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What You Should Know About SHGC Ratings for Windows

When purchasing a new window or skylight for your home, one of the things that you should check is a product’s solar heat-gain coefficient (SHGC) rating. SHGC ratings basically inform you about the energy efficiency of windows and skylights. They help you determine how much solar radiation can pass through a particular window and give you an idea if a window can help maintain a cool temperature in your home or contribute to a warmer interior. That said, the SHGC rating of a window can affect your HVAC system’s performance and energy savings.

Importance of SHGC Ratings

Window products are tested by the National Fenestration Rating Council® (NFRC) in order to determine their SHGC ratings. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) consider SHGC ratings when evaluating the windows’ energy efficiency for product certifications and federal incentive and rebate programs.

Furthermore, SHGC ratings are documented on product labels, enabling consumers to have this information when choosing window products. Typically, these labels also include the windows’ U-factor, visible transmittance, condensation resistance and air leakage characteristics.

Recommended SHGC Ratings for Different Climates

Window companies usually have recommended SHGC ratings for various climates.

  • In colder climates of the North, a window’s U-factor is generally more important to consider than SHGC rating. Nevertheless, if air conditioning is not used, an SHGC rating of 0.30 to 0.60 would be helpful. But if air conditioning is sometimes used, an SHGC rating of less than 0.40 would be ideal.
  • In the mixed climates of the North and Midwest, windows and skylights with an SHGC rating of less than 0.40 are recommended.
  • In the mixed climates of the South and central regions, SHGC rating for windows and skylights should be below 0.30.
  • In southern climates that are cooling-dominated, windows with an SHGC rating of less than 0.27 are best.

Of course, these are just general guidelines. You should still talk to experts regarding the most appropriate SHGC ratings for the windows you are going to install in your home. There may be other variables that should be taken into account, so it’s best to get advice that is specific to your situation.

If you need new patio doors or replacement windows for your home, Madison Door can provide you with a range of options that are suitable to your needs. We’ll make sure to guide you from start to finish, ensuring that you are satisfied with our services. Call us at (973) 822-1693, or fill out our contact form to request a free quote.