY STAR-qualified windows typically meet or exceed all local energy code requirements. A home’s climate and location determine the importance of heating and cooling energy use. In Southern Wisconsin, both heating and cooling are primary considerations. So, the applicable building energy code requirements, and the qualification criteria for ENERGY STAR windows in this area is an important purchase consideration and can affect energy savings.
When you’re working with a Sims Window Pro, ask about these replacement window specifics and make sure you’re getting the best “bang for your buck” with your window replacement plan. For additional information to “decode” a label, talk to a Sims specialist or go to www.NFRC.org.
For assistance in selecting the best replacement windows and for your needs, contact Sims Exteriors and Remodeling in Madison WI – 608-825-4500. We are replacement window specialists serving the Madison WI area including Middleton, Waunakee, Fitchburg, Oregon Verona, McFarland, Stoughton, Cottage Grove, Sun Prairie, DeForest and all of Dane County.
Call or email Sims Exteriors and Remodeling when considering the decision to install replacement windows in your Madison WI home.