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Vinyl Window Reviews and Ratings Can Save You Money

August 12, 2010

Shopping for replacement vinyl windows can make your head spin if you don't know what you're looking at or what makes one vinyl window different from another. Yet, purchasing vinyl windows is a long term investment.  Windows usually last many years and if you choose the right vinyl windows, they can improve your home and may start saving you money as soon as they're installed.

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Vinyl Window Ratings Can Make it Easy to Compare

When you shop for a refrigerator or washing machine you probably compare similar models from various manufacturers and read the reviews on each one you're interested in. Vinyl window reviews can provide the same in-depth look at the various models of vinyl windows from the different manufacturers. Many reviews even provide vinyl window ratings to make your purchase even easier. When you are reading the vinyl window reviews, there are two areas that are rated that are of particular importance to homeowners.

The U-Factor in Vinyl Window Reviews

The U-Factor is a measurement of the heat loss through that particular window model. The U-Factor is very similar to the R Value of your home's insulation and exterior siding. The U-Factor can be affected by window components such as:

  • number of panes of glass
  • gases between the panes
  • glass coatings
  • thickness of glass

The lower the U-Factor number, the better the rating should be in the vinyl window reviews. A U-Factor of 0.30 can contribute to an Energy Star rating, and you can use that figure as a benchmark when shopping.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) in Vinyl Window Reviews

The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) is a measurement of the amount of radiant heat that a particular window model allows through the glass. The SHGC can be an important vinyl window rating if you have windows that receive morning or afternoon sunlight during the hot summer months. Vinyl windows that allow a lot of radiant heat through can drastically affect your cooling costs.

Just like the U-Factor, lower numbers are better, so look for a SHGC rating that is close to 0.30 or even lower. A SHGC rating of .030 is considered excellent and can contribute to an Energy Star rating.

Vinyl window reviews can help you find windows with low U-Factor and SHGC ratings which can lead to a more efficient use of energy in your home and lower heating and cooling costs.


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