Quality window replacement is a smart home investment that can help homeowners save money. According to ENERGY STAR®, upgrading single-pane units to more energy-efficient windows can yield $126 to $465 in annual energy savings. The exact amount of savings will depend on your area’s climate, type of window being replaced, and resulting energy demands. For example, according to government calculations, a typical home in North Carolina would save $186 annually by upgrading to ENERGY STAR-rated windows from single-pane windows. A home in the colder New England region would save roughly $465.
How to Determine a Window’s Efficiency
With so much money riding on window performance, it’s important to maximize those savings by choosing the most efficient window within your budget. This is where the ENERGY STAR label comes in: a window with the ENERGY STAR label has been independently certified to perform at levels that meet or exceed strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Energy. Here are the following ratings you will find on that label and what they mean.
- U-Factor. A measure of how well a window prevents heat from escaping your home; the lower the number, the better.
- Solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). A measure of how much of the sun’s heat is blocked by a window; depending on where you live, lower or higher SHGC values may be preferred.
- Visible transmittance. A measure of how much light a window lets in; the higher the number, the better.
- Air leakage. A measure of how much air (drafts) a window lets in; the lower the number, the better.
It is important to select windows and doors that are suited to the type of climate you live in. Find your climate zone and learn more about picking the best product for your area.
Looks + Efficiency = Sunrise Windows®
Choosing ENERGY STAR windows doesn’t mean your style options are limited, either. Energy-efficient windows come in a full range of styles, including single- and double-hung, casement, sliding, picture, bay and bow windows, and more. To see the full line of ENERGY STAR-rated windows from Sunrise®, visit the Windows page.