If you've looked into buying new appliances or other home products, you've probably seen the Energy Star logo. It makes sense to monitor how efficient your appliances are so you can save money and protect the environment, but did you know that windows, doors, and skylights can qualify for Energy Star status as well? When replacing your windows, it's important to know what Energy Star actually signifies and why it's important for your home!
What's Energy Star?
The Energy Star label was created to help consumers identify trustworthy products for their lives that meet government standards for energy efficiency. To qualify, Green Star products:
- Are manufactured by an ENERGY STAR partner,
- Are independently tested, certified, and verified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC), and
- Have NFRC ratings that meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Windows, doors, and skylights protect you and your home from the elements, and since weather is different all around the country, it's best to pick one that's right for your climate. Some fixtures are better at retaining warmth, while others help keep the home cool. This map illustrates the official zones from the National Fenestration Ratings Council, and you can search to find what zone you are in here!
What Goes Into A Rating?
When you have an Energy Star window or door, the product also has the verification of the National Fenestration Ratings Council. It can be confusing to understand what their label means, and how they test and certify products, but this helpful infographic from their website explains more:
How Do These Ratings Affect My Windows?
While there are no specific requirements for features or technologies in windows, certain styles and materials work best to help a window become Energy Star certified.
According to Energy Star, certified windows come in a variety of framing materials.
- Fiberglass frames are strong, durable, low maintenance, and provide good insulation. Fiberglass frames can be either hollow or filled with foam insulation.
- Vinyl frames are low maintenance and provide good thermal insulation. Sections may be hollow or filled with foam insulation. Wide vinyl sills may be reinforced with metal or wood.
- Aluminum frames are durable, low maintenance, recyclable, and typically have at least 15% recycled content. Frame design typically includes thermal breaks to reduce conductive heat loss through the metal.
- Wood frames are strong, provide good insulation, and are generally favored in historical neighborhoods. The exterior surfaces of many wood windows are clad (or covered) with aluminum or vinyl to reduce maintenance.
- Combination frames use different materials separately throughout the frame and sash to provide optimal performance. For example, the exterior half of a frame could be vinyl while the interior half could be wood.
- Composite frames are made of various materials that have been blended together through manufacturing processes to create durable, low maintenance, well-insulated windows.
Final Benefits for You
When you purchase an Energy Star window, door, or skylight, you get the peace of mind knowing you have the most reliable and trustworthy product on the market. These products help you:
- Save money by helping your home use less energy and lower your electric bills
- Get consistently comfortable in your home by reducing cold drafts and overheating
- Protect your valuables by reducing UV damage on your carpets, floors, and furnishings.
- Relax knowing you have certified and verified products in your home
While the different certifications and ratings can be confusing, the value and benefits they provide are obvious. The windows and doors you purchase for your home need to be Energy Star certified and properly rated for the Georgia climate. Have questions or want to learn more about Energy Star windows? North Georgia Replacement Windows can answer your questions and guide you through the entire process. Come by and visit us at our showroom at 1210 Warsaw Rd., Suite 1000, Roswell, GA 30076, or give us a call at 770.888.1604 to schedule a free consultation and get the best windows for your home!