If you'd like to take advantage of the U.S. Government's tax credits for energy-efficient windows, you need to look for two labels: the blue-and-yellow Energy Star label, and the white National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) label. The NFRC is a nonprofit, industry-recognized certification board for windows and doors. Their label offers raw numbers; Energy Star tells you whether or not those numbers mean a better-performing window.
In order for your windows to qualify for the tax credit, two of the NFRC numbers must be equal to or less than 0.3: U-factor, and the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). These are the only numbers that matter. Some manufacturers will only test the glass itself. However, other things like the frame, weather stripping, and so on can affect the efficiency values, so you'd do best to ignore manufacturer values and concentrate on Energy Star and NFRC. Here's what to look for:
U-Factor. The U-factor range is from .20 to 1.20; the lower the number, the better. A low U-factor means that less heat escapes during the winter – which is extremely important in our frigid Minnesota climate.
SHGC. This has a range of 0 to 1 where the lower the number, the less solar radiation (and heat) the window allows inside.
Contact us today to discuss your plans for new windows and schedule an appointment for your free in-home estimate. We put our good reputation on the line every time we do a new job, and we make sure to do it perfectly. Not only does our good work benefit your home, it continues to establish us as the premier window source in the U.S.
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