Window products certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) are tested, certified, and labeled to help you make the best decision for your home, budget and needs. The ENERGY STAR label will tell you if a product is energy-efficient, but the NFRC label will help you compare energy-efficient products by examining a product’s energy performance piece by piece.
The NFRC label helps you compare properties of energy-efficient windows, doors, and skylights by giving you energy performance ratings in multiple categories, according to the NFRC website.
The National Fenestration Rating Council (known as NFRC for short) is the entity that provides testing, certification, and labeling of windows, doors and related products based on how well they perform in regards to energy efficiency. When you see the NFRC label, be sure to take the time and read it. But even just its presence will let you know the window you’re considering has been sufficiently rated based on its energy properties. You can also use this information to help you compare products when shopping around for windows.
Keep in mind: the NFRC is the industry-recognized certifying body for windows, and it reports raw numbers only. The U.S. Department of Energy is the one that determines what the numbers mean and adheres an Energy Star label on the ones it believes offer exceptional performance. It also will outline the climate zones for which the product is certified, giving its seal of approval on the products that meet its highest efficiency standards.
Breaking Down the Label
There are four main parts to an NFRC label for windows:
U-Factor: Measures how well a product can keep heat from getting out from the room’s interior. The lower the number, the better it is at keeping the heat in. Look for low numbers.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient: Measures how well a window can keep unwanted heat gain at bay, which is vital during the summer AC season. The lower the number, the less cash you will spend on cooling. Look for low numbers.
Visible Transmittance: Measures how well a product can effectively flood your home with daylight, saving you cash on artificial lighting. The higher the number, the more natural light will be allowed in. Look for high numbers.
Air Leakage: Measures how much air gets into a room through the window. The lower the number, the fewer drafts you will have. Look for low numbers.
So why should you care about the NFRC label? It will give you peace of mind knowing you’re buying an efficient window that will save you money on energy costs and will perform as it was intended.
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