Ask Bob – July 2023

Bob Pierce headshot

Bob Pierce answers questions about energy efficiency, consumer products, and cooperative governance. He is Clearwater Power’s Chief Operating Officer and welcomes your questions on our Ask Bob page.

I am shopping for new windows for my home. What should I look for?

Look for windows that are energy efficient—helping you keep heat in when you need it and out when you don’t.

To determine how a window will affect the heating and cooling of your home, look at the National Fenestration Rating Council label. The label lists four ratings that tell you how the window will perform. The 2 ratings related to energy performance are the U-Factor and the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient. These are the most important when comparing energy- efficient products.

U-Factor measures how well a window can keep heat from escaping. The lower the number, the better the window is at keeping heat in, and you’ll spend less money heating your home. Look for a lower number when comparing products.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient measures how well a window can resist unwanted heat gain. This is important as you keep your home cool in summer months. Look for a low number when comparing products. The lower the number, the less heat you will get from the sun and the less you’ll need to spend on cooling your home.

You should also look for available rebates. Most Clearwater Power members spend much more energy on heating than cooling. If you have permanently installed electric heat and your existing windows are either single pane or metal frame, replacing your windows with ones that have a U-Factor of 0.30 or lower may qualify for a rebate from Clearwater Power.

All window rebates require a pre- and post-installation inspection from Clearwater Power. We provide this service for free.

Call (208) 743-1501 before you buy so our member services technician can help you get the maximum rebate available.

World's Best Window Company

What Does Fenestration Mean?

Fenestration refers to the design and disposition of exterior openings of a building such as windows, doors and skylights. Adapted from the Dictionary website.