Energy Star windows and doors will need to meet a tougher criteria effective October 23, 2023. We’ll explain the details right here.
The requirements have gotten tougher to meet, especially in the North and North Central zones.
What are the new requirements for Energy Star windows?
Here you can see the old requirements for Energy Star windows compared to the new requirements.
For any window to be Energy Star certified it will need to have a U-Factor and a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient at or below the numbers listed.
The requirements are more stringent in all climate zones with the Northern and North Central numbers being harder for many companies to achieve with double pane glass. Most companies can reach these ratings with triple pane glass, but that will increase the cost of your project.
Is there a tax credit for Energy Star windows?
Not anymore. There is a new federal tax credit for windows, but the requirements have changed. In the past windows needed to be Energy Star certified to qualify, but now they need to meet the Energy Star Most Efficient criterial which is different.
That can be a little confusing and you can find more info on tax credits for energy efficiency windows here.
Are the Energy Star requirements the same for windows and for doors?
Yes. The requirements are the same, but the tax credit requirements are a little different. The short story is that the regular Energy Star levels do qualify doors for tax credits, but windows need to meet the more stringent “most efficient” criteria.
Refer to recent post about the federal tax credit for replacement windows for more info. It is a little tricky, but it’s a government program so what do you expect?
Does it matter if my new windows are Energy Star rated?
Not really. It can be a helpful benchmark to determine how efficient your new windows will be, but in reality a difference in U-Factor of 0.01 can make or break an Energy Star rating but doesn’t really make any difference in overall performance of your new windows.
A larger difference in efficiency ratings can make a real difference in the performance so it’s important to understand window efficiency ratings. This will help you compare one option to another. Window salesmen will often make all sorts of claims that aren’t based in reality so understanding the real ratings will go a long way to helping you make the right decision.
If you’re looking for a great window company in your area you can find our recommendations for local companies all over the country here.