Choosing windows with established industry certifications means you can count on guaranteed performance. Quality windows will save you money and keep your home comfortable year-round.
You’ve likely heard of the government-backed Energy Star certification. The program certifies everything from buildings and industrial plants to appliances, lighting, office equipment, and windows. Energy Star is the first certification you should look for, as it ensures that your windows have passed strict guidelines set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy. Energy Star certified products promise to protect the environment as well as provide superior energy efficiency.
AAMA Gold Label Certification
All States Home Improvement offers products that carry the confidence of a Gold Label certification from the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and Fenestration & Glazing Industry Alliance (FGIA). The Gold Label signifies that the windows have passed rigorous independent testing in an AAMA accredited test lab. The certification also includes two unannounced plant inspections each year, confirming the manufacturer has continually monitored the product production for compliance and quality assurance procedures. Gold labeled windows have met stringent standards for air leakage, water penetration, wind and forced entry resistance, durability, and thermal window performance. As a homeowner, the three standards you are likely most interested in are air leakage, water penetration, and structural strength.
- Air Leakage measures the amount of air that seeps in through gaps in the window. Gold Label minimum is 0.30 cubic feet per minute at wind speeds of 25 mph.
- Water Penetration tests mimic environments with rain and wind. In order to receive Gold Label certification, windows must withstand rain and wind at 33 mph without water leaks.
- Structural Strength tests the amount of wind pressure the window can tolerate without breaking. Windows that hold up against 94 mph wind receive the Gold Label.
To receive the AAMA Gold Label classification, windows must also be tested by the NFRC, as outlined next.
Created by the National Fenestration Council®, the NFRC label is an energy-efficient performance rating for products including doors, skylights, and home windows. While Energy Star certification guarantees energy efficiency, the NFRC label helps consumers compare energy-efficient products by providing a breakdown of key performance features. The four categories of the NFRC label are U-Factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, Visible Transmittance, and Air Leakage. An explanation of each, as well as what to look for in each category, is below.
- U-Factor measures how well a window prevents heat from escaping your home. Ratings range from 0.20–1.20, with lower numbers being the best.
- Solar Heat Gain Coefficient measures how well the window resists heat gain in the summer months. Ratings range from 0–1, with low numbers being optimal.
- Visible Transmittance measures how much natural light the window allows through on a scale from 0 to 1. The higher the number, the more natural light is let in, saving you money in lighting your home.
- Air Leakage measures how much air will enter your home through the window on a scale of 0.1 to 0.3. Lower numbers signify less drafty windows.
- Condensation Resistance is another rating offered by NFRC that is optional for manufacturers to include. It measures how well the window prevents condensation on the glass, and higher numbers are ideal.
Choose All States Home Improvement for Your Window Installation
Interested in upgrading your home’s windows? Check out our window style guide, and then give us a call at (316) 444-1220 to learn more. Fill out our convenient estimate form, or stop by our showroom to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
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