Why Should You Care About ENERGY STAR Windows


Why Should You Care About ENERGY STAR Windows

Table of Contents

What homeowners should know about energy efficient windows, and why buyers and sellers should care.

Most home buyers and sellers don’t pay the most attention to windows. They let light in, they should open and close easily, they’re transparent, and they let us see the outside world!

However, they are a vital part of a home’s envelope—which means the components of a house that separate the indoors from the outdoors. That’s why quality windows can play a massive role in how energy efficient a home is. This, in turn, makes a home more comfortable by keeping hot air in during the winter, and cool air in during the summer.

Energy efficient windows, such as ENERGY STAR-certified ones, can save homeowners and residents a good deal of money, and help you reduce carbon and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from a home. ENERGY STAR is a program that originates through the United States Government program that provides energy efficiency information about various products. ENERGY STAR Canada is an international partner and agrees to promote certain ENERGY STAR-qualified product categories.

Visit ENERGY STAR Canada

ENERGY STAR-certified windows are usually around 20 percent more energy efficient than regular windows. However, particularly high-quality ENERGY STAR-certified windows can be up to 55 percent more efficient, according to Natural Resources Canada.

“ENERGY STAR-certified windows are from 20 percent to 55 percent more efficient than regular windows.”

Why homeowners should care about ENERGY STAR windows

According to one study by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), 83 percent of people want ENERGY STAR windows. They can save homeowners between $100 and $500 each year on their power bills, and they represent around 30 percent in energy savings. They also have the potential to increase the value of a home by $12,000 or more. 

Meanwhile, 80 percent want energy efficiency lighting, while 73 percent want triple-pane insulating glass windows. This should come as no surprise, considering that even something like upgraded weather stripping can save a family $600 per year on their power bill. 

For homeowners, the savings, GHG reductions, added comfort, and increase in property value shouldn’t be ignored. Installing ENERGY STAR windows is, additionally, a great way to make a home stand out on the real estate market. 

As such, even if the homeowner is planning to sell or doesn’t plan on living in the dwelling long-term, these high-quality windows represent a solid investment. This holds true for people looking to buy as well. They can feel confident that the property will meet their comfort, cash, and climate needs

Quick Tip: 

Products that are ENERGY STAR-certified will always have its characteristic logo somewhere on the window. 

Let’s Get Technical:

  • U-Factor measures the rate of heat transfer and tells you how well the window insulates. U-factor values generally range from 0.25 to 1.25 and are measured in Btu/h·ft²·°F. The lower the U-factor, the better the window insulates. (EPA requires that the U-Factor for ENERGY STAR labeled products is certified and listed on the product label.)
  • Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) measures the fraction of solar energy transmitted and tells you how well the product blocks heat caused by sunlight. SHGC is measured on a scale of 0 to 1; values typically range from 0.25 to 0.80. The lower the SHGC, the less solar heat the window transmits. (EPA requires that the SHGC for ENERGY STAR labeled products is certified and listed on the product label.)
  • Air Leakage (AL) measures the rate at which air passes through joints in the window. AL is measured in cubic feet of air passing through one square foot of window area per minute. The lower the AL value, the less air leakage. Most industry standards and building codes require an AL of 0.3 cf·m/ft². (EPA requires that the AL for ENERGY STAR labeled products is certified.)
  • Visible Transmittance (VT) measures the amount of light the window lets through. VT is measured on a scale of 0 to 1; values generally range from 0.20 to 0.80. The higher the VT, the more light you see.

Condensation Resistance measures how well the window resists water build-up. Condensation Resistance is scored on a scale from 0 to 100. The higher the condensation resistance factor, the less build-up the window allows.

Unfortunately, most real estate listings don’t specify if a home has ENERGY STAR windows. That’s where Lightspark can help. The platform enables homeowners to learn more about their homes’ assets, home buyers to make sure that prospective properties fit their needs, and REALTORS to engage with their clients and ensure each piece of real estate gets an accurate assessment. 

Lightspark can tell you if your home is efficient

Lightspark generates a detailed profile of every home in a city, allowing REALTORS to get a sense of what kinds of windows are installed in homes in their communities’ housing markets. When homeowners join Lightspark through your invitation, they can update any upgrades they have made to their home using Lightspark’s My Home Survey.

If homeowners buy or own a home that doesn’t have ENERGY STAR windows, Lightspark creates recommended bundles of products including ENERGY STAR-certified windows that users can buy to improve their home’s energy efficiency showing them rebates and loans available that they can utilize to affordably make that upgrade. 

The Lightspark platform arms homeowners with the knowledge they need to instill energy efficiency as a core value in their markets, and answer any questions their clients may have. Plus, it gives homebuyers a window, if you will, into what the future of a house could be. To learn more about how Lightspark can help you and your clients, click here

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