Demystifying Replacement Window Labels


When you go to the grocery store, you try to buy the healthiest items, which means reading the labels. Grocery labels can be confusing enough, but at least you’re used to looking at them and you know what ingredients to avoid. But when you look at Sacramento, CA replacement windows? You have to start all over again. What do you want on a window and what do you want to avoid? Getting new windows isn’t something you’ve likely ever done before. Most homeowners only have to do it once, maybe twice. So, when you start to look over the labels, it can be very overwhelming. Use this guide to take some guesswork out of the process.

The U-Factor

One of the first things you will notice and want to look for is the U-Factor on a window. Ratings will range from 0.20 to 1.20 and the lower the rating is, the better the window is at insulating. In California, this rating is very important and will help your energy bills quite a bit if you choose wisely.

The SHGC or Solar Heat Gain Coefficient

This rating is also important for this sunny area of the country because it will show you how well your windows reduce solar heat from entering your home. You also want a low number here and a rating of 0.25 or less will help you reduce costs when you are cooling your home.

The AL or Air Leakage

No windows are absolutely perfect, and this rating will show you how much heat you might gain or lose based on the cracks in the window assembly or frame. The measurements are in cubic feet per square foot and range from 0.1 to 0.3. The lower numbers will seal things in and out much better, but this rating is not always required to be on the label.

The VT or Visible Transmittance

This won’t help you with efficiency, but it does help you understand how much light will come in through their windows. If you like a lot of natural light, you’ll want a higher number. If you want light to be more muted in a TV room, the lower numbers are good. Ratings range from 0.3 to 0.7 on this reading.


Understanding these numbers can help you out quite a bit, but you should always look for the Energy Star Certification first. Energy Star labeled windows will meet certain standards in your area of the country. You can trust that they are quality windows.

When you are ready to read through the labels, you don’t have to go through it alone. Contact the professionals at California Craftsman by calling (530) 887-1857 and we’ll help you weed through the labels bit by bit. We understand the ratings thoroughly and it’s okay if you forget what VT is or AL might mean. We’re here to fill in the details on any Sacramento, CA replacement windowsthat interest you. Stop by and ask questions right here in our showroom at 4035 Grass Valley Hwy Ste G Auburn, CA 95602.