So you’ve decided your home needs new windows. You’re just beginning your journey of shopping for windows. Easy right? Not exactly. One number should be high. Another should be low. Here’s a simple breakdown of what all those numbers and window acronyms mean. So, when you jump from window option to window option, you can analyze the information fluently.
Here are the two most common measurements used when shopping for windows, R-Value and U-Value/Factor. These are used interchangeably between window companies. These are the Mayonnaise and Miracle Whip of windows if you will. Both have the same purpose but a bit of a different flavor. Here’s a breakdown of the two “flavors”.
R-Value: Measures the insulating value of the window to resist heat flow—This number should be high, R-4 or higher (the Mayo)
U-Value/Factor: Measures how much heat escaped through the window—This number should be low, U-.24 or lower (the Miracle Whip)
Here’s a simple cheat sheet in case you skipped over all that info, cause you like pictures:
The next set of window acronyms that are important are SHGC (Solar Heat Gain Coefficient) and VT/VLT (Visible Light Transmittance). Sorry, no sandwich reference here. Here’s the breakdown.
SHGC: Solar Heat Gain Coefficient measures how much heat is allowed in by the glazing unit and can be adjusted based on your project’s goals. For example, if you live in Palm Springs, California you are going to want a low SHGC (cause it’s friggin’ hotter than H-E-double hockey sticks) and if you live in Fargo, North Dakota you’re going to want a higher SHGC comparatively (otherwise you’ll freeze your a$$ off).
VT/VLT: Visible Light Transmittance is the measure of the amount of light that is visible through the glazing/glass—This percentage should be high, 70% or higher. <insert smiling sunglass emoji>
Now, here is how Glo European Windows outperform the standard American made window with all the numbers and window acronyms you just learned about.
Hope this makes your window-shopping a bit easier to navigate. Happy shopping!