Quality Window & Door Blog

ENERGY STAR Qualified Windows for Replacement Projects in DC, MD & VA

If you’re planning to replace the windows in your Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC home, you probably want to install energy-efficient replacement windows. After all, these will help lower your heating and cooling bills, reduce fading of your carpet and upholstery, and reduce drafts for better home comfort.

The best way to pinpoint an energy-efficient window is to look for the ENERGY STAR logo on the window label. There may even be a map of the US included on the label to show the regions in which the window is ENERGY STAR qualified.

Finding the ENERGY STAR logo is all well and good, but how does a window earn this rating? Here are the performance criteria and product features to look for when shopping for replacement windows in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, DC.

How Is a Window Considered for ENERGY STAR Qualification?

A window must meet these criteria to qualify for consideration:

  • Be manufactured by an ENERGY STAR partner
  • Undergo independent testing, certification, and verification by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC)
  • Perform well enough to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) strict energy efficiency guidelines

Performance Criteria of ENERGY STAR Qualified Windows

Here are the requirements the EPA has established for windows in the North-Central climate zone (which includes Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC):

  • U-factor: This measures how well the window prevents heat from passing through it. Windows must have a U-factor of 0.30 or lower to qualify.
  • Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC): This measures how well the window blocks radiant heat gain when exposed to direct sunlight. Windows must have an SHGC of 0.40 or lower to qualify.

Common Features of ENERGY STAR-Qualified Windows

The ENERGY STAR program doesn’t have feature requirements, but qualified windows often have these characteristics to help them achieve high efficiency ratings:

  • Quality frame material: A variety of materials have proven to be durable, low maintenance, and energy efficient. These include vinyl, fiberglass, wood, aluminum, and others.
  • Multiple panes of glass: Two or three panes are better than one because the air pocket in the middle increases the window’s energy efficiency, impact resistance, and sound insulation.
  • Gas infill: Some double- and triple-pane windows are filled with argon or krypton. These non-toxic gases insulate better than regular air.
  • Low-e coating: This feature reflects infrared light, keeping the heat outside in the summer and inside in the winter. It also reflects UV rays to reduce fading of interior furnishings.
  • Warm edge spacers: These keep glass panes the proper distance apart while providing additional insulation.

Examples of ENERGY STAR Qualified Windows

Quality Window & Door is proud to install ENERGY STAR qualified windows from some of today’s top brands, including:

  • Weather Shield: This window manufacturer is a proud ENERGY STAR partner. Weather Shield offers many products that meet or exceed the requirements for qualification, including windows from the Contemporary CollectionPremium Series, and Inspire Series.
  • Infinity from Marvin: Many of Marvin’s windows are not only ENERGY STAR qualified, but they also qualify for ENERGY STAR’s “Most Efficient” designation. This means the windows meet the most stringent requirements to stand out as the best of the best.

Browse ENERGY STAR Qualified Windows at the Quality Window & Door Showroom

Our job is to help you find the best replacement windows for your needs. Not only are the products we offer beautiful and functional, but energy-efficient as well. Come and see our ENERGY STAR qualified  windows in action by visiting one of our local showrooms in Maryland and Northern Virginia. We have a huge selection of windows on display for you to compare.

Stop by today, or contact Quality Window & Door to request a free window installation consultation.

Timelapse of Bi-Folding Door Installation

Installation from the Quality Window & Door team

Watch a timelapse of our install of this thermally broken aluminum bi-folding door system from Euro-Wall.