It’s common to hear the term “energy efficiency” or “energy star” these days as a much-desired feature for anything that consumes power, fuel, or money. The origin of this concept was born way back in the 1973 when the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) decided to proclaim an oil embargo. The reason for the embargo was in protest over US and Netherlands support of Israel. This political game brought the price of oil from $3 to $12 per barrel within three months of the embargo announcement and eventually affected many European countries as well. Although the embargo was lifted a year later, the prices stayed high – and now governments across the globe encourage energy conservation and sourcing renewable energy.
Your windows can help you conserve energy if you choose replacement windows that are NFRC-certified. NFRC certification is a document from the National Fenestration Rating Council that outlines the energy efficiency of a window.
R- Value – This is the measure of resistance to heat transfer of the window. You should target a high value. Heat transfer in windows takes into consideration the solar heat, air flow, and heat conduction.
U-Factor – This is the measure of the heat that is prevented from escaping from a window. Your target is to get a low factor, preferable in the range of 0.20 to 1.20.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) – This is the scale of solar heat blocked by the window and should be 0.30 or lower.
Other elements are water leakage, air leakage, and condensation resistance, but you can protect yourself from having to deal with these by making sure you get a reputable window replacement professional team like Castle Impact Windows to handle all your replacement window needs.
Will replacement windows reduce energy costs? Yes, you can achieve lower energy consumption, averaging around 12% with new windows. Windows, though, that are a few years old do not need replacing unless something traumatic happened to the frame and glass like debris weakening it. If you want to increase the value of the house, replacement windows will not only enhance the aesthetics, it will add monetary value to your property.
How do I choose my replacement window glass? With our South Florida climate, you want to limit solar heat. Look for low-emission glass. If you want to limit the amount of visible light coming in, get glass with lower visible transmittance tint or coating.