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.
What Is A U-value?
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.
The Benefits Of Quality Windows In The Summer
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 !