Are you in the market for new windows, doors, or skylights? Sometimes we don’t know we’re going to be buying windows. I may be unexpectedly “flipping” a house in need of many repairs. While looking for new windows I had no idea that there is a difference in ratings of windows. I knew there were ratings for things like insulation, but not windows, doors, skylights etc.
National Fenestration Rating Council
There is an independent organization called the National Fenestration Rating Council! What a mouthful! They’re known as NFRC, a third party organization that serves the public as a “consumer watchdog.” They aren’t trying to sell anything, but rather inform consumers about ratings of windows and doors.
The good folks at NFRC have your best interest in mind and want to make sure you have the information you need to make the best decision about your purchase. They provide fair, accurate, credible and unbiased energy performance via their label so you know what is best to serve your needs.
You may have to search for the label on your window or door purchase. It was difficult for me to find this label from NFRC on this window packaging. I am not endorsing this window, it’s not about selling you something, but more about making you aware of the fact that fenestration products have ratings. Honestly did you know that windows, doors and skylights had labels like this? I did not, nor did I know they are called fenestration.
However, just because their label is on a window, it does not mean that it's a seal of approval. Use the information on the label to make your decision by comparing it to other windows. Energy savings and lower utility bills are possible, depending on the specific products consumers choose, and that’s why it’s important to use the NFRC label to compare before making a purchase – so you know exactly what you are getting and so you can feel confident about your purchase.
How to shop for windows
Who knew that we need to look for this label while shopping for windows?
Wouldn’t you love to have a window that offers higher efficiency and lower utility bills? Did you know there are products that use spectrally selective glass which blocks infrared light while still allowing high levels of visible light—so you can light your home while maintaining comfortable temperatures?
High-performing products help to keep temperatures consistent year-round, so your home stays comfortable no matter the conditions. Making the right choices can help protect your carpet and furnishings from fading.
Solar control window film applied to the interior of your windows is a transparent “solar shield” that can reject up to 80% of the sun’s heat, keeping your home cooler and more comfortable in the summer, and well-heated in the winter.
Making informed decisions now will benefit you for years to come.
This is a close-up of a window label approved by NFRC.
The U-Factor is a measure of the amount of heat transferring from the inside of your home and escaping through the window to the outside during the winter.
Look for: Low numbers
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient measures how well a product can resist unwanted heat gain, which is especially important during summer cooling season. The lower the number, the less you’ll spend on cooling.
Look for: Low numbers
Visible Transmittance measures how well a product is designed to effectively light your home with daylight, potentially saving you money on artificial lighting. The higher the number, the more natural light is let in.
Look for: High numbers
Air Leakage measures how much air will enter a room through a product. The lower the number, the fewer drafts you’ll experience.
Look for: Low numbers
I couldn’t find any labels on the doors I was browsing. This is a sample label from the NFRC website. The circled value shows you the rating a door has received. Each rating is split into two values: Solar Heat Gain, and U-Factor.
Feeling a little confused? This video will help!
Now you understand it, right?
Information you need to know
The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that establishes objective energy performance ratings for windows, doors, and skylights. The organization’s work helps make homes and buildings healthier, more comfortable, and more energy efficient while contributing to green building and sustainability.
Pin this now so you can reference it later!
I learned so much visiting the National Fenestration Rating Council site. If you need more information visit them to learn more. Windows, doors and skylights are expensive. I recommend that you make wise buying choices to save money in the years to come.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of National Fenestration Rating Council. The opinions and text are all mine.
Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.