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Important Performance Ratings to Look for in a Replacement Window

Published on: May 09, 2019

Replacement windows are one of the crucial home improvements you make. However, it is not easy to choose the one due to the overwhelming numbers and claims made by the manufacturers.

How to tell if the certain replacement windows are the best?

If you are looking or the highest quality replacement windows, you can follow the guidelines set by the American Architectural Manufacturers Associations and the National Manufacturers Association. They provide valuable information to help homeowners determine and compare the energy performance of not just windows, but also lights and doors. The best thing about them is that they provide an unbiased and uniform rating.

So what features they look in a window? Why each criterion does matter? Based on their evaluation, here we have come up with this guide to help you make the right decision when it comes to replacing windows.

Sound Transmission Class (STC):

STC ratings are used to find out how much sound escapes through a material. These ratings are common for building products like walls, doors, and windows. Double-paned windows have STC ratings between 28 and 35. Choose the glass with more thickness and airspace to more soundproof benefit.

Visible Transmittance (VT):

A window’s VT determines the incoming of light through it. VT is scaled from 0 to 1. Higher VT means the higher transmission of the light. For example, an ordinary sheet of clear glass comes with a VT of .93, meaning that 93 percent of the light that falls on the glass will pass through. Different type of glasses has different VTs. Adding tint or coating to the glass can affect the efficiency of the glass.

Air Leakage (AL):

Air leakage or AL rating is based on the cubic feet of air passing through a square foot of window area. Heat loss and gain are caused by infiltration through cracks present in the window assembly. Generally, lower AL will minimize the loss of less conditioned air to outside while restricted the access of outside air inside.

Condensation Resistance or CR:

Condensation Resistance or CR is used to determine the ability of a window to resist condensation on the surface located inside. Prefer the window with higher CR rating as they are better at resisting the formation of condensation.

U-Factor:

U-Factor is used to measure the rate of heat transfer and insulation of the window. Commonly falls between 0.30 and 1.20, windows with the lowest U-Factor are great at insulating and heat resistance. Plus, these windows keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient or SHGC:

The SHGC of a window is used to determine its efficiency in blocking heat caused by sunlight. If a window has a lower SHGC, it would transmit the less solar heat. Homeowners who reside in a warm climate require windows with a low SHGC to avoid getting overheated. In cooler areas, prefer the one with lower SHGC as it will let your home stay warmer in winter.

So these are some ratings or factors to make an informed decision when it comes to window replacement. What do you think? Please let us know by commenting below.

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