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Double-Pane WindowsIf you’re researching new double-pane windows for your home, you are likely to become very familiar with industry terms related to energy conservation. Terms such as “U-Factor,” “R-Value,” and “solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC)” might make your eyes glaze over in some other context, but as a homeowner who wants to do everything possible to control utility costs, you will absolutely want to know what these terms mean – and how they affect your monthly heating or cooling bills.

You should start with the basics: double-pane windows from Soft-Lite incorporate two panes of glass, or “lites,” with one low-emissivity (Low-E) coating and feature either our metal PPG Intercept® spacer or our structural foam Super Spacer®. The space between the lites is filled with insulating argon or krypton gas. Our extremely precise manufacturing process ensures a perfect fit every time with our vinyl windows, regardless of make, model, or shape.

Now, what about the energy-efficient properties of our double-pane windows? They all achieve low U-Factor and SGHC ratings, and one of the highest R-Values in the industry. In fact, our standards for these measurements of energy efficiency routinely exceed government standards for such distinctions as ENERGY STAR® labeling. But what do they mean? Here is a brief overview of these three important energy efficiency measurements:

  • U-Factor – the measure of non-solar heat transfer, or heat that escapes through the window during the winter. The lower the U-Factor, or U-Value, the better the window performs.
  • SHGC – the measure of the amount of heat that enters the building through the glass during the warm months. In the North it is preferable to have a higher SHGC so passive light can come through; and in the South, the lower SHGC is more desirable.
  • R-Value – the measure of the window’s insulating ability. The higher the R-Value, the better the window performs.

Depending on the operating style and glass package you choose, Soft-Lite offers double-pane windows with a U-Factor as low as 0.17, a SHGC as low as 0.20, and an R-Value as high as 6.66. Of course, our triple-pane windows provide even better energy-performance ratings.

Soft-Lite has been a leading innovator in energy-efficient windows since 1934. To learn more about our double-pane windows, or for an estimate on replacement windows for your home, contact a Soft-Lite dealernear you. Don’t forget to ask about our limited lifetime warranty.

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