If you have been checking out replacement windows and patio doors, you may have noticed two labels affixed on them: the ENERGY STAR® and NFRC labels. In this blog, Renewal by Andersen® of Portland discusses the differences between these two labels.
The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) is a non-profit organization that sponsors certified rating and labeling for fenestrations: windows, entry doors, and skylights. They do not rate products as being “good” or “bad,” but rather rates products based on their energy performance. NFRC ratings are divided into four categories and are printed on a white label affixed on the product:
U-Factor — U-factor measures insulation, particularly how well a product can keep from escaping the room. The lower the U-Factor a product has, the better the insulation. On some products, insulation may be measured as R-value, which measures a product’s resistance to thermal transfer. A product with a low U-factor, therefore, will have a correspondingly high R-value.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient — SHGC measures a product’s resistance to unwanted heat gain. If you need a window replacement that can help reduce your indoor cooling requirements during the summer season, look for windows with low SHGC.
Visible Transmittance — VT measures how well a product allows natural light into your home. Clear glass has much higher VT compared to tinted ones. Thanks to low-emissivity (Low E) coatings, it is possible to have relatively high VT with low SHGC.
Air Leakage — Air leakage measures how much air would pass through a product. The lower the value, the fewer drafts you’ll experience.
ENERGY STAR Label
The ENERGY STAR label is established as a way for consumers to identify energy-efficient products easily at point of purchase. You can find their certification on products such as computers, refrigerators, and washing machines. That is, any product that uses energy or affects how it’s used. Fenestrations belong to the latter category. The ENERGY STAR is useful for consumers who are not concerned with energy ratings. If a window has an ENERGY STAR label, you can bet it will contribute to energy savings, among other things.
Renewal by Andersen of Portland is your leading provider of energy-efficient window replacement options. Give us a call at or fill out our contact form. We serve customers in Portland and Salem, Oregon.