There are so many things to consider when you are shopping for new windows. You want energy efficient windows that will let the right amount of light in, without making the house too cold or too hot. Here’s a guide to understanding the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient rating so that your windows make your house feel just right (for more information, contact us!).
What Is Solar Heat Gain Coefficient?
The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient rating is a number you can find on many of the stickers that are stuck to new windows. By reading those stickers and numbers, you can understand just how well that particular window will perform in your home. The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) number tells you about the measurement of solar energy transmitted through the window. Thus, it tells you how well the window does at blocking heat from the sun. The scale used for SHGC is 0 to 1, with common numbers being anywhere between 0.25 and 0.80. Generally, the lower the number the less heat can come in through the window.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient and Climates
Not all climates have the same heating and cooling goals. In the south, you’ll want a window that can keep out as much heat as possible for most of the year. But in the north, you’ll be more interested in letting in heat, especially during the bitter cold winter months. You’ll want to, generally, choose windows with a low SHGC rating if you live in a warm climate. For windows that are west-facing and south-facing, you might consider low SHGC rated windows to help with that hot afternoon sun. For this scenario, you could choose a rating value as low as 0.25.
If your goal is to let in heat to warm your house with solar energy, however, you’ll want to choose a window with a higher SHGC rating. This will remove the solar heat blocking elements so you can enjoy a bask in the warm winter sun and spend less on your heating bill. For the “passive solar” effect, choose an SHGC value between 0.42 and 0.63. For true solar heating, choose the highest value rating you can find.
If you’re ready to install new windows in your home, reach out to Peak Custom Remodeling for a professional consultation!