If you’ve ever been in the market for energy-efficient products, most especially windows, then you’ve probably already come across the term U-Factor. You may not know what it means exactly, but don’t worry, you’re not alone. Read on to learn more about this rating and what it means for you.
What is U-Factor?
U-factor follows a simple concept. In the case of windows, it is specifically related to a unit’s ability to prevent indoor heat from escaping the home and outdoor heat from coming in. If indoor heat is kept in, it will aid in keeping heating costs down for a home. If outdoor heat is kept out, on the other hand, cooling requirements will be low, which also translates into energy savings.
Air leakage can occur through all gaps in a window. This means even between glass panels and frames, and through the frames themselves, although shoddy installation work is a major contributor as it can give rise to bigger gaps between window frames and your home’s walls.
U-factor ratings are found on labels provided by the National Fenestration Rating Council, falling within a range of 0.20 to 1.20 depending on how a window performs during testing. Typically, the lower the U-factor rating is, the better. This means that window rated with a U-factor as close to 0.20 as possible will offer you the best air leakage protection, which also translates to more heating and cooling savings down the line.
Making the Most of an Energy-Efficient Window
Your replacement windows are only as good as your window contractor. As such, to make the most of what energy-efficient windows can offer, you have to look for the right window expert to work with. It may take some effort narrowing down your options, but that’s effort you’ll realize was all worth it in the end when you’re enjoying your energy-efficient windows.
In Part 2, we’ll be talking about another important feature of modern windows: low-E glass. Stay tuned!