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How to Judge a Window’s Energy Efficiency

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Jan in Michigan, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

    JAN: Yes. Thank you for taking my call. I have an older brick home in the neighborhood 70 years. I would like to know the R-factor between double-pane windows and triple-pane. I have to make a choice. Which would be best?

    TOM: Yeah. You know, that’s a great question, whether it pays to go with double-pane or triple-pane. Certainly, triple-pane are a little more energy-efficient and in an area like Michigan, that’s something that we’re very concerned about. But they’re more expensive.

    Now, one of the things that you might want to consider here would be to use a good-quality brand first. So I would kind of concentrate on the brand rather than the panes, because it’s all relative.

    And then when you look at the brands, the next thing you want to look at is something called the National Fenestration Rating Council label. The label on the glass actually tells you how energy-efficient the window is. It will tell you what the heat gain coefficient it is. It’ll tell you what the U-factor is. And you can compare apples to apples, Jan, by using the National Fenestration Rating Council label.

    And I will tell you that on our website, at MoneyPit.com, we actually have a replacement-window guide. It’s a free download, actually, from our book, My Home, My Money Pit. There is an ad right on the home page that will take you right into the page where this exists. And you can download this guide and in the guide, we actually have a picture of the label and we explain how you use it to try to sort out what the best window is for your home.

    So I wouldn’t concentrate so much on double versus triple; I would concentrate on glass quality and that NFRC rating.

    JAN: Perfect. Thank you so much. Appreciate it.

    TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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