Choosing new windows for your home? In our Gulf Coast climate, one of the first things you should look for is the ENERGY STAR® rating for your new windows. ENERGY STAR windows are guaranteed to increase the energy efficiency of your home by blocking or deflecting UV rays from the outside while keeping the cool air inside.
What does it mean to be ENERGY STAR rated, and what are the benefits? We cover it all here. Have more questions about your new windows? The LAS Shutters + Windows team is always here to help. Contact our team to learn more!
What Does It Mean To Be ENERGY STAR Rated?
Since 1992, many companies across the U.S. have partnered with the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to meet energy efficiency standards for various products. From dishwashers to doors, an ENERGY STAR rating means that the product you’re buying is helping to protect the environment by reducing carbon emissions and saving electricity. Certified ENERGY STAR appliances, windows, and doors are verified to meet certain standards by independent organizations.
When it comes to ENERGY STAR windows, the ENERGY STAR sticker in the corner means the window you are about to purchase:
- Is made by an ENERGY STAR partner
- Has been tested, certified, and verified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC)
- Meets the EPA’s strict energy efficiency guidelines
The NFRC certifies windows based on local climate. This means that the ENERGY STAR windows you buy in North Dakota are certified for that climate. In the Gulf South, windows must be able to handle our heat and weather extremes.
How Does ENERGY STAR Certification Work?
The ENERGY STAR certification process is a rigorous one. To begin, windows must be created with approved materials that are assembled properly. These include:
- Multiple panes of low e-glass
- Argon gas between the panes
- Warm edge spacers that keep the panes separate
Each of these features increases the efficiency of the window glass. They must then be assembled using a variety of high-quality framing materials.
What are ENERGY STAR requirements?
The final test for ENERGY STAR certification is conducted by the National Fenestration Rating Council. They measure the following:
- U-Factor: Rate of heat transfer
- Solar Gain Heat Coefficient (SGHC): How well the window blocks the heat of the sun
- Air leakage: How much air escapes from the window itself
- Visible transmittance (VT): How much light comes through the window
- Condensation resistance: How resistant a window is to condensation (between panes or on the outside of panes)
ENERGY STAR windows report each of these numbers on a window label. These scores make an energy performance rating that either awards the product an ENERGY STAR certification or sends the manufacturer back to the drawing board.
ENERGY STAR Window Benefits
While you can still buy windows that are not ENERGY STAR certified, there are many benefits to choosing ones that are.
In 2018 alone, ENERGY STAR certified appliances, windows, and doors saved an estimated $35 billion dollars in lost energy costs in the U.S. As noted on the ENERGY STAR website, their products also prevented the following from entering the atmosphere:
- 330 million metric tons of greenhouse gases
- 220,000 short tons of sulfur dioxide
- 210,000 short tons of nitrogen oxides
- 23,000 short tons of fine particulate matter (PM2.5)
But these types of windows benefit more than just the planet. For the individual consumer, ENERGY STAR windows dramatically decrease your heating and cooling bills. If you are building a new home with the proper orientation for your climate, they can provide even more savings. For existing homes, even replacing a few leaky windows with energy-efficient ones helps.
Energy-efficient replacement windows also increase the value of your home. The National Association of Homebuilders found that consumers would pay almost $8,500 more for a home with energy-efficient windows. Consumers can also get federal tax credits for making energy-efficient home improvements. Many states offer tax incentives, too. Just three new windows can qualify you for a cash rebate from Louisiana’s HERO program (.pdf) promoting energy efficiency.
ENERGY STAR windows help you to think globally while acting locally to make your home more beautiful and comfortable.
Find ENERGY STAR Rated Windows At LAS
Here in the South, humidity is tough on windows. An estimated 25% of all the energy used for heating and cooling is lost through leaky, inefficient windows with drafts in the winter and rising temperatures in the summer.
How does LAS Shutters + Windows use ENERGY STAR windows to improve your home?
With our LAS WeatherGard windows
At LAS Shutters + Windows, we offer a wide range of commercial and residential low-emissivity windows that lead the industry in outstanding energy efficiency while preserving aesthetic standards. LAS windows exceed the strictest standards required for the ENERGY STAR designation to keep your home well-insulated and energy-efficient.
Our vinyl-clad windows are reinforced with steel to eliminate air leaks, so you can keep your utility bills in check.
We use premium materials
Low e-glass reflects 40-70% of the sun’s energy right back where it came from. This means your home will stay cooler in the summer. In the winter, this same glass keeps warmth from indoor heating inside, too. All of the windows we install use low e-glass for maximum energy efficiency.
Our double-pane windows are also filled with argon gas. Argon gas reduces temperature variations to help your heating and cooling systems work more efficiently.
We properly measure and install your new windows
Another way your windows are leaking cool air (and dollars) out of your home is through improper measurements and installation. Our certified technicians at LAS take the time to measure your windows so they can be crafted to fit perfectly. Then we properly install your windows using the OSI Quad Max caulking system to protect against leaks.
At LAS Shutters + Windows, we specialize in crafting ENERGY STAR windows that can handle the weather extremes of the Gulf South. Get in touch today to request a free estimate for your new windows!