When you’re planning to have your windows or doors replaced, it’s understandable if you’re looking for replacements that can help make your home more energy-efficient. With that in mind, if you’re in the process if your canvassing for a new casement window or sliding French doors, make sure to look for the labels from ENERGY STAR® and the National Fenestration Rating Council® (NFRC), the entities that determine how energy-efficient a window or door is. But how exactly do they differ from one another?
ENERGY STAR is the entity that determines whether a product is energy-efficient. This means that the product has met the strict energy efficiency criteria that was established by the U.S. Government in tandem with the ratings of the NFRC. In essence, ENERGY STAR allows consumers to easily identify which products have superior energy performance. Unlike the NFRC, however, they base a product’s qualification solely on its U-Factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) ratings.
On the other hand, the NFRC is a third-party, non-profit organization that helps consumers compare a window’s or door’s performance. They don’t determine which products are good or bad, but rather, they set the minimum performance standards that a product must meet through their ratings in five categories. These categories include the U-Factor, SHGC, Air Leakage (AL), Visible Transmittance (VT) and Condensation Resistance. Unlike ENERGY STAR, a product must pass all these categories in order to meet the NFRC’s minimum performance standards.
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