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Vinyl Window Prices and Efficiency Ratings

Vinyl Window Prices and Efficiency Ratings

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August 5, 2010

If you're shopping for vinyl windows, you really want to know what you're getting for the money. Vinyl window prices vary by several key factors, including the manufacturer, the model, the style, hardware features, and window ratings. Add in special features like gas-filled insulating panes, energy efficiency coatings, and the number of glazes.

You'll find vinyl window prices ranging from $200 to $1,000 or more depending on features, sizes, and models. As you shop, remember that the total price for your vinyl window reflects qualities that may provide strong returns on your investment in terms of increased home value and savings on your energy bills. The most-expensive vinyl window may not be appropriate for your home. But you shouldn't settle on a low-cost window that does little to improve your home. Speak with local window contractors if you need regional advice.

Understanding Vinyl Window Ratings

Whether you evaluate vinyl window prices in home improvement stores, online, or by consulting with window contractors, compare the ratings along with the price sticker. Windows carry performance labels from the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). The NFRC is an independent organization that measures windows against common standards. These include:

  • U-Factors, measuring how the window fares in stopping heat loss from your home. The lower the number, the better the efficiency.
  • Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC), measuring how well your window product blocks penetrating heat from the sun. Again, the lower the SHGC rating, the better the protective quality of the window.

The NFRC ratings can help if you wish to select vinyl windows that qualify for Federal tax credits through the end of 2010. Products with a U-Factor and SHGC rating of .30 or less may qualify for a 30 percent tax credit against the purchase price. That's another reason to include savings and long-term value against the final price of the window.

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