Understand the Efficiency of Vinyl Windows

Vinyl windows can have a huge effect on the energy efficiency of your home. In order to make it through the hot summers in Camarillo, CA in comfort, you need windows that are doing a good job. If you are looking into new vinyl windows, it is important to understand the rating system used for windows. Do your homework in advance so when the windows are sitting in front of you, you will be able to tell which one is the best efficiency choice. Here are some of the ratings you will see on vinyl windows and what they mean.


The U-factor is the rating that tells you how well the window will keep the heat or air conditioned air inside your home. You want to see a low number here because lower numbers indicate a window that is better at insulating the home. The typical numbers range between .20 and 1.20. The lower the number, the better the window.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient

The SHGC measures the window’s ability to block radiant heat that comes into your home from the sun. When you live in Camarillo, CA, heat from the sun can be significant! You also want to see a lower number here. The rating will show anywhere between 0 and 1. The lower the number, the less heat you will feel in your house from the sun.

Air Leakage

Manufacturers sometimes include this optional rating and it is an important number when you see it. This rating lets you know how much energy you lose or gain through the hardware in the window. You want to see a low number here too because it will indicate that less air can pass through those openings.

Visible Transmittance

The VT on the window is the amount of visible light that is transmitted from outside to inside your home through the window. You put windows in your house because you want to see out and because you want natural light to come in. So you want this number to be high. Just because you have a high VT does not mean you will increase your SHGC. Energy efficiency windows often have glazing on them that prevent the heat, but allow the light.

There are many other rating numbers you may want to familiarize yourself with before you look into new vinyl windows in Camarillo, CA for your home. While you are likely on a budget for the project, you won’t want to sacrifice quality. The best idea is to visit with the professionals at Quality Windows and Doors. We have been working with windows in Camarillo, CA for over 30 years and we know what all the ratings mean. Give us a call today at 805-984-5895 and set up a free consultation. We’ll talk about the specific needs your home has and recommend the right vinyl windows to meet your situation. Stop by our showroom to check out examples at 1430 S Oxnard Blvd, Oxnard, California 93030.

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