Pennsylvania Replacement Window Tips

When you’re in the market for energy efficient windows in Pennsylvania, there’s some useful information that can help you make a decision. As a homeowner its important to understand that a windows that’s considered energy efficient for a southern regional state will not perform the same way for a northern regional state because of their climate differences.

Most of the state of Pennsylvania has a northern regional climate, with the acception of the far south east of the state. The far southeast has a north central climate.

These regional zones are defined and categorized by Energy Star to help produce energy efficient products that are optimal for the climate found in them. Ratings for Energy Star windows are based on the NFRC standard. To simplify what this standard is, it is a rating standard covering 5 factors U-Factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, Air Leakage, Visible Transmittance, and Condensation Resistance.

Every Energy Star window comes with an NFRC label showing how that window performs. We’re briefly going to cover how to read and understand the label so when you’re window shopping, you’ll know what product you should be buying.

A common mistake homeowners make is thinking that all windows is pretty much the same, or that the Energy Star sticker means the product is energy efficient. That’s simply not true, and below we’ll help you understand why.

Energy Star Pennsylvania

Northern Region (Blue)

U-Factor SHGC Air Leakage
Windows: U ≤ 0.30
Windows: U = 0.31
Windows: U = 0.32
Skylights: U ≤ 0.55
No requirement
Windows: SHGC ≥ 0.35
Windows: SHGC ≥ 0.40
Windows: AL ≤ 0.30
Skylights: AL ≤  0.30

North Central Region (Yellow)

U-Factor SHGC Air Leakage
Windows: U ≤ 0.30
Skylights: U ≤ 0.53
Windows: SHGC ≤ 0.40
Skylights: SHGC ≤ 0.35
Windows: AL ≤ 0.30
Skylights: AL ≤  0.30

NFRC Rating Lable Example for Illinois

In these two examples, we have NFRC labels from two windows showing their ratings. In the first example you will see numbers for a window that is best for the Northern Region Climate Zone. And most homeowners in Pennsylvania will need windows for this climate area. As you can see, the label has a U-factor of 0.30, a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of 0.35, and an Air Leakage of 0.2. According to the label above, you can see that the window has the recommended ratings for the Northern Region.

In the second example, the window has a U-factor of 0.27, a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of 0.40, and an Air Leakage rating of ≤ 0.30. Looking at the North-Central table above, you can see that these rating numbers will work for that region. If you live in North-Central part of Pennsylvania, you want your windows to have similar numbers for maximum energy efficiency.