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13
Jun
2016

What does U-Factor mean?


When you consider the insulation of your home, two terms are particularly relevant the R-Value and U-Value. Both are relevant to the thermal resistance of various elements of your home's structure. The R-Value is normally used for rating walls, roofs, and floors. The U-Factor, on the other hand, is used to determine the energy efficiency of windows. It's also good to note that a U-Factor of 0.25 equals an R-Value of 4.

The U-Factor or U-Value measures the rate at which heat is lost through a particular surface or substance. The lower the U-Factor, the better. Lower U-Factors reflect a greater level of insulation and a higher level of energy efficiency. This means that investing in a quality window will pay off in the long run since you'll spend that much less money keeping your home warm in winter and cool in summer.

When measuring the U-Factor of a window, there are several parts that need to be considered. It's not just about the window glass itself and the type of glazing but also the other parts of the window. Triple-pane windows will have a higher rating than double-pane ones, for obvious reasons. High-quality, specialized window coatings can also help improve the rating as well as the type of gas used to fill the spaces between the window panes.

The window frame and spacers also need to be inspected and put to the test as part of their U-Factor evaluation. For those who are in the market for energy efficient windows,  you should look for double-pane windows with a U-Factor of 0.30 or less, or a triple-pane window with a U-Factor of about 0.15.

Even if you don't use any kind of cooling system during the summer, you will still feel the benefits of quality windows. The right windows can make a great difference in the comfort level of your home. Instead of allowing the hot summer air to sneak in, they keep the heat outside where it belongs. While some might be tempted to air their home throughout a hot day in the middle of summer (in an effort to make the most of a nice breeze), it's best to air your home in the morning while the air is crisp and at its coolest. After a few minutes, or once the air in your home is well circulated, you should close all of your windows and keep them shut throughout the day. High U-Factor windows will then do their job and help maintain the lowest possible temperatures in your home.

During the winter, you want to keep your home comfortably warm without making your heating system work overtime. Leaky windows or windows with poor U-Factors will allow the heat inside your home to escape. The harder your heating system has to work, the more it will cost you on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis

LoĒ-180 glass also helps improve the efficiency of your windows by reflecting heat. In winter, the heat will be reflected back into your home whereas, in summer, it will be reflected away to keep your home cooler. Call our team of experts at NorthShield Windows and Doors for a free in-home estimate and professional advice! Winnipeg (204) 272-3725 /Toronto (905) 326-3444 !


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4.8
Courtney Schappert
in the last week
Likely a good company for windows, installers seemed competent. However for doors they seemed to have much less experience. My salesman left the company midway through the process and I wasn't informed, and turns out some miscommunication between him and I led to a product I didn't want. The door is nice, just not what I had thought I ordered, and it took about 4 months to get, so I accepted it. The paint also chipped after they left, which leaves a bad feeling (even though that's more of a manufacturer issue than NorthShield issue). I'm not saying these guys are going to be bad for you, but I'm not thrilled with my result. REPLY December 5, 2018: I had called about the paint chip and wrong door options already at the time and was told there was no recourse for me. The paint chip was there when I came home from work after the door was installed, but you provided a picture the installers took before the paint was chipped, so at that time I was told there was no recourse. The wrong options I was told was due to a salesman who took my order having left the company, and there was no paperwork showing my chosen option (no door handle hole to be cut). I will call again tomorrow and update this with the results of that conversation.
Carl To
2 months ago
Alex and the team at north shield were amazing. Great customer service, along with a great team of installers. North shield replaced my 2 front living room windows in 1 day. They even took away my awning! Highly recommended
Lois
a month ago
Very professional workers that despite finding, no vapor barrier and wood rot on our deck, fixed it right and continued to install our very beautiful door and side light without complaint. I would highly recommend Northshield to any friends, neighbors or anyone else. I am a very Happy, Happy Gal with my beautiful new door!
Richard Romanow
a month ago
Installation crew showed up on time. Brought coverings and tarps to contain any mess. Installation went smoothly and the guys were very polite and considerate. The old windows and frames were removed and the jobsite was clean when they left. Great work at a good price! Thanks Andy and Serge.
Emma Liiv
2 months ago
Jim gave us a great price, and I was also very happy with the installation team. Great workmanship, product, hey we’re friendly and clean. I am left feeling good about the company we chose to do our windows. I would certainly not hesitate in recommending them.
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