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What Do U-values and R-values Really Mean?

Feb 1

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2/1/2014 4:50 PM  RssIcon

If you have been shopping for replacement windows for your home or are considering a more extensive remodeling project, you have likely seen the R-value and U-value advertised, but what are these ratings and what do they mean? Unless you are a contractor or well-versed in construction terminology, these numbers are probably useless to you without explanation.


In the sections below, we’ll explain what both the R-value and U-value are and why they are important when you are shopping for windows.


What is U-Value and Why is it Important?

U-value measures how well building materials conduct heat. It is essentially the inverse of the R-value. The U-value measures the rate at which heat transfers through a building material over a given area under standardized conditions.


Windows themselves are not measured by R-value because they are not insulating materials by design. They do, however, have insulating materials incorporated into them and have insulating properties, so there needs to be a measurement of comparison for energy efficiency between different window styles. This is measured in U-value. A lower U-value indicates a more energy efficient window.


What is R-Value and Why is it Important?

The R-value is a measurement of heat loss characteristics of a building component. For example increasing the thickness or density of an insulating material increases the R-value.


In short, the R-value measures the insulation properties of a given material. Although R-value is not used to assess windows, it is still important when shopping for windows because materials like wood, fiberglass, and vinyl have R-value ratings.


Comparing the R-value of the materials found in the window’s framing can give you a pretty good indication of how well the different types of window frames insulate compared to the others.


Energy Efficient Windows & Doors By Weather Shield

If you are looking to buy energy efficient windows or doors for your home, Weather Shield offers a number of highly efficient products. All Weather Shield windows come with a variety of features that can impact U-value, including multiple panes of insulated glass, warm edge spacers, insulated frames, and more.


To learn more about our energy efficient glass solutions (available on all products), click here.


To learn more about our energy efficient window and door products, download our product catalogs below:

      
Click here to 
view the
Weather Shield™ 
Aspire Series Catalog
Click here to 
view the
Weather Shield™ 
Entry Door 
Catalog
Click here to 
view the
Weather Shield™ 
Signature Series Catalog
Click here to 
view the
Weather Shield™ 
Premium Series Catalog


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