Education& Resources helping homeowners and builders make informed choices about Building homes that last

Our ultimate goal is to create a community of builders and homeowners who are dedicated to improving the quality of life in their neighborhoods and communities.

Education& Resources helping homeowners and builders make informed choices about Building homes that last

Our ultimate goal is to create a community of builders and homeowners who are dedicated to improving the quality of life in their neighborhoods and communities.

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Understanding The Data Sheet On Your Window

April 28, 20243 min read

Hey everyone, it's TJ here, back with Steve from Lindsay Windows. Today, we're diving into the nitty-gritty of window data sheets. Ever walked through a home improvement store or browsed through a house and noticed those little stickers on the windows? Those aren't just for decoration—they pack essential information about the window's efficiency and safety. Understanding what those numbers and certifications mean can significantly impact your home's energy usage and comfort. Let’s break down the key elements you’ll find on a window data sheet, including that all-important Energy Star rating.

What's on a Window Data Sheet?


The U-value measures how well a window can keep heat from escaping. The lower the U-value, the better the window is at being energy efficient. This value is crucial for keeping your heating costs down during colder months. If you're in a colder climate, like we are here in the northern zone, you'll want to look for windows with a U-value between 0.22 and 0.25. This range recently expanded with the new Energy Star 7.0 standards, which provide more flexibility in balancing insulation and solar heat gain.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)

SHGC indicates how much heat from the sun your windows will allow into your home. This is particularly important for managing both comfort and energy costs. In colder regions, a higher SHGC can be beneficial as it allows more solar heat to warm the house naturally. However, in hotter climates, a lower SHGC is preferable to reduce cooling needs. The right balance will depend on your specific home environment and how much direct sunlight your windows receive.

Light Transmittance

The light transmittance value tells you how much visible light will pass through the window. Windows with higher light transmittance can brighten up your home more effectively, making them ideal for darker rooms or homes in regions with less natural sunlight.

Energy Star Rating

The Energy Star rating is a quick way to identify if a window meets the minimum energy-efficiency standards for your climatic zone. With recent updates, these criteria have become more stringent, ensuring that windows that bear this mark contribute positively to your home’s energy management. You can find out more about these standards at the official Energy Star website.

Why It Matters

Choosing the right windows is not just about aesthetics; it's about performance. The specifications on a window data-sheet can tell you how well a window will perform in terms of energy savings, comfort, and even UV protection, which is crucial for preventing your furnishings from fading.

For example, opting for windows with the right U-value and SHGC can significantly reduce your energy bills by maintaining a more consistent indoor temperature. This reduces the need for artificial heating and cooling, which not only saves money but also reduces your carbon footprint.

Making the Right Choice

When selecting windows, it's essential to consider both the U-value and SHGC to match your local climate needs and personal comfort preferences. It’s not always about finding the lowest or highest numbers but finding the right balance that fits your specific situation.

For further insights on choosing the right windows for your energy goals and aesthetic preferences, check out our detailed guide on window selection strategies. And remember, the right windows not only save you money but also enhance the comfort and value of your home.

If you have any more questions or need advice on your next window purchase, don't hesitate to reach out to us at Sanctified Homes. As always, raise your standard, and we’ll talk to you soon!

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TJ Vitense

Founder of Sanctified Homes and Construction & the Blessed to Build Foundation, TJ believes in raising the industry standards. With his company Strategic Real Estate Experts, he helped hundreds of families buy and sell homes. And, now manages new home construction as one of Wisconsin's best home builders.

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