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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Be A Window Label Reader - Part II

We're back ... with more tips during Consumer Awareness Week on how to read and understand the labels on your energy efficient windows. Today we're looking at both NFRC and ENERGY STAR labels to help you select the best vinyl home windows for your house!


The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) is a non-profit organization that administers an independent rating and labeling system for the energy performance of windows, doors and skylights. This program helps homeowners compare different products and make informed purchasing decisions.

The overwhelming majority of windows and doors manufactured have an NFRC label. This label will not tell you which window to purchase --- but it can be a valuable tool (much like the miles-per-gallon sticker on a new car). The NFRC label provides:

  • Whole Product Ratings –The NFRC testing protocols involve testing of the full window, door or skylight --- including glass, frame, spacers, and any other component --- that is a permanent part of the complete product. This strategy provides you with a more accurate reflection of how the product will perform in the home than testing of just glass, as the framing and other components influence ratings such as U-factor, Solar Heat Gain, and Visible Transmittance.
  • Information You Can Trust The NFRC Label is the only window label that provides certified energy-related performance ratings that are acquired through independent testing of the product.
  • A Way to Verify the Accuracy of the Label –The NFRC rating process provides you with a way to verify that the Certified Ratings provided on the NFRC Label are accurate via the Certified Products Directory (CPD) found at The NFRC Label provides the manufacturer name, the type of window, as well as the Full CPD Number, making searching the database for the product a snap.
  • A Fair and Accurate Basis for Comparing Products – Ratings on the NFRC Label have been achieved through standardized simulation and test methods at independently operated laboratories. This standardized method allows you to compare Certified Ratings on the NFRC Label of Manufacturer “A” to those on the Certified Label of Manufacturer “B.”  For more information on comparing products, see the NFRC The Shopping Guide and print out "Understanding the NFRC Label" to bring the information to the store with you.


Run by the United States government, the ENERGY STAR program qualifies a wide variety of home products --- from computers to refrigerators to roofs --- for energy efficiency.

For windows, doors and skylights, the ENERGY STAR program makes sure each product is independently certified to perform at levels that meet or exceed energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Energy. The experts at ENERGY STAR suggest the following tips to help you select the windows that work best in your climate:

            Tip #1 – Visit to determine your home’s ENERGY STAR Climate Zone.

            Tip #2 – Find a retailer or manufacturer of ENERGY STAR qualified windows, doors or skylights at the ENERGY STAR website or by looking up information directly on a company’s website.

            Tip #3 – Ask for ENERGY STAR qualified windows when placing your order. Whether you’re in a showroom or meeting with an individual window installer, make sure you request ENERGY STAR qualified Simonton Windows doors and windows for your home.

            Tip #4 – When your windows arrive, make sure to look for the ENERGY STAR label on each window. The label should state that the window is qualified for your specific climate zone area.

            Tip #5 – Investigate any federal tax credits, local rebates or other promotions available in your area that you qualify for as a result of purchasing and installing energy-efficient ENERGY STAR windows.

If you're shopping for windows, see  What Kind of Replacement Windows are Right for You? to help you determine which vinyl home windows are best for your house!







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