Q: I need new windows. What's the first thing that I need to know when it comes to replacement windows and energy efficiency?
A: Replacing windows with energy-efficient ones can help reduce your utility bills, but the benefits go much further. Choosing energy-efficient windows makes your home more comfortable, as their determines how much heat comes in and escapes out through the windows.
Q: How do I know if a window or door is energy efficient?
A: Certification programs such as those administered by the National Generations Rating Council (NFRC) and ENERGY STAR provide ratings -- like U-factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient - measure a product's effectiveness in insulting and blocking heat from the sun, among other things.
U-FACTOR: Measures how well a window keeps heat inside your home. It's a measure of total heat flow through a window or door from room air to outside air. Lower numbers indicate greater insulating capabilities. It's a particularly important measure for climates with colder winters.
SOLAR HEAT GAIN: Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) measures how much radiant heat enters your home. All you really need to remember is: the lower the number, the less heat a window lets in.
VISIBLE TRANSMITTANCE (VT): The amount of visible light transferred through a window. Low-E coatings can reject solar heat gain without reducing visible light to pass through the glass. A high VT is desirable to maximize daylight.
Q: Are tax credits still available for energy-saving window and doors replacement?
A: Congress has extended tax credits through December 31, 2016. To qualify, windows must meet ENERGY STAR requirements and be installed at the taxpayer's primary residence. All replacement windows from Phillips Home Solutions, exceed these requirements and are eligible for the tax credit. The tax credit equals 10% of product cost, excluding installation costs, up to $200 for windows and up to $500 for doors. Homeowners are limited to $500 total energy efficient tax credits, including claims from previous years. For additional details, please visit: www.energystar.gov/taxcredits.