Buying an energy efficient home that will save you money in the long run is what many home buyers are looking for in the current economy. From furnaces, to insulation, and everything in between, buying a green rated home is more about what is put into it. Windows are one of the main areas that a home can lose heat. They are also one of the main parts of the home to make energy efficient/.
If you are buying a green home for sale, new build, understanding what information on the label can be a bit confusing. From U-Value to SHGC and VT the abbreviations tell a whole lot about your windows.
The U-Value or U-factor is a rating that falls between 0.20 and 1.20. The lower U-value means that it has a high resistance to heat flow and is better at insulating.
Another rating abbreviation you will find on the energy efficiency label is the SHGC, This stands for solar heat gain coefficient. It indicates the products ability to block heat from the sun. This rating is expressed as a number between 0 and 1. The lower that number the less solar heat is transmitted.
VT or visible transmittance is another rating expressed as a number between 0 and 1. The higher that this number is, the more visible light is transmitted. Other ratings you may see on your energy efficiency label are AL for air leakage, and CR for condensation resistance.
Many new builds incorporate these energy efficient windows. Homes for sale that are not new builds may not have the energy efficiency labels on them, so knowing what type of window and its ratings are based on the home sellers word, unless they have kept the information from the installation.
If you buy a home that will need a window upgrade, shop around and do your homework on the various types of windows and regulations on the materials. You can ask for other additions to the installation including a vacuum-sealed argon fill where argon fill is permitted. This minor addition can increase the insulation of the window and help decrease heating costs due to air loss.
Looking for energy efficient homes? Call the Real Estate Girls! (403) 617-2979