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If you’ve been shopping around for new windows you’ve probably run into a lot of information on window energy efficiency. But terms like glass packs, gas fills and low-e coatings might leave you scratching your head. So, in honor of ENERGY STAR day on October 27th, we’ve done our best to answer a lot of those common questions and hopefully make your window purchase experience a bit easier.


What are the most energy efficient windows?

The three most common window types are aluminum, wood and vinyl. Vinyl window styles are proven to be extremely energy efficient and preferred overall due to several factors.

  • They are non-conductive, meaning it’s hard for air to get in or out
  • They are durable and won’t bend or dent
  • They are low maintenance, so you won’t have to worry about warped wood or oxidized aluminum
  • They are affordable and cost quite a bit less than wood
  • They will last for many years and they can match any look you desire


What is a glass pack?

You may believe that windows are just a typical pane of glass and that’s all there is to it, but there are more options than you’d think! You can choose from multiple glass system options. There are options ranging from the most basic – with 2 pieces of insulated glass with air in between – to the more extreme- with three panes of insulated glass with Krypton (a very dense gas) in between each pane.


What is Low-E window coating?

Low E window coating is a microscopically thin, virtually invisible, metallic layer that is deposited on the glass surface. Low E coating blocks damaging UV rays from the sun, improving insulation and reducing fading of your carpet and upholstery.


What is a gas fill?

Instead of filling the space in between glass panes with air, odorless, colorless and non-toxic inert gasses like Argon and Krypton can be used for maximum energy efficiency.


What does U-Factor mean?

Energy Star defines U-Factor as how well the window insulates. It measures the heat transfer through a window. A low U-Factor indicates a greater resistance to heat flow (in and out) and a better insulation value. U-Factor values typically range from 0.25 to 1.25.


What are Solar Heat Gain Coefficient and Visible Transmittance?

We promise those terms sound much more complicated than they actually are! Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) is particularly important for warmer areas with strong sun because it blocks unwanted heat gain. You want as low of an SHGC number as possible. Visible Transmittance (VT) represents how much daylight the window allows in. The higher the VT, the more light shines into the window.

Wondering, what is ENERGY STAR Day? It’s a national celebration that encourages people to make a commitment to saving energy and protecting the environment from climate change. This year EPA is celebrating ENERGY STAR Day by asking people like you to take the ENERGY STAR Pledge and commit to an energy‐saving action.

Now that you know more about the benefits of energy efficient windows, it’s time to celebrate! You can celebrate the entire month of October by using any of the fun promo materials created by ENERGY STAR. Let the world know that you are working to be more energy efficient. Being energy conscious can be as simple as getting your family to vow to turn off all the lights each night, or as complex as installing new energy efficient replacement windows. No matter how you choose to conserve energy, the planet will thank you!

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