What Does The Energy Star Signify?
You’ll see the Energy Star all over the place: on appliances and hot water heaters, doors and replacement windows. The symbol is used to identify those products which offer the homeowner maximum energy efficiency.
When it comes to home replacement windows, strict rating criteria are in place to help homeowners identify the very best replacement windows. To be eligible for ENERGY STAR, windows must be rated, certified, and labeled for both U-Factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) in accordance with the procedures of the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) at levels that meet the following ENERGY STAR qualification criteria in one or more Climate Zone.
In the Northeast, this means a U factor less than or equal to .35. Because the Northeast is what is known as a heating dominated environment — we run our furnaces more than our air conditioners, any level of SHGC is considered acceptable in replacement windows and doors.
What Types of Windows Can Carry the Energy Star Label?
The Energy Star designation is not dependent on a certain type of material or building style. Instead, the Energy Star label is only applied after a product meets rigorous requirements. This means that Energy Star rated windows can be vinyl replacement windows, fiberglass replacement windows, or wood replacement windows. Window efficiency is not solely related to frame material choices. Other components are important as well, such as the number of window panes, type of glass, spacer material, gas fills, etc.
How Much Money Can I Save With Energy Star Windows?
According to governmental research, upgrading to replacement windows that carry the Energy Star rating can save a homeowner $90 annually if they’re replacing double-pane, clear glass windows. The savings increase fivefold — to $450 per year! — if the windows being replaced are single pane clear glass. That’s enough money, if you live in the greater Boston area, to cover your T fare for 8 months!
Is There Any Other Financial Benefit to Energy Star Windows?
Absolutely! The government is committed to encouraging energy efficient homes. As a result, substantial tax breaks are available to property owners who upgrade their windows and doors with replacement windows and doors carrying the Energy Star label. You have to have your windows in place by a certain deadline in order to receive the credit in any given tax year — consult with your financial advisor for the most up to date information.
What Replacement Window Manufacturers Offer Energy Star Windows?
All of the leading replacement window manufacturers go to tremendous lengths to create windows that meet or exceed the Energy Star standards. Included in this list are the heavy hitters of the replacement window world: Alside Windows, Harvey Windows, Pella Windows, Marvin Windows, Champion Windows, and more.
Some companies, such as Alside, go so far as to become recognized as Energy Star National Window Partners. Such designations are important testament to the commitment to energy efficiency and product design top window manufacturers have.