What Makes a Window “High Performance”?

By: Architectural Visions

If you are adding new windows to a home or replacing current windows, it makes a lot of sense to choose the best quality products that will last a long time. But only some windows are considered to be “high performance,” which is a designation that’s worth learning more about as a homeowner.

Here is an explanation of what high performance windows are and the various factors to consider when choosing them for the rooms of your house.


How Windows Perform Highly

High-performance windows may also be referred to as advanced window technology, high-efficiency windows, or enhanced comfort windows. Compared to traditional windows, high performance windows are designed to make you more comfortable in your home and conserve energy. These windows excel in the categories of energy efficiency, noise reduction, and durability. High performance windows also help minimize the effects of the sun and keep you cool inside on even the sunniest of days.

When you choose high performance windows for your home, you can feel confident that you’re getting the best of the best with your upgrade.


Standards of High Performance Windows

In order for a window to be classified as high performance, it must meet or exceed certain criteria for excellence. To evaluate a window’s performance, you can refer to the federal government’s that rates windows for their energy efficiency. Almost all Marvin windows meet or exceed Energy Star standards because they have passed rigorous performance tests that are conducted by third-party reviewers. According to the U.S. Department of Energy,

If you’re looking for high performance windows, also look for a label on the product. This is an independent organization that tests and rates windows to give you a better idea of how a window will perform after it is installed in your home. Many of the windows that we sell at AVI Windows & Doors have NFRC labels, which we can tell you more about and explain the ratings when you visit one of our locations.

Meanwhile, U-factor is a measurement of how much heat energy is gained or lost. This is another standard for high performance windows to consider. A low U-factor is better than a high U-factor for saving energy. Also, SHGC (Solar Heat Gain Coefficient) is a measurement of how much solar radiation comes in through your windows. A lower value SHGC is desirable for windows to keep more of the sun’s energy out of your house and lower your summertime cooling costs.

If you are interested in buying high performance windows, it’s a good idea to buy them from a company that specializes in this type of product to ensure that you get what you’re paying for. AVI Windows & Doors is an EPA Lead-Safe Certified firm, our Atlanta location has earned EarthCraft Light Commercial certification, and our experts are trained in environmentally sensitive practices too.


Benefits of High Performance Windows

There are many reasons why homeowners choose to have high performance windows installed in their homes. Here are some of the top benefits of high performance windows and why you might want to consider them for your next project.

  • An eco-friendly choice with high energy efficiency
  • Save money on your monthly energy bills
  • Quality products that will last for decades
  • Tight seals to reduce air leakage
  • Feel more comfortable on hot and cold days
  • Beautiful, timeless design that you’ll love for a long time
  • Peace of mind that you are getting the very best windows for your home


Styles of High Performance Windows

Something else to know about high performance windows is that the style of window you choose impacts its level of performance. Due to their construction and functionality, some styles of windows are simply more efficient and durable than others.

For example, Marvin’s Ultimate Casement Windows have very high efficiency and are considered high performance because they have multipoint locks that seal very tightly to keep inside air in and outside air out. This is important on hot and sunny days when you’re trying to keep your home cool and also on cold winter days when you have your heater running indoors.

Other styles of windows that are generally very energy efficient are picture windows and special shape windows. As long as these windows are properly sealed, these windows are great options because they don’t typically open up and therefore don’t allow air drafts to flow in. Many double hung windows that we offer at AVI Windows & Doors are energy efficient too because of their advanced design improvements and excellent craftsmanship.


Materials Used for High Performance Windows

The types of materials used to create a window affects how high performance it is as well. If you want great performance, consider tri-pane windows with krypton gas between the layers of glass for awesome energy efficiency. Krypton helps control temperature extremes, while three layers of glass saves more energy than just two layers of glass.

Marvin is a great brand name to know for high performance windows because of the insulating glass these windows have with their multiple panes. Additionally, Marvin window frames are made with advanced materials to reduce air leakage and increase efficiency for many years. Wood is a great insulating material and a classic choice for windows. Aluminum cladding can be added to windows to add extra weather durability.

Another important material used in high performance window is a low-emissivity (Low-E) glass coating that reflects sunlight. This is a great feature to have if you want to prevent your flooring, furniture, and curtains from fading over time due to sunlight coming in the windows.


What to Look for in a High Performance Window

There are various things that make a window high performance, so if you are paying extra for that designation, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting as many high performance features as possible. As you shop for the perfect windows for your house, here are some features to look for in the product offerings.

  • Reputable brand that is known for making high performance windows
  • Energy Star rated for high efficiency
  • Thermally broken framing
  • High quality finishing
  • Durable weather-stripping
  • High quality hardware for window operation
  • Low-E glass coating for sun-fading protection
  • Window style that coordinates with your other home décor
  • Great customer reviews from other homeowners


Aesthetics of High Performing Windows

Fortunately, you don’t have to sacrifice aesthetics for the sake of function for modern windows. High performance windows can be just as stylish and beautiful as standard, traditional windows – or even more so!

For example, Marvin has over 150,000 options to choose from that are Energy Star rated, which means that you don’t have to limit yourself to windows that are purely functional. These windows are also custom made-to-order, so you can pick from a wide variety of combinations and styling details with the high performance windows you select when shopping at AVI.


Installing High Performance Windows

High performance windows should be professionally installed to maximize their effectiveness and allow you to get maximum benefits from your windows.

AVI Windows & Doors is a full-service window supplier that offers professional installation for your high-quality windows. This service helps you make the most of your new window purchase and feel confident that you’re getting all of the best benefits from your selection. Our window installers work throughout Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee to make homes look their very best in the Southeast. Our experienced installers know all of our high performance window products well, so we save you time, money, and headaches with each project we take on. You’ll also have peace of mind that the job was done right because we offer a 10-year installation warranty on all our work, which is in addition to the 10-year Marvin warranty that covers manufacturer defects, workmanship, and window materials.


Shop for High Performance Windows Near You

As you can see, there are many great reasons to choose high performance windows for your home. We love high performance windows and can introduce you to the very finest ones from all the best industry brands.

Our architecturally designed showrooms let you see these windows in real-life settings so you can bring your new construction or renovation plans to fruition. We have many years of experience working with high performance windows and can offer expert guidance and advice every step of the way during the purchase and installation process.

To schedule your free consultation or to learn more about high performance windows from our team of experts, please fill out our online form or call us at 678-297-1111 in Georgia and North Carolina or at 615-712-6498 in Tennessee.