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What's the Big Deal About U-Factor Ratings?

Posted on October 04, 2017

Replacement Windows in St. Paul, MN

What do you look for when you're shopping for replacement windows in St. Paul, MN? Beauty is more than skin deep when it comes to the advantages a new set of windows can afford for your home. If you're like most homeowners, you probably want products that multitask, providing several key benefits: protecting its interiors, upgrading its curb appeal and improving its energy efficiency. The first two are pretty straightforward to determine, but how do you figure out whether a product is energy-smart or not? When you're evaluating a window's energy performance, its U-factor can be a key measurement.

U-Factor Ratings 101: The Basics

So, what's behind the U-factor and why is it so important for replacement windows in St. Paul? It's the rate at which a window, door or skylight permits non-solar heat to flow through its materials. The fancy term for this is called the "heat transfer coefficient," but you usually don't have to worry about calculating this number on your own. Instead, a window's U-factor is usually displayed on an NFRC label.

Wait...What's an NFRC Label?

NFRC stands for the National Fenestration Rating Council, a non-profit organization that handles energy efficiency and certification for doors, windows and skylights. As you shop for your replacement windows in St. Paul, look for its label. It can be found on any window qualified by the ENERGY STAR program, which relies on the NFRC to test and certify these products.

How Does the U-Factor Measure Energy Efficiency?

Simply put, lower U-factor ratings indicate that a window permits less heat transfer from the inside of your home to the outdoors, which translates to better insulative properties. Ideally, residential customers in St. Paul should pick products with U-factors under 0.30 for improved energy savings. For the best energy efficiency benefits, choose windows with ratings of 0.25 or less.

Learn more about how Zen Windows Twin Cities can help beautify your home while cutting your heating and cooling costs! For a free, no-obligation quote, call us today at (763) 286-6871.

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