You should see a sticker on each and every one of your new replacement windows. Sugar Land, TX, contractors should be able to explain exactly what those stickers indicate, but just in case you forgot to ask or you are doing research for an upcoming investment, here are a few of the key points covered on NFRC stickers.
First of all, it should be mentioned that NFRC stands for the ‘National Fenestration Rating Council’, which is a body that oversees the proper rating and labeling of windows and doors in the United States.
U-Factor – This is the first box in the grid found on the NFRC sticker. It addresses the degree to which the window is successful in stopping heat transfer between the outdoors and in. In essence, the U-factor measures the insulating efficiency of the window. This is a very important number to pay attention to as it can clearly point out which windows will do the best job at lowering your heating and cooling bills. Houston windows, after all, must live up to the task of keeping out the very intense heat of the Texas sun. The lower the U-factor number the better the window will be at keeping the cold out in the winter months and the hot out in the summer months. While anything at or below 0.60 is acceptable in the warm Texas climate, lower numbers will provide better energy efficiency.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient – In the North, where heating bills can climb to astronomical levels, the sun’s rays are welcomed with open arms as they can help push the temperature to a more comfortable level. However, a high SHGC can be a bad thing in the south, where cooling is the major expense. The lower the number found on Houston windows, the better.
Visible Light Transmittance – Where the SHGC addresses the infrared light allowed to pass through the window replacement, the next box in the grid addresses the amount of visible light let in. This will have less impact on the heat obtained via the sun’s rays, so it is generally considered a desirable feature in a window. Natural light, after all, can make a space feel more open, airy, and enjoyable.
Air Leakage – Aside from lack of eye appeal, one of the biggest reasons that people consider the investment in window replacement is draftiness. Not considered a desirable trait in windows, air leakage is seen as a negative aspect and thus the number should be very small in this box of the NFRC sticker. It is important to understand that not all manufacturers will include this figure as it is not mandated by the NFRC.
Condensation Resistance – The final matter to be considered is the ability of the window to keep moisture to a minimum. The more panes a window has, the better it will perform in this category. Nevertheless, there can be large differences between two windows of the same number of panes, so the NFRC recommends that this rating be provided as well (though, like the air leakage column, it is not mandated).