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When it comes to shopping for energy efficient windows and doors, most Charlotte homeowners don’t know their “U-Factors” from their elbows. But there are important industry terms that homeowners need to understand in order to select the right products for their needs, according to the experts at JELD-WEN Windows & Doors and The Design Center.

Window and door efficiency is measured in a number of ways, so it’s important to base choices on industry certifications, not a manufacturer’s advertising claims. The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) conducts tests for energy efficiency based on the entire product, not just the glass.

 Efficiency ratings are based on these important factors:

 U-Factor:  This is the amount of heat flowing through a product. The lower the number, the more energy efficient the product is.

  • Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC):  This indicates the ability to block heat generated by sunlight. The greater the blockage, the lower the SHGC.
  • Visible Light Transmission:  This is the percentage of sunlight that penetrates a window or door. A higher number means more light enters through the glass.
  • Low-E Glass:  Low-E, or low emissivity, refers to a transparent metallic coating applied to one surface of insulated glass. In the winter, Low-E reflects some of the interior heat back into the home. During warm weather, Low-E glass reduces the amount of the sun’s heat from entering the home, lowering cooling needs. Manufacturers have improved the energy-saving qualities of Low-E glass, with products such as LoĒ3-366, which offers greater protection from solar heat gain.

The easiest way to identify the most energy efficient products on the market is to look for the ENERGY STAR label on products qualified by the Environmental Protection Agency.

In order to be ENERGY STAR qualified, a company must be NFRC certified. NFRC certification is conducted by a third-party organization that uses industry accepted standards for evaluating and certifying energy performance. 

When it comes to windows and doors, the ENERGY STAR program also takes into account those products most suitable for particular regions and climates. Look for windows and doors with the label that shows they meet ENERGY STAR qualifications suitable for your region. 

Energy Efficient window are currently available through The Design Center, a completely new retail concept in the Ballantyne Area outside of Charlotte offering JELD-WEN windows, doors, garage doors as well as professional installation services all in one showroom.

The Design Center is located in the Ballantyne area at 9484 Old Bailes Road, Fort Mill, SC, 29707. The phone number is 800-276-0411.

Until the turbulent US economy stops spiraling and starts rebounding, every dollar counts. When it comes to putting your money where your home is, I want to share some ideal ways to get started recouping the most on your investments – both today and in the future.
house-as-system
Your home is a system that’s really just as good as the sum of its parts. Not unlike an auto made up of interacting components, a house also needs to be in sync and tuned up for efficiency. Potential areas of concern comprise costly energy bills, uneven temperatures from room-to-room, drafts, moisture, mold, mildew, poor indoor air quality, ice dams, pest infestations, seemingly uncontrollable humidity levels, and even premature deterioration of building materials. These can all result from a breakdown in the relationship between the house systems: the actual building, heating and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, and you, the occupant.
The process-of-elimination approach may wear on your nerves as you try solution after solution, investing more time, money and energy – with undue stress, without resolution.

Properly diagnosing and fixing the root cause requires a house-as-a-system approach based on building science. This is where it pays to call in a certified professional and/or accredited contracting company; these pros are trained to conduct comprehensive, whole-home assessments to find the real problems, then prescribe and prioritize improvements that make the system as a whole function at its best, turning your home into a finely tuned machine. For improved efficiency, an energy assessment is a must to spot a home’s deficiencies.
house-leaks
Getting More for your Money
Most home-performance retrofit projects will pay for themselves over time in reduced energy consumption and lower utility bills. But, remember, to accelerate that return on investment there are numerous incentive programs, including many funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

  • ENERGY STAR is a national flagship initiative from the Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which offers a comprehensive, whole-house approach to improving energy efficiency and comfort at home while helping to protect the environment. BPI is deeply involved in the ongoing development and deployment of this key program.
  • Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Established in 1995, DSIRE is an ongoing project of the NC Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Again, there are some requirements for the work to be performed by BPI-credentialed professionals.
  • The Weatherization Assistance Programs enables low-income families to permanently reduce energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient. During the last 32 years, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program has provided services to more than 6.2 million low-income families. Many weatherization assistance programs use the services of BPI certified professionals. Check to find out if you qualify.

Armed with this newfound knowledge, make it worth your while – and dollars – to do some investigating to make your home truly high performance in all areas.

For more information contact Advanced Renovations at 704-799-3999 or visit their website at www.advancedrenovations.com.  Advanced Renovations is located at 3914 Miriam Drive, Charlotte, NC 28205.

Writing collaborated by Duane Johns (Advanced Renovations, Inc.) and Ginger Sprinkle @ nine dots branding & marketing company @ 704.998.8797

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