The energy star ratings for windows have to match up to a strict energy-efficiency specification which has been set by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) in the US, along with the DOE (U.S Department of Energy), and that they have been certified and tested by the NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council). The NFRC is a third-party independent certification agency who assigns energy-efficiency measures which are highly specific like U-Factor, and SHGC, which stands for Solar Heat Gain Coefficient to the overall window system and not just the glass.
The energy star ratings for windows are certifications that are based on the SHGC and U-Factor ratings according to the 4 climate zones which are all different. In order to match the SHGC and U-Factor levels, Energy Star certified skylights and windows have to use:
• 2 or more glass panes
• Warm-edge spaces that are situated between each glass pane
• An inert gas such as krypton or argon which is sealed between each glass pane
• The appropriate framing materials
• Low-E coatings that are made up of thin microscopic coatings which assist with keeping the heat out during summer months and inside during winter months.
What To Look For Before Buying Doors, Skylights, And Windows
Each of the Energy Star skylights, doors and windows are independently verified and certified to perform to the levels which exceed or match up to the energy-efficiency guidelines from the EPA. Here is more information on how to determine what type of window will work best in the climate that you currently reside in.
Shopping around for new skylights, doors or windows can become a complex and confusing process. Energy Star has made things a lot more simple. Here are a few tips to use to make sure you buy windows that will deliver the comfort that you need.
1. Find Out About Your Energy Star Climate Zone
2. Fins retailers that sell Energy Star certified windows and other similar products.
3. Look for Energy Star labels that match up to the climate zone that you live in. The label will usually appear with the NFRC label. The climate zones include:
– Energy Star Qualified – In Highlighted Regions
– Official Energy Star Lable for windows that qualify in the Northern-Central and Northern climate zones
– Energy Star Qualified- For All 50 States
4. Ask For Energy Star before you order. When you order from a showroom, you need to ensure the windows are certified and match up to your particular climate zone.
5. Shop Around For The Best Deals. Over and above the energy savings you can achieve over the long-term, there are also financial incentives which can lower the initial investment. Some of these examples include:
– There are a number of utilities that offer financial incentives for buying Energy Star certified skylights, doors, and windows. Look out for rebates that are in your area.
– You can claim for federal tax-credits when you install Energy Star certified skylights, doors or windows, or when you make any other type of energy-efficient improvement or upgrade to your property.