Although we’ve titled this blog series Replacement Window Terms, most of the definitions we’re sharing also apply to new construction windows. If you missed the first blog in this series, click here.
NFRC – National Fenestration Rating Council Terms
The NFRC is an independent non-profit organization that provides consumers with objective ratings regarding energy efficiency. The energy performance label includes information that helps consumers compare the energy efficiency of one window to that of another regardless of brand. Here are the four areas they evaluate and rate:
- U-Factor – This rating ranges from .20 to 1.20 and measures how insulative a window is. A lower number is ideal. In Indianapolis, look for a U-Factor below .30.
- Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) – Again, the lower the number, the better, however the range for SHGC is from 0 – 1. This rating indicates how well the window will prevent heat gain.
- Visible Transmittance – Or VT does not impact energy efficiency of the window itself. However, what it indicates is how much natural light comes through the window which can save you money by reducing the need for artificial lighting. The higher the number, the more natural light comes through. Again, this is on a scale of 0 – 1.
- Air Leakage – Is exactly what it sounds like – the amount of air that can get through a window. Look for low numbers if you want fewer drafts. Air leakage is less than or equal to .3
If you want to see the ratings required for an ENERGY STAR® rated window in our area, click here.
Other Common Terms
We could list hundreds of window terms but here are a few more that we’re often asked to clarify.
Low-E Glass – Low-E glass is glass that is specially coated to help reduce solar heat gain by preventing UV rays from passing through the glass. It also reduces fading of carpets and furniture inside your home.
Virgin Vinyl – Because may homeowners think that recycled is more environmentally friendly, we like to point out that a window made with virgin vinyl, where the vinyl is new, is a stronger and more durable product.
Welded Frame & Sash – The window frame is the portion of the window that is attached to your home. The sash is the portion of the window that opens or is inside the frame. If you are choosing vinyl windows, ask whether the brand and line you’re considering have a welded frame and sash if you want strong windows that will stay true and last longer.
Independent Window Company – An independent window company has the freedom to sell and install different brands of windows. This is different than an independently owned franchise which can only sell and install the brand they are a franchise for. The benefit of an independent window company is that they have the freedom to choose and sell the best products for a more affordable price because they are not managed by a national chain.
Still Have Questions? Call Blair Windows
It’s our goal that our customers know what they are getting when they purchase new or replacement windows from our team so if you have questions about something our sales person said or that you find in our quote, please do not hesitate to contact us. Of course, if you’re looking for a trusted and experienced independent window company in Indianapolis, call Blair Windows today at (317) 356-4666 or fill out our contact form.