Is It Time To Replace the Windows In Your Santa Cruz Home?

Posted by Lauren Spencer on Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011 at 11:01pm.

If your Santa Cruz home still has old, single-pane windows, the answer is a resounding YES! Otherwise, it depends on the quality of your windows.

Today’s windows are improving all the time, with added features making them tighter than ever.  For added comfort, lower energy costs and a soon-to-expire tax credit, it might be time to upgrade. Before you go window shopping, it will help to know something about the following terms:

 NFRC: This is the National Fenestration Rating Council, which brings you the labels found on all new windows. They test and rate the window’s performance in several important categories.

• U-Factor: This indicates the window’s resistance to heat loss. It is the inverse of the R-Factor used in insulation, so the lower the number, the better.

 SHGC: This is the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient. Most important in hot climates, it tells you how much of the sun’s radiant heat can pass through the window into your Santa Cruz home. It is a number between 0 and 1. In a hot climate, you would want a low SHGC, such as .4, but in a cold climate, you might want a high SHGC (e.g. above .5) in south-facing windows, for solar heat gain in winter.

• AL: This stands for air leakage. Also a number between 0 and 1, it measures how tightly the window is constructed. Specifically, it represents the amount of air, in cubic feet per minute, that can pass through 1 square foot of the window. It’s best to get windows with an AL score below .3.

If you are replacing several windows in an area, make some of them fixed windows that don’t open; they are inherently tighter than those that do, and cost a bit less too. Upgrading the windows in your Santa Cruz home will increase its value, both to you and to future owners.

If you’re looking for a Santa Cruz home with updated windows and more, contact me today at 831.662.6522 or

For additional information please visit my website at


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About Lauren Spencer

Award-Winning Santa Cruz REALTOR®

Lauren Spencer is your local real estate expert, specializing in Santa Cruz real estate and surrounding communities—this is where she lives, works, and plays too. Let her know your questions about the community and county and she'll be happy to fill you in on all you want to know! Lauren Spencer has consistently been voted best local REALTOR in Santa Cruz and is always happy to offer her advice and expertise. Call her at: 800.226.4717.

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