As you browse around for new windows, you may have noticed some that have an SHGC rating. Short for solar heat-gain coefficient, SHGC ratings help quantify the energy efficiency of windows in a home or building. While professional window companies will help you decide the best window for your home, it won’t hurt to understand some of the specifics as a homeowner.
Knowing how SHGC ratings work will guide you in making an informed decision on which type of windows can increase your home’s energy efficiency. Sanders Roofing & Exteriors, LLC shares their insight:
How Windows Are Tested For Efficiency
Most quality windows, skylights and doors are tested, certified and labeled by The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) based on their energy performance ratings. The NFRC also assigns SHGC ratings on qualified products as part of their certification program. If you choose a certain window and want a reliable way to determine its energy properties, just look for the NFRC label. It can be found in all ENERGY STAR®-qualified windows, skylights and doors.
Why You Should Choose SHGC-Rated Windows
You’ll find tinted and reflective glass in many residential homes, commercial properties and office buildings. It can be a bit overwhelming to choose the right window for your home, but the SHGC rating can help you make a comparison of different products and their attributes. You can also consult with trusted window installers who can help you make the right choice.
To best understand an SHGC rating, it’s essentially a ratio where “1” equals the maximum amount of solar heat allowed through a window and “0” equals the least amount possible allowed through. For instance, an SHGC rating of 0.30 means that 30 percent of the available solar heat can pass through the window.
Knowing how to quantify the amount of solar heat a glass can block is helpful for consumers, but if you want to choose a good window for your home, you still need to consider its U-factor, air leakage characteristics, visible transmittance and condensation resistance. Checking for these in a window will help you determine its energy efficiency and whether it’s suited for your home’s local environment.