What is a Good U-Factor For a Window?

Nearly everybody is looking for ways to become more energy efficient. Replacing your windows with energy efficient options can save you money on heating and cooling costs, and can help filter out some of that damaging ultraviolet light. Denver windows deal with a lot of sunlight throughout all seasons, so getting windows with the best U-Factor is a crucial decision.

Your windows play a huge role in energy efficiency, and keeping those utility bills down. By getting windows with the proper U-factory, it can go a long way in keeping that cold air outside in the winter, and warm air outside in the summer.

What is U-Factor?

A window’s U-factor measures the insulation ability of a particular window. More specifically, the U-factor is how much solar heat flow is allowed to pass through a given window. Because the temperature on the outside of the window is different from that on the interior, this rating helps determine the rate at which heat is lost in the winter and gained during the summer.

The lower the U-factor, the better the window insulates. Most windows fall between a U-factor threshold of 0.20 and 1.20. This number is widely considered the most important insulation rating for your windows. The U-factor considers all parts of the window, from the spacers to the frame to any glazing that might be on the outside of the window. Simply put, this measures how much heat is gained or lost through the glass. It was created by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) as a way to independently rate the energy efficiency of windows.

How U-Factor Changes Depending on Climate

In cold climates, windows with a U-factor at the bottom end of that spectrum – generally between 0.20 and 0.40 – are ideal. This will allow for greater energy efficiency. Where the windows are located on your house is also a factor. North facing windows should have the lowest U-factor you can afford while windows that face east and west should also have low U-factors.

If you’re living in a mixed climate, one that uses both heating and cooling like Colorado, the U-factor for your windows should be around 0.32 or lower. Warmer climates that rely mainly on cooling can generally go for a bit higher U-factor, but should aim for ratings between 0.60 and 0.70 or lower. Heating costs will always be the biggest determination for U-factor, and should be taken into consideration when purchasing replacement windows.

Skylights are another apparatus that uses U-factor, but they generally can have a little bit higher rating than windows to be effective. Warm air rises, so skylights don’t need as low of a rating to remain energy efficient. Replacing windows can be a daunting task, butFor more information on U-factors and energy efficient windows, and how they can be a suitable option for your home, contact the experts at JDI Windows in Denver.