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Residential Windows, Doors and Skylights

Current Specification Effective Date: January 1, 2015

  • The current criteria were finalized in January 2014.
  • New performance levels (PDF, 238.86 KB) are effective as of January 1, 2016 for windows, doors, and skylights in all climate zones.
  • Windows, doors and skylights must meet U-Factor and, where applicable, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) requirements based on climate zone. In addition, doors must meet U-Factor and, where applicable, SHGC requirements based on glazing level (amount of glass).
  • Windows, doors and skylights originally qualified for the ENERGY STAR label in March, 1998.

What should I look for when buying windows, doors skylights?

Every ENERGY STAR window, door and skylight is independently certified and verified to perform at levels that meet or exceed energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. EPA. But how do you know which windows work in your climate? The following tips will help you buy with confidence.

Purchasing Tips

Shopping for new windows, doors, and skylights can be a confusing process. ENERGY STAR makes it simple! Follow these five tips to ensure your windows, doors, and skylights deliver savings and comfort you’ll enjoy.

Look for the ENERGY STAR label for your climate zone. All ENERGY STAR certified products must display the ENERGY STAR label. Check the label to make sure the product you are considering is certified to meet the criteria for your area. The ENERGY STAR label appears on the product next to the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) label:

ENERGY STAR Qualified
in Highlighted Regions

Official ENERGY STAR label (and NFRC Label) for a window qualifying in the Northern and North-Central climate zones.

ENERGY STAR Qualified
in All 50 States

Ask for ENERGY STAR when ordering. When you’re ordering in a showroom, make sure to ask for a product that is certified to meet the ENERGY STAR criteria for your climate zone. You can choose ENERGY STAR certified windows in a variety of framing materials to suit your needs.

  • Get a deal. In addition to the long-term energy savings you’ll enjoy, you may be able to take advantage of financial incentives that lower your initial investment:
    • Many utilities provide financial incentives for purchasing ENERGY STAR certified windows, doors and skylights. Look for local rebates and other promotions in your area .
    • Claim federal tax credits for installing ENERGY STAR certified windows, doors or skylights or making certain other energy efficiency improvements to your home.
    • Keep in mind that the cost of complete window replacement can vary. Be sure to get quotes from several installers. Different dealers may quote difference prices for the same product. When interviewing contractors, ask them to break down the price quote by labor and materials. ENERGY STAR certified windows, doors and skylights may cost more than non-certified products, but the labor involved should be comparable for both.
    • If your house is older than 1978, be sure to look for contractors who are certified to handle lead paint .

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    Basement Flood Protection

    You�ve already spent thousands of dollars and countless hours converting your concrete dungeon into a comfortable living space.

    The last thing you need is a tidal pool of sewage infiltrating your new home office or wet bar.

    A simple flash flood or a cresting creek can easily transform your new carpeting into a massive, moldy sponge.

    Your finished basement isn�t finished without an emergency plan. You need layers of protection.

    Layer One: Emergency Power
    Forget the kegerator or LED television. Your sump pump is the most important appliance in your basement. Without it, your basement is as safe as the Titanic in an iceberg field.

    A simple 30-minute thunderstorm can quickly destroy weekends worth of sweat equity � unless your sump pump has backup power.

    Emergency power comes in three forms:

    1. Battery backup sump pumps automatically keep your sump pump running for a few hours during a power outage. Plus, they include a backup sump pump in case your original one malfunctions.

    2. Portable generators can power your sump pump for days if necessary. In addition, a 5,000 watt generator can get your refrigerator, furnace fan and other mission critical appliances running.

    3. Standby generators give you the best of both worlds — automatic AND long-term protection. Yes, they cost more. But, they also automatically energize the majority of your house, not just one appliance.

    Layer Two: Warning Systems
    You�re the captain of your own ship. You need good instruments to ensure that your vessel is staying afloat. Even with emergency power, it can�t hurt to be alerted if your ship is sinking.

    Sump Pumps Direct carries a complete line of home monitoring devices. ranging from simple sump pump alarms to sophisticated systems that automatically call your cell phone if your basement is flooding.

    Layer Three: Flood Insurance

    Yes, we sell generators. So why are we promoting flood insurance. Simple. Many of our customers purchase backup power supplies AFTER their basements tank.

    We�ve heard plenty of horror stories, including the insurance disasters following Hurricane Irene. Homeowner�s insurance will protect you from wind damage, but not flood damage.

    You�ll need a separate flood insurance policy to protect your basement.