The biggest name that comes to mind when homeowners think energy efficient windows is Energy Star. Even here in sunny San Diego, where we are gifted with gorgeous weather almost year round, we need to be informed on Energy Star energy efficient windows.
Energy Star is a United Stated Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, program that helps home and business owners save the planet, and money, through energy efficiency programs and innovations.
Energy Star rates and tests different window products to find the most energy efficient options for consumers. A voluntary program, Energy Star testing isn’t required. However, the name has big connotations for energy efficiency and is trusted throughout the industry.
The following criteria must be met for a window system to gain an Energy Star rating:
- Be made by an Energy Star manufacturing partner
- Pass independent testing by the National Fenestration Rating Council, or NFRC and receive certifications and verifications
- Receive NFRC ratings that meet the EPA’s energy efficient guidelines
While there aren’t specific construction or technology requirements for Energy Star windows, a lot of them have the following in common:
- Quality Materials – Certain window frame materials like wood and vinyl make more energy efficient windows than others as they are tougher and reduce heat transfer.
- Low-E Glass –Low-E glass is coated with a transparent film to reflect infrared light back outside to keep your home cool without over working your air conditioning system.
- Double Panes –The more glass panes a window has, the more energy efficient it is. Dual or even triple paned windows are often Energy Star rated.
- Spacers –Spacers keep dual or triple paned glass panels the proper distance apart for effective insulation and noise reduction. Most Energy Star energy efficient windows have non-metallic spacers as they have low conduction rates.
San Diego Applications
So what does all this mean for San Diego?
Energy Star conveniently rates and categorizes energy efficient windows by climate zone so you can easily find applicable information for your region. The zones are Northern, North Central, South Central and Southern. The zones were created because energy efficient windows need to match their climates. Some climates need windows that keep homes warm, while others need windows that keep homes cold.
San Diego is in the South Central zone. When shopping for energy efficient windows in San Diego, look for labels marked South Central or All 50 States.
Energy Star recommends energy efficient windows with the following rating for the South Central zone, including San Diego:
- U-Factor of 0.30 or less
- SHGC of 0.25 or less
Energy Star also recommends the following ratings for energy efficient skylights and doors in San Diego:
- Skylights U-Factor of 0.53 or less
- Skylights SHGC of 0.28 or less
- Opaque Doors (no glass) U-Factor of 0.17 or less
- Light Doors (50% glass) U-Factor 0.25 or less
- Full-Lite Doors (more than 50% glass) U-Factor 0.3 or less
Look for Energy Star energy efficient windows in San Diego to get the most out of your investment, and keep your home comfortable for less.