Why Energy-Efficient Windows Are Important in the South | Zen Windows NC
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Is Replacing Your Windows a Smart Investment?
January 23, 2021
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The windows your choose for your Charlotte or Greensboro home can make a big difference in its energy efficiency and comfort level. For the greatest energy savings, the EPA recommends picking the windows best suited to your climate. In Charlotte, which is located in the EPA’s South Central zone, that means choosing:

  • Windows that have a U-factor of 0.30 or less and an SHGC of 0.25 or less.
  • Skylights with a U-factor of 0.53 or less and an SHGC of 0.28 or less.

Greensboro is in the EPA’s North Central zone, so its recommendations are slightly different: 

  • Windows must have a U-factor of 0.30 or less and an SHGC of 0.4 or less.
  • Skylights should have a U-factor of 0.53 or less and an SHGC of 0.35 or less.

You can also choose products with labels that read “ENERGY STAR® Certified in All 50 States.”

What Are U-Factors and SHGCs?

  • Performance rating U-factors measure the rate of heat transfer. They also tell you how well the window insulates. The lower the U-factor, the better the window insulates. Windows that meet this recommendation are able to sufficiently keep heat out on hot days and in on colder days. The U-factor of windows is also affected by the window frame material, glazing, and low-E coatings.
  • Solar heat gain coefficient or SHGC ratings measure the amount of solar energy that’s transmitted through the window and indicates how well the window blocks heat caused by sunlight. The lower the SHGC rating is, the less solar heat a window transmits. The SHGC is the more critical window property in warmer climates. A low SHGC can be realized through a combination of low-E coatings, glazing, and tints.

Why Energy-Efficient Windows Are Important for Southern Homes

Did you know that up to 30% of your home’s heated or cooled air is lost through its windows? The process, known as thermal transfer, occurs when there is a temperature difference between the indoors and outdoors. The greater the difference, the higher the rate of heat transmission.

While North Carolina has a more temperate climate than states farther south, its summer season is warm and often humid, and the winter months can see temperatures drop close to freezing. One of the most effective things you can do to lower your energy consumption and reduce your home’s carbon footprint is to install energy-efficient windows.

During the warmer months, energy-efficient windows keep the cool air from your home’s air conditioner inside and the hot, often humid air outside. Your home’s interior remains at a comfortable temperature and you have the added benefit of lower energy bills each month. Special coatings on the windows can also reduce the amount of solar heat that enters the home by 70%.

Another benefit to installing energy-efficient windows in your southern home is that the lower the heat transfer, the less your HVAC strains to maintain a consistent interior temperature. You save money on heating and cooling bills and quite possibly extend the life of your HVAC system.

Energy-Efficient Windows for Your Home

Zen Windows North Carolina offers some of the most innovative, eco-friendly, and energy-efficient windows and doors in the state. Our wide selection of technologically advanced replacement windows and doors provides southern homeowners with EPA-recommended levels of energy efficiency, and they look beautiful while doing it!

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