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Energy Savings and Efficiency Ratings


"The new windows look great and I can already feel the difference"

  best ratings for replacement windows  -  Samantha


When you get your quote from us by email you'll see that it includes one of several energy efficient packages.  It's easiest to explain the options after you have the quote and price list so you can see what is involved. If you don't have your quote and price list yet you can request one here

The price list we'll send along with your quote will also list some of the other common choices.  There are actually over 100 options, but we typically don't send all of that info at once as it can get a little heavy.  We're trying to make this simple, not more complicated.


We know some people want all the details and some folks just want us to make a recommendation or two.  No matter which camp you fall into we'll be happy to help out.  If you have more questions and can't find the answers here just let us know.



Summer Solar Heat

In the summer, heat from the sun passes through your windows causing your air conditioner to run more often and your bills to increase.  Solar heat gain coefficient (or SHGC) is a number that represents the fraction of solar heat transmitted through a window.  The lower a window's solar heat gain coefficient the less solar heat it transmits.  Climates that rely heavily on air conditioning will benefit from a product that has a lower SHGC.


It's important to remember that we also like the heat from the sun in the winter.  Here in the Portland area we have more heating days than cooling days.  We need windows that will work great all year and will do an especially great job in the winter. 


Energy Efficient Replacement Windows - SHGC


As shown here, our windows with our Energy Star package a low emissivity (or low-e) glass option and argon gas fill will outperform a standard clear unit by as much as 49% in the summer months.




If your quote includes the Energy Star package the SHGC rating for a double hung window with no grids will be 0.30.  Remember, lower is better, so this option will keep most of the heat from the sun out in the summer and still allow some heat to pass through in the winter. 


If you wanted an improvement in terms of solar heat gain you could pick the Radiant Barrier package.  That will lower the SHGC to 0.21, a substantial improvement for only a few bucks.  Adding grids to the Radiant Barrier glass will lower it to 0.19.  If the sun beats down on one side of the house or if you just want extra protection from the sun this can be a great option.


We have other packages with SHGC ratings as low as 0.17 so let us know if you're looking for anything else. 


Remember, if you're not into all of this ratings info feel free to skip it and just ask us if you have any questions.  We love making things easy. 


Improving A Window's Winter Performance

In the winter a more efficient window will not let the heat generated by the furnace escape.  The U-Factor (or U value) represents the rate of heat flow through a window.  The lower a U-Factor the greater the window's resistance to heat flow, and the better its insulating value.  When the space between the panes of glass is filled with an inert gas (typically argon or krypton) the U-Factor is dramatically reduced.


Energy Efficient Replacement Windows - U Value


As shown here, our windows with our Energy Star package including a low emissivity (or low-e) glass option and argon gas fill will out perform a standard clear unit by as much as 51% in the winter months.

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To meet the Energy Star standards in terms of U-Factor in Portland we'll need to have a U-Factor of 0.27 or lower.  A double hung with the Energy Star package will have a U-Factor of 0.27 so we'll be good there.


If you wanted a wintertime upgrade you could pick one of several upgraded spacer options or the triple pane package.  The spacer is the part that goes between the 2 (or 3) pieces of glass to make the unit more efficient.  If you wanted to pick the SustainaView package on the price list you'd get an improvement in the U-Factor and the condensation resistance rating would also go up substantially. 


The triple pane package includes an extra piece of glass and an extra sealed chamber filled with argon gas.  It's an effective upgrade at a very reasonable cost. 


We even have packages with U-Factors as low as 0.18 so it really just depends on what you want for your home. 


All of this translates into substantial savings in utility bills and a significant reduction in carbon emissions.  


Remember, if you think this all sounds neat, but you have other things to worry about that's just fine with us.  If you like learning about ratings and options we have even more info here. 



Reducing A Window's Air Infiltration


The next factor to consider is the air infiltration rating.  If you've ever felt drafty windows you know that air infiltration can make a HUGE difference in the comfort of your home.  Many older window models out there will have air infiltration rates as high as 0.15 or even 0.30.  The fact is those were decent numbers 10 or 15 years ago, but things are much better now.


Air infiltration ratings for replacement windows

Here you can see how much air can get into your home when you have windows with a higher air infiltration rate.  There are still companies out there offering windows like this. 


The double hung windows we typically recommend will have air infiltration rates of 0.04.  The casement windows we offer will have ratings of 0.01.  Some other styles will be a little different so feel free to ask us if you have any questions.  Every product we offer comes with a very tight seal which means your home will be more comfortable than ever before. 


If you haven't received your free quote by email yet just swing over to this page to get that.  Once you have your quote the rest of this will make a little more sense. 


Many of the other large window companies do not have windows with the same options.  All vinyl replacement windows are not the same!


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