Understanding SHGC Ratings in Windows

Published April 2, 2021
By Brandon Hamilton

If you’re looking for windows with better energy efficiency, then there are two types of ratings to look out for. One is the U-factor, which is given to estimate the heat loss of a window. Lower values provide greater insulation and heat resistance, which helps keep your interiors within comfortable temperatures without consuming too much energy.

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The other rating is the solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). This represents the amount of solar radiation passing through a window. Here’s how optimal SHGC ratings can help you make the right window choice.

How They’re Tested

Windows and other related products are tested, certified and labeled by The National Fenestration Rating Council® (NFRC) based on their energy performance ratings. As part of its certification program, the NFRC is responsible for assigning the U-factor and SHGC ratings on qualified windows, skylights and doors.

The SHGC shows the fraction of incident solar radiation transmitted and absorbed by a window, and is rated as a number between zero and one. Higher values mean the window is more effective at collecting solar heat during the winter while lower values mean less solar heat it transmits by blocking heat gain from the sun. You can consult with your trusted window installation contractor to inspect your home and help you decide the best rating for your replacement windows.

Why Should You Get SHGC-Rated Windows?

SHGC-rated windows help you determine their energy properties and know which is the best balance for your home. The NFRC label can be found in all ENERGY STAR®-qualified products, making it easy for homeowners to look for quality windows. Having quality windows with a good SHGC value will also decrease the instances of hotspots or drafts in a room, which means your HVAC won’t need to consume as much energy to keep your interiors comfortable!

If you’re looking for the best window and exterior home contractors in the area, our professional team at Lincoln Exterior Renovations has got you covered. Call us at (403) 275-4871, or fill out our convenient contact form to get started!

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