Whether you’re looking to replace aging windows or completely remodel your home, the choices for replacement windows are staggering. There used to be a time when options were extremely limited. Today, you can pretty much customize colors, shapes and styles, and even choose from an ever-growing list of types to fit any functional and design needs.
To help you make sense of all these different choices, here are a few factors to consider when deciding on new windows.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient
In modern windows, most of the radiant heat from the sun is reflected back into the environment by the glass panes. However, a fraction of this heat passes through. This fraction is defined as the window’s SHGC, or solar heat gain coefficient. Almost all ENERGY STAR® windows will have an SHGC rating, but their efficiency will vary by type, manufacturer and glass composition.
According to Renewal by Andersen® of Central Illinois, the Department of Energy recommends an SHGC rating of at least 0.35 to 0.60 for Illinois. This allows enough of the sun’s heat to offset heating bills in the winter without being too much of a burden on your air conditioner during other seasons.
U-factor, put simply, is windows-talk for heat resistance. When it comes to U-factor ratings, you should always look for a high number. So far, the ceiling is about 0.30 for premium high-performance, double-pane replacement windows. The closer your windows’ rating is to this number, the more efficient it is as an insulator.
If SHGC measures heat transference, VT or visible transmittance pertains to light. The Lighting Research Center numbers a lot of health benefits from allowing adequate natural light into your home, and if you want to gain these advantages, you want a window with a high VT.
Renewal by Andersen of Central Illinois is proud to say that our window installations follow all efficiency requirements, earning our products an ENERGY STAR certification. Call us today for a free in-home consultation at (866) 693-6707. We serve Decatur, Springfield, IL, and nearby areas.