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Understanding Window Energy Efficiency

Replacing the windows in your home can dramatically reduce your monthly heating and cooling bills.  Additionally, replacing your windows with energy efficient windows can even help you qualify for a tax credit.  There are several aspects of an energy efficient window to consider.  Terms like U-factor, Low-E, Energy Star, SHGC and others should all be properly understood to better evaluate your window choices.  Further, it is also a good idea to look for energy efficiency rated labels on your new windows.  Common labels you'll see will refer to the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) which is a group that provides accurate information on the efficiency of the windows.  Lastly, identifying an ENERGY STAR logo on your window will ensure that your windows are energy efficient.

Energy Efficiency Common Terms:

Low-E Coating

This is a coating that prevents the heat from transferring back through the windows.  Low-E stands for 'low emissivity'.  This particular coating is also good for protecting your home's interiors (furniture, floors, carpet, etc.) from fading from sunlight.

Argon/Krypton Filled Windows

These are types of gas found between the panes of glass in your window.  Since argon and krypton gas are more dense than the atmosphere, more energy efficiency is gained by having the gas between the panes of glass versus just air between the panes of glass.  Argon and krypton gas are colorless, tasteless and odorless so they are not harmful in the event of a leak.


This refers to resistance to heat flow.  If the R value is higher, there is more resistance to heat flow meaning it is a stronger insulator.


This term is similar to R-Value in that it applies to heat insulation.  U-Value is the inverse of R-Value so with this term, the lower the U-Value the better the insulation.

Dual Pane Windows

This is a window with two layers of glass typically with a gas in between.  Dual pane windows help prevent heat loss.

Triple Pane Windows

This is a window with three layers of glass typically with a gas in between each.  Triple pane windows help prevent heat loss and are typically used only in extreme climates.

Window Glazing

This is a glaze applied directly to the glass on your windows.  There are single glazed windows, double glazed windows, triple glazed windows and tinted windows.  These various reflective coatings are designed to help heating and cooling performance.  Using a glaze combined with a gas between the panes (like Argon or Krypton) will dramatically increase the energy efficiency of your windows.


This acronym stands for Solar Heat Gain Coefficient and it is a measurement of how well a window blocks the heat produced from sunlight.  SHGC values are between 0 and 1 which represents the fraction of the heat from the sun that enters through the window.  The lower the SHGC value, the less heat that is transmitted from the sun through the window.

Help Finding a Contractor who offers Energy Efficient Windows

We offer Free Window Quotes from top quality contractors who are in your local area.  Our contractors are reliable and have extensive knowledge about energy efficient replacement windows.  Replacement windows are a great way to increase the value of your home as well as reduce your monthly heating and cooling costs.  The service we provide to help you is free with no obligations.

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