The technology of today’s windows continues to improve each year. A homeowner now can get an insulated and energy efficient window with many styling options. These windows look good and save money by reducing the amount of energy used to heat or cool your house overtime. Updating a homes windows, is great investment in both comfort and energy savings. The price range for new windows can range from $200 to $600 per window. Multiply that cost by the number of windows and this can be a sizable expense. Knowing how to evaluate windows will help you to make comparisons between various windows help inform your buying decision.
To help you compare one window from another it is helpful to use the standard measurement from the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). Typically you can find this label found on most windows. Most manufacturers also post these details on their websites. The NFRC is a non-profit organization that has designed a standardized method and they evaluate several factors important in evaluating windows. They won’t tell you which is the right window for you. However, there ratings will help you to compare one window from the next and find the right one for your situation.
Some of what they measure include:
- U-factor which measure how well a window prevents heat from leaving a house (important for the colder months
- Solar Heat Gain Coefficient which measures how much of the sun’s heat is blocked (an important factor for the warmer months)
- Visible Transmittance measures how much light transmits through the window.
There feature that you will need to consider prior to selecting windows for you house.
- Material (wood, vinyl, aluminum)
- Solid lights or panes
- How they operate
- How easy they will be to clean
- Insect screens
Using the ratings and knowing which features are important to you will both help make an easier buying decision.
Resources to learn more: