What is R-Value and How Does It Affect Your Windows?

When it comes to replacing your windows, knowing how well the window performs can provide a variety of benefits. For example, high performance windows can save you money over time, increase the appearance of your home, and prevent you from spending money on future damages as a result of poor quality windows. R-Value is a big indicator in determining which window line you should purchase when replacing your windows. We will go over what R-value is and how you can use it to your advantage when purchasing replacement windows.

What Is R-Value?

R-Value doesn’t solely refer to windows, however it is a very commonly used term to determine the performance and quality of a window. R- Value refers to the thermal resistance “per unit area”. It refers to how well an object resists conduction and how well a material is able to keep heat from passing through it. In simpler terms pertaining to windows, R-value is how well the windows are able to keep heat out. This is an important aspect to factor in when purchasing new windows.

How Is R-Value Measured?

R-value is measured on a numerical scale with the unit of measurement being “R”. Windows are usually anywhere from R-1 (note that some windows are below R-1 such as traditional single pane) and in some instances have been recorded all the way to R-10. It should also be noted that R-10 is the near equivalent to the insulation abilities of a wall. Most windows find themselves between R-1 and R-3. Windows that find themselves in this range are usually double pane windows insulated with Argon that don’t use any sophisticated technology to battle conduction. That being said, windows that are insulated with Krypton, which is almost twice as dense are Argon, as well as use heat mirroring technology can find themselves with an R-value of R-5 or greater. Windows with an R-value as high as R-5 do a great job at preventing heat from entering the home through the glass, which keeps the temperature in the home less influenced by the temperature outside.

Why Does R-Value Matter?

R-Value is an important metric to take into consideration when purchasing your replacement windows. There are a few reasons why you want to take a close look at this number. The main reason is because the better your windows insulate your home, the less heat is going to enter. When heat is entering your home through the windows it is making the temperature inside the home increase. This means that your air conditioner is going to have to run longer, using more energy. As one could imagine, this is going to cause your energy bill to increase during the warmer months of the year. Windows with a high R-value require the home to use less energy because it is better insulated. R-value can also be attributed to sound, meaning the greater the window is at insulating against heat, the better it is able to block out noise. Depending on the location of your home, blocking out the sounds of traffic can make a big difference in your level of comfort inside the home. Overall, spending a couple extra dollars on windows that have a strong performance rating will not only pay for itself in the long run, but also make your time spent inside the home more enjoyable.

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