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When selecting windows for your home, it is important to consider how different glazing options will affect both the energy performance and thermal comfort of your home. A window’s ability to block or admit incoming solar energy is measured by its solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). Solar gain from windows can be to the benefit or detriment of a home’s comfort depending on factors such as climate, window orientation, and the amount of window shade/ cover. In colder climates, high solar gain can be beneficial and reduce the heating load for your home, whereas in a warm climate, high solar gain can cause overheating.

Overheating caused by solar gain from windows can lead to decreased comfort and an increased energy demand on your cooling systems. To avoid this problem, windows facing south, west and east, susceptible to high solar heat gain may benefit from low-SHGC windows. Windows facing north or that have significant shade/ cover, and have minimal sun exposure may benefit from high-SHGC windows.

Talk to your window installer to help choose the best windows for the comfort of your home.

Did you see a building science or energy efficiency term you did not understand? Check out our glossary.