You’ve probably seen many replacement window company showrooms and expos, so you’re familiar with those white labels that list energy ratings. These are known as NFRC labels, and they can be your best friend if you’re looking for the right windows.
What Are NFRC Labels?
Replacement window manufacturers send their fenestration products to the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) for energy performance certification. The certification functions as a standardized and reliable ratings system that gives homeowners the ability to choose which replacement window maximizes their home’s comfort levels and energy efficiency.
Each label has four ratings:
U-Factor (value: between 0.20 and 1.20) – U-Factor measures how much heat is transmitted through a replacement window. Ask your windows contractor for windows with low U-Factor if you need energy-efficient windows. Note that some product literature may list R-value instead of U-Factor. They measure the same metrics, but where U-Factor measures heat transmittance, R-values measure resistance; therefore an energy-efficient window will have a high R-value.
SHGC (value: between 0.0 and 1.0) – The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) measures the replacement window’s resistance to solar heat gain. Look for replacement windows with low SHGC values if you need to reduce your daytime indoor cooling requirements. By contrast, homes in cold northern climates that require sunlight for indoor heating can benefit from windows with high SHGC values.
VT (value: between 0.0 and 1.0) – Visible Transmittance (VT) measures the amount of natural light a replacement window lets through. Look for windows with low SHGC and high VT to maximize natural lighting without heating up your indoor space.
AL (value: between 0.1 and 0.3) – Air Leakage (AL) measures how much air escapes through the window assembly. For reduced drafts and condensation, choose a window with low AL.
You may also see a condensation rating on some labels, but this is optional and not as necessary as the above four ratings.
What the NFRC Label Can Do for You
Every home has a different set of requirements, so NFRC labels are a great way to quickly find the right windows for your home, especially if you have specific requirements like increased natural lighting, drafty or foggy windows, or increased insulation. While you’re not required to memorize them, having more than a passing familiarity with these ratings can lead to informed decisions when buying replacement windows.
Seamless Exterior serves Waterloo, IA and nearby areas. To know more about our energy-efficient replacement windows, call us today at (319) 243-3600 or fill out our contact form to schedule your free, no-obligation quote.