Grilles, Coating & Panes, Oh my
Choosing the right options for new construction or replacement windows requires factoring in your location, your style and your budget. At Crossroads Building Supply, we offer a wide range of options to provide your home with the perfect balance of style, comfort and efficiency, at a price your can afford.
The NFRC label provides ratings for U-factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, and Visible Transmittance (required ratings), and may include information on testing for Air Leakage and Condensation Resistance.
U-factor measures how well a product prevents heat from escaping a home or building. U-factor ratings generally fall between 0.15 and 1.20. The lower the U-factor, the better a product is at keeping heat inside the building. U-factor is particularly important during the winter heating season in colder climates.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) measures how much heat from the sun is blocked. SHGC is expressed as a number between 0 and 1. The lower the SHGC, the more a product is blocking solar heat gain. Blocking solar heat gain is particularly important during the summer cooling season in hot Southern climates. By contrast, people in Northern climates may want solar heat gain during the cold winter months to lessen the cost of heating the home.
Visible Transmittance (VT) measures how much light comes through a product. VT is expressed as a number between 0 and 1. The higher the VT, the higher the potential for daylighting.
Air Leakage measures how much outside air comes into a home or building through a product. Air leakage rates typically fall in a range between 0.1 and 0.3. The lower the air leakage, the better a product is at keeping air out. Air leakage is an optional rating, and manufacturers can choose not to include it on their labels.
Condensation Resistance measures how well a product resists the formation of condensation. Condensation resistance is expressed as a number between 1 and 100. The higher the number, the better a product is able to resist condensation. Condensation resistance is an optional rating, and manufacturers can choose not to include it on their NFRC labels.
Anatomy of a Window
1. Frame provides structure.
2. Cladding protects the exterior of a wood or composite window and is made of vinyl, aluminum, or fiberglass, eliminating painting.
3. Sash is the moving part of the window; it can be tilted in for easy cleaning.
4. Insulated glass Double-glazed windows have a sealed space between two panes of glass filled with air or another gas that insulates better than air. Argon gas is standard on many windows, but the energy savings won’t justify paying extra for it.
5. Low-E coating is transparent and improves the efficiency of the glass by reflecting heat yet letting light in. The coating is applied to the outside of glass in warmer climates to reflect the sun’s heat out; in colder areas, it’s applied to the inside glass to keep heat in.
6. Grilles are decorative and are available in different patterns to match architectural styles.