What should I look for when buying windows, doors & skylights?
Every ENERGY STAR window, door and skylight is independently certified and verified to perform at levels that meet or exceed energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. EPA. But how do you know which windows work in your climate? The following tips will help you buy with confidence.
Shopping for new windows, doors, and skylights can be a confusing process. ENERGY STAR makes it simple! Follow these five tips to ensure your windows, doors, and skylights deliver savings and comfort you'll enjoy.
- Determine your ENERGY STAR Climate Zone.
- Find a retailer of ENERGY STAR certified windows, doors, or skylights.
Look for the ENERGY STAR label for your climate zone. All ENERGY STAR certified products must display the ENERGY STAR label. Check the label to make sure the product you are considering is certified to meet the criteria for your area. The ENERGY STAR label appears on the product next to the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) label:
ENERGY STAR Qualified
in Highlighted Regions
Official ENERGY STAR label (and NFRC Label) for a window qualifying in the Northern and North-Central climate zones.
ENERGY STAR Qualified
in All 50 States
Ask for ENERGY STAR when ordering. When you're ordering in a showroom, make sure to ask for a product that is certified to meet the ENERGY STAR criteria for your climate zone. You can choose ENERGY STAR certified windows in a variety of framing materials to suit your needs.
- Get a deal. In addition to the long-term energy savings you'll enjoy, you may be able to take advantage of financial incentives that lower your initial investment:
- Many utilities provide financial incentives for purchasing ENERGY STAR certified windows, doors and skylights. Look for local rebates and other promotions in your area.
- Claim federal tax credits for installing ENERGY STAR certified windows, doors or skylights or making certain other energy efficiency improvements to your home.
- Keep in mind that the cost of complete window replacement can vary. Be sure to get quotes from several installers. Different dealers may quote difference prices for the same product. When interviewing contractors, ask them to break down the price quote by labor and materials. ENERGY STAR certified windows, doors and skylights may cost more than non-certified products, but the labor involved should be comparable for both.
- If your house is older than 1978, be sure to look for contractors who are certified to handle lead paint.
Be sure to look for the ENERGY STAR when shopping for residential windows, doors, and skylights
Current Specification Effective Date: January 1, 2015
- The current criteria were finalized in January 2014.
- New performance levels (PDF, 238.86 KB) are effective as of January 1, 2016 including Northern Zone prescriptive and equivalent energy performance criteria for windows, doors, and skylights in all climate zones.
- Windows, doors and skylights must meet U-Factor and, where applicable, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) requirements based on climate zone. In addition, doors must meet U-Factor and, where applicable, SHGC requirements based on glazing level (amount of glass).
- Windows, doors and skylights originally qualified for the ENERGY STAR label in March, 1998.