What’s the Difference Between ENERGY STAR® and the NFRC?

When it comes to energy-efficient home improvements in Inver Grove Heights, MN, understanding the difference between ENERGY STAR® certifications and the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) labels is crucial. This knowledge can impact not only how comfortable you feel in your home but also your utility bills and carbon footprint. If you are considering new windows, familiarizing yourself with these standards can lead to better choices for your home. Krech Exteriors explains what you need to know.

ENERGY STAR: The Symbol of Energy Efficiency

ENERGY STAR is an internationally recognized symbol for energy efficiency provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This program covers a broad range of products, including electronics, appliances, and building materials like residential windows, doors, and skylights. Products that bear the ENERGY STAR label have been independently certified to meet rigorous energy efficiency guidelines.

ENERGY STAR-certified products mean savings on utility bills and decreased greenhouse gas emissions. The residential windows, doors, and skylights acknowledged by ENERGY STAR have undergone technological advances, offering greater energy savings than ever before. This certification recognizes products that can lower household energy bills by up to 13 percent nationwide.

NFRC: The Measure of Window Performance

The National Fenestration Rating Council, or NFRC, takes a different approach. Rather than a broad certification, the NFRC provides specific ratings to assess the performance of windows, doors, and skylights. These ratings inform homeowners about the product’s energy properties, including its ability to insulate (U-Factor) and block heat from the sun (solar heat gain coefficient or SHGC).

The NFRC label gives a detailed snapshot of a window’s performance in several key areas. It’s not about just passing a benchmark but understanding exactly how a particular window will function in different conditions. For instance, in Minneapolis’s varied climate, where both heating and cooling are considerations, knowing the U-Factor and SHGC values can help homeowners choose windows that are appropriate for their specific needs and maximize energy efficiency.

Installing for Efficiency

No matter the certification or the rating, proper installation is key to ensuring that energy-efficient windows, doors, and skylights perform as intended. ENERGY STAR underscores that even the highest-rated products will underperform if not installed correctly. Homeowners should seek out trained professionals experienced with ENERGY STAR and NFRC-rated products, ensuring that such aspects as manufacturer instructions and air sealing are adequately addressed.

Protecting Your Home and Environment

Both ENERGY STAR and the NFRC contribute to protecting the environment and your valuables. With ENERGY STAR-certified windows, you not only reduce energy usage but also protect the interior of your home. These windows often come with special coatings that act as sunscreen, keeping out harmful UV light that can fade fabrics and flooring. 

Incentives and Rebates

An additional perk of opting for certified energy-efficient products is the potential for financial incentives. Whether you’re investing in ENERGY STAR-certified products or those with superior NFRC ratings, there’s a chance you could qualify for local rebates or federal tax credits. It’s an aspect certainly worth investigating as you contemplate upgrades for improved energy performance.

Contact a Trusted Professional Today!

For homeowners in Minneapolis and the surrounding areas, understanding the difference between ENERGY STAR and NFRC ratings is important when making energy-efficient upgrades to your property. Call Krech Exteriors today at (651) 688-6368, or reach us online to schedule an appointment and learn more about our energy-efficient window options.

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