What is U-factor? How to Select?
When you are considering the energy efficiency of your windows, you naturally come across questions about U-factor. What is U-factor? And how does it affect energy efficiency? How do we select it? If you come across questions like those, then this blog is for you.
What is U-factor?
A U-factor or U-value is data to measure how much energy efficiency of your windows and doors by rating the combination of transmission of airflow, natural light, and heat gain coefficient. The lower the U-factor is, the more insulation your windows have, which means more energy efficient. The higher the U-factor is, the least energy efficiency is. U-factor is a key element when considering energy efficiency when buying new or replacement windows. U-factor has something to do with both glazing, sealing system, and frame material.
What Is a Good/Bad U-Factor Score?
Generally speaking, a U-factor of a window usually ranges from 0.2 to 1.2. To get a U-factor of 0.2 is really challenging for window manufacturers, and most of the quality windows from most manufacturers are somewhere between 0.2 to 1.2. When the U-factor is over 1.2, that means your windows have a bad U-factor.
What Are the Benefits of a Low U-Factor?
As we agree that the lower U-factor is, the more energy efficient your windows are, energy efficiency is all we are worried about when buying windows and doors. An energy-efficient window makes sure you are able to have a cool summer since there is less cool air leaked out and makes sure you have a warm winter since less hot air is leaked out. An energy-efficient window and door not only makes sure your house is in good condition in summers and winters but also makes sure your windows and doors have longer lifespans since there is less damage can be done. An energy-efficient window and door will save your energy bills and bills for repair in a long term.
You can achieve a low factor by using double-glazing windows, rather than single glazing. Besides, pumping argon gas between the glass panes and Low-E coatings are good ways to lower the U-factor. Of course, triple glazing generally has a lower U-factor than double glazing.
How to choose U-factor According to Your Location and Climate?
To choose U-factor according to your location and climate, the first step is to know your location, surely you know. Then get to know your climate. That is to find out answers to questions like the following: What is the temperature when it’s hottest in summer and coldest in the winter? How long do the summers usually last and how about the winter? How about the frequency of rain and snow and wind? When you already have a clear mind of those questions, you know the climate.
Another thing is to take your neighboring houses for references. Ask your neighbor what the U-factor is for his or her windows. This should be a simple yet effective way since what suits for most houses in the same community also suits you to in a large extent.
The final but also important step is to work closely with a quality and experienced window manufacturer. A quality window manufacturer makes sure the quality of your windows can stand the test of time and makes sure their lifespan can last in a reasonably long time. An experienced window manufacturer makes sure its experienced window experts can help provide a low U-factor window as they have been aware of diversified climates and have similar experiences.