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What is R-Value?

What is R-Value?

If you hear your window replacement contractor mention the term R-value but don't know what he is talking about, you are not alone. This term surfaces frequently in discussions about energy-efficiency. Contractors know all about it, but most homeowners do not. To help you understand what R-value means, here is a primer on it.

In a nutshell, R-value is the energy efficiency of a home. It was originally coined for use in rating the insulation levels of a home, with a higher R-value rating indicating better insulation than one with a lower number. However, when it comes to windows, the R-rating indicates the window’s resistance to heat flow.

A window's R-value is calculated according to each component used in the window’s construction. Each element receives a different R-values, meaning your window pane could have an R-value of 5 while its frame may be assigned an R-value of 4.

Some windows may come with window panes and frames with the same R-values, which is why some manufacturers label these R-5 windows. If different components of the assembly come with different R-values, manufacturers utilize what is called a U-value. The U-value represents the insulation rating of the window assemblage. These ratings have the same function as R-values, with higher U-valued windows being more energy efficient than lower U-valued windows.

Importance of These Ratings to Your Replacement Windows

If your home improvement company tells you that one window has a higher R-value or U-value than another window, they are trying to tell you which window is more energy efficient. When upgrading to energy-efficient windows, you will end up with more savings in the long run because your windows have a higher R-value which helps lower your utility bills. An energy efficient window will help keep warm air or air-conditioned air in your home better than a window that is not rated for energy efficiency.

Always ask your contractor about the R-value of their available windows before getting replacement windows. When your contractor tells you that your window choice has an R-value of 5, ask them if they are talking only about the glass. If they are, ask about the U-value of the window for you to get a better grasp of the energy efficiency of your choice. If they say that the R-value is “full-frame,” then it means the rating is for the entire window.

At All Pro Windows, we specialize in replacement windows and doors and we have a long list of energy efficient windows available that you can choose from. If you are a homeowner in New York & Connecticut, and you're looking for the right energy efficient windows to replace your current windows, contact us today at 844-204-4252 and find out what your options are for a more energy efficient home.