Solar Heat Gain: Should You Be Concerned?

If you have been comparing window replacement options, you may have come across energy ratings, one of which is solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). In today’s post, we discuss the importance of considering solar heat gain when buying replacement windows.

Solar Heat Gain

Radiant Heat Gain vs. Solar Heat Gain

Heat can pass through the windows in two ways. Radiant heat can be conducted through material like glass and metal as well as leak into the house through gaps in the windows. Solar heat comes from direct sunlight that passes through window glass or any other opening. Insulated windows, like the ones we offer at Renewal by Andersen®, are equipped with insulated frames and double-pane glass that helps slow down heat conduction.

It’s important to note that insulation does not deter solar heat because it’s infrared radiation – that is, part of direct sunlight – and, therefore, can easily pass through clear glass. Tinted glass is a common solution to solar heat gain, but it makes interior spaces darker. While we at Renewal by Andersen also offer tinted glass for certain applications, our standard High Performance™ Low-E4® glass features coatings that selectively block solar heat as well as ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Should Solar Heat Gain Concern You?

Solar heat gain can result in an unwanted increase of heat in areas of your home where direct sunlight goes through the windows, which can affect your cooling costs, particularly during the summer season. This is where SHGC ratings come into play. Thanks to the low-emissivity (Low-E) coatings described above, it is possible to choose replacement windows that allow lots of natural light (high visible transmittance rating), but with reduced solar heat gain (low SHGC rating).

In places where it’s cold for most of the year, solar heat gain can be a good thing as it can help supplement indoor heating. Therefore, someone living in such locations would instead look for replacement windows with relatively high SHGC rating.

Renewal by Andersen of Houston provides energy-efficient replacement windows to customers in Houston, TX, and the surrounding communities. Give us a call at (281) 547-6177, or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.