John Swanson, senior editor/associate publisher of Window & Doo
Last week, I asked about the impact of the DOE's R-5 window program. One possible effect the program could have–which no one mentioned specifically, but
which I have wondered about since DOE first announced it–was a possible
shift away from the industry's usual use of U-factors to R-values.
U-factors, as long as NFRC has been around at least, has been the standard way
to rate the thermal performance of windows, doors and skylights.
R-values, a terminology used commonly when talking about walls,
insulation and other building materials, however, do have some fans in
the industry. Apparently, some DOE officials are inclined to the use
of R-values as well.
Now I will confess, I don't understand all the pros and cons of each term. But that won't stop me from asking you. Do you think using R-values is a good idea? That's our poll question of the week.
And, of course, I'd like to hear from you. Email me
and tell me why would such a change be helpful? Or if you don't think
we should change, why would it be harmful? By the way, over the years,
I've heard the two numbers are reciprical, but they are not exactly
reciprical. If you'd like to earn bonus points this week, send me a
simple explanation of R-value vs. U-factor. It would be much
The Talk..., Page 2
"Will the R-5 Window Program Transform the Market?"
Most respondents seem to think it will have impact, but there's less certainty on how influential program may be..read more