You see them everywhere; you know the big E symbol. It’s on refrigerators, computers and yes, even windows and doors. Have you ever wondered how it came about? Better yet, have you ever really thought about what it means to you? In this article, I will explain how the Energy Star rating came about, how it’s used and how your choices affect your pocket book.
The Big E means Energy Star Compliance
The Energy Star ® label is the symbol used to notify you that a product has met a standard developed by the Federal government. The program was first developed in 1992 by t
he US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a method to identify and
promote products that are energy efficient. This is not a mandatory program
enforced by the government. Companies can choose to either meet or not meet
these standards. The important point here is that these standards give
consumers a way of comparing products based on this standard. Look for building materials and products that
carry an Energy Star label. They have met very specific standards set by the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.
|Look for this logo when considering your new roofing materials (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Three qualities of ENERGY STAR Windows and Doors:
- They have to be manufactured by an ENERGY STAR partner.
- They have to be independently tested and certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC).
- They have an NFRC rating that follows strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the Department of Energy (DOE).
- Quality Frame Materials
- Multiple Panes
- Low E Glass
- Gas Fills
- Warm Edge Spacers
|Crystal Clear app energy star (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Aluminum windows and doors are durable, low maintenance, recyclable, and typically have at least 15% recycled content. These designs typically include thermal breaks to reduce conductive heat loss through the metal.
Combination windows and doors use different materials separately throughout the frame and sash to provide optimal performance. For example, the exterior half could be made of vinyl while the interior half could be wood.
Composite windows and doors are made of various materials that have been blended together through manufacturing processes to create durable, low maintenance, well-insulated windows.
Fiberglass windows and doors are strong, durable, low maintenance, and provide good insulation. Fiberglass windows and doors can be either hollow or filled with foam insulation.
Vinyl windows and doors are low maintenance and provide good thermal insulation. Sections may be hollow or filled with foam insulation. Wide vinyl sills are often reinforced with wood or metal.
Wood windows and doors are strong, provide good insulation, and are generally favored in historical neighborhoods. The exterior surfaces of many wood windows are clad with aluminum or vinyl to reduce maintenance.
What Does All This Mean To You?
Windows and doors that meet the Energy Star ® rating are typically 10 to 20% more energy efficient than non-rated one. This means, you'll save money, and you will also be help
ing the environment because saving energy cuts down on
the use of creating energy that uses fossil fuels.
|money and savings (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)|
In this article, I discussed how the Energy Star symbol came about, what make products qualified, what features they have and the materials from which they are made. I also covered the impact for you personally and how buying windows and doors that meet these standards can save you money and help the environment. If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends. If you have other thoughts or comments please add them to the Comments section. If you want to know more about Energy Star windows and doors, follow the links in this article. If you want to discuss this with me, indicate that in your comments as well. I look forward to sharing my next article with you.
Gates Dearen is the co-owner of HomeRite Windows and Door in Jacksonville Florida. Owners Gates Dearen and Richard Walden have been serving thebuildingproducts industry in Florida for over 25 years. They know the products, the industry, the market and what adds great value to a home. “Their approach is a little different. Theyaresimply looking to match the home owner with the right windows for their home and budget. Home improvements are enough of a hassle – we’re here to make life easier with first-rate, energy efficient products, affordable prices, installers that know best practices and respect of your home.