If you are in the market for new windows, you have likely come across the terms NFRC and Energy Star. While both are important factors to consider when purchasing windows, they are not the same thing. This article will take a closer look at both of these programs and help you understand the differences.
Firstly, what is the NFRC? The National Fenestration Rating Council is a non-profit organization that provides ratings and certificates for windows, doors, and skylights. These ratings are based on a variety of factors, including energy efficiency, solar heat gain, and visible transmittance. The NFRC rating is a system that lets consumers compare the performance of different windows.
Now, what is Energy Star? Energy Star is a program run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that sets energy efficiency standards for a wide range of products including windows, doors, and skylights. Energy Star is an internationally recognized symbol for energy efficiency. Products with the Energy Star label meet strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the EPA.
So, what are the differences between the two? While both the NFRC and Energy Star focus on energy efficiency, their methods of evaluation are different. The NFRC measures and rates individual characteristics of the windows, such as U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient. These ratings are then used to determine an overall energy efficiency rating for the window. In contrast, Energy Star sets an overall energy performance standard that a window must meet to be considered energy efficient. Energy Star focuses on the whole window, not just individual factors.
Another difference is that the Energy Star program is run by a government agency, while the NFRC is a non-profit organization. Energy Star’s guidelines are set by the EPA, which is responsible for regulating environmental and health issues in the United States. NFRC’s guidelines are developed by a consensus process that includes manufacturers, researchers, contractors, and other stakeholders.
It is also important to note that Energy Star is a voluntary program for manufacturers. Not all energy-efficient windows have the Energy Star label. However, it is widely recognized and trusted by consumers and builders, and many programs and incentives are based on its standards.
In conclusion, while both the NFRC and Energy Star are important factors to consider when purchasing windows, they are different programs that evaluate window energy performance in different ways. The NFRC rates individual characteristics of the windows, while Energy Star sets an overall energy performance standard that a window must meet. Understanding these differences can help you make an informed decision when selecting new windows for your home or business.