We like to use this blog to educate our customers in Michigan, and others, on their home so that they can make educated decisions and make their home last a lifetime. However, we realize that sometimes we may use some terms that can be confusing to someone who doesn’t work in home improvement. So, to further educate our readers we’re going to break down some confusing home window terminology.

What is U-Factor?

Window Terminology

U-factor measures the rate of heat loss. So, when you’re looking to buy windows, the lower the u-factor the better you’ll be able to keep your home heated. In fact, one of the best ways to measure the effect of windows on building energy is to check the U-factor rating as it explains energy loss for the entire window unit.

What is R-Value?

R-Value measures the resistance to heat loss. In this case, a higher number is better. The R-factor only accounts for the conductivity, so it’s not as effective a measure as U-factor

What Are E-coatings?

E-coatings are metal or metallic oxide layers put on the surface of the panes of glass. They reduce the U-factor by reducing the infrared radiation from a warm pane to a cooler pane.

What Are Argon and Krypton Gas Fills?

Between window panes is an empty space. This space has air currents that carry heat to the top of the unit and create cold pools at the bottom. If you fill the space with a slow-moving gas you can minimize the overall transfer of heat between the inside and outside. The two most popular gas fills are argon and krypton. Both are non-toxic, non-reactive, clear and odorless. Argon is cheaper to produce than Krypton, but Krypton generally gives a higher r-value, and low u-factor. You can use a mixture of Krypton and Argon to save money and improve performance.

What Are Single Pane Windows?

Single pane windows, also known as single glaze windows, only have one pane of glass. Because they don’t have extra layers of glass to insulate themselves, single pane windows are considered to have the least effective energy retention. However, they let more sunlight in and can be good in temperate climates. NULL – double_pane

What Are Double Pane Windows?

Double pane windows, or double glazed windows, have two panes of glass. This gives them extra insulation. However, double pane windows don’t have as high of an r-value as triple pane windows.

What Are Triple Pane Windows?

Triple pane windows have three panes of glass, which gives them six surfaces of windowpane (front and back). Triple Pane windows have two spaces for gas fills which makes for a lower U-factor and higher R-value. We hope that this overview has educated you on home windows terms and that the next you shop for windows you’ll be able to ask informed questions.