What You Must Know Before Buying Energy Efficient Windows

Are the cool breezes of fall reminding you winter is coming and you  need to get those energy efficient windows for your home?

Winter is coming and unless your home is prepared you and your family will have to choose to be cold, uncomfortable, or find a way to pay the extra heating cost. Did you know most of the heat lost in your home is from your attic or your old windows? Just take a look below at these pictures taken with a  thermal imaging device that shows heat loss in red.


We all love the natural light from windows, but not the drafts. Old windows can be a costly part of your winter energy bills. Choosing replacement windows is an important decision and an investment into your home so it’s import to have a basic education and understanding of what you need to know. If you make wise choices you can even be eligible for a federal tax credit. To find out more you can go to the energystar.gov site.

What important things do I need to know before choosing replacement windows?

Let’s start with the Energy Star that you may or may not be familiar with.  The logo will be some variation of  this blue logo with the white energy lettering and star drawing.

energy star

What does this mean and why is it important?

ENERGY STAR is a government-backed program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help consumers identify products that save energy. That means it has your current government-regulated standards and meets certain guidelines in order to be energy efficient. It also means if you meet these guidelines, you could be eligible for certain  tax breaks.

All of these make for important factors in an energy efficient window.

  • Quality Frame Materials like vinyl, wood, or composite.
  • Double Panes or more
  • Low-E Glass – This just means the glass has a special coating that reflects infrared light that will keep heat out in the summer and keep heat in during the winter. As a bonus, it also keeps out damaging ultraviolet light to keep things from fading.
  • Gass filled panels are more energy efficient than air. They should be filled with a non-toxic gas like Argon.
  • Spacers – The better the spacer, the better your window will keep out condensation, reduces heat loss, insulate the edges, and keep the glass panes the correct space apart.


If you have been doing some literal window shopping you may have noticed a sticker on the windows that you may have skipped over.  It’s called an NFRC Sticker and it lets you know how Energy Efficient the Replacement Windows is rated. With a few simple tips, you can use this sticker to make informed comparison much like you would looking at a sticker on new cars that list important information like gas mileage. They will look something like this.


It may show the Energy Star Certified and for what region it is for. The important thing to remember is the higher north the colder it gets so the standards only get higher. As mentioned before the Energy Star is part of the Department of Energy so windows rely on testing by an independent lab called The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC).

As mentioned before the Energy Star is part of the Department of Energy so windows rely on testing by an independent lab called The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). So not only do you want your new windows to be Energy Star certified, but also have an NFRC certification.

U-Factor – The lower the U-value the lower the heat loss will be and the less energy it will take to heat your home.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient – The lower this number is the lower the solar radiation that is admitted through the window. This will be important to your comfort level and help keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Visible Transmittance – This is how much light will come through the windows. This is a personal preference and could also depend on where in your home the window would go. The higher the transmittance the clearer the glass.

Air Leakage- This is just as it sounds the lower the number the lower the drafts and air you could feel. Note the highest passing number is .3 and the lowest it can be is .1.

Condensation Resistance (CR) – The higher the number the better it is at resisting condensation.

Reduce energy cost and increase the value of your home with beautiful new energy efficient windows.

At Wize Home Direct we offer Beautiful Earthwise Vinyl Windows that are backed by the Good Housekeeping Seal and Energy Star Partner number 1033297. They are the only window company that each window that is specially made for your local climate, no matter where you live in the United States.  Call today for a Free Estimate at 828-212-0580 or find out more at www.wizehomedirect.com/windows

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