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Big Market Share
Energy Star windows
made up about 80 percent
of the U.S. market in 2010.
understand all the window technolo-
gies that manufacturers have certiﬁed
and which combinations can achieve
certain performance levels.
While many door and window
companies say they love the little blue
label, the industry’s relationship with
Energy Star hasn’t always been posi-
tive. For example, testing and veriﬁca-
tion have long been issues.
“EPA is working to improve how
they calculate which windows and
doors are available to consumers, and
this should help,” said Ray Garries,
vice president of engineering and
innovation at MI Windows and Doors
and a blogger for DWM. “The NFRC
CPD has millions of products list-
ed, but a large percentage are not
available for consumers to buy. These
unavailable listed options are mostly
glazing combinations that the system
In 2012, the agency launched a test-
ing program for fenestration products
that’s administered by the NFRC. The
goal was to test 10 percent of Energy
Star product lines each year.
However, Doug Anderson, the proj-
ect manager for Energy Star’s win-
dows, doors and skylights program,
told an industry gathering in February
that NFRC is testing just 5 percent of turers found that they could lower the requires, but the manufacturers may
product lines in 2017. And at an earli- U-factor to achieve Energy Star cer- not sell for a variety of reasons.”
er meeting, he noted inconsistencies tiﬁcation by placing additional low-E
within the veriﬁcation program. on the fourth or room-side surface of eﬁcial to manufacturers. By working
We have found issues of concern, a window, they missed an important in the database and selecting combi-
The change could be hugely ben-
and we have found failures,” Anderson —and potentially costly—side effect.
nations that match existing products,
said during a December 2014 stake-
holders meeting in Washington, D.C.
“The fact that it also lowers the window makers could see how they
condensation resistance factor was stack up against the best and worst
Members of the industry said lost on them,” Maynes said. “So, this for that combination. It could also
those problems damage Energy Star’s spring and summer and fall, a whole save the time and expense of testing
lot of windows with fourth-surface different conﬁgurations, and it could
There have been labeling incon- low-E glazing are going to be installed turn up the lowest-cost combinations
sistencies that cause you to question in the Northeast, and next fall, a whole that hit efﬁciency targets.
the program,” said Steve Strawn, the lot of window dealers’, distributors’
product compliance manager at Jeld- and window manufacturers’ phones Speciﬁcation Vexation
Another issue that bothers manu-
Wen, during that meeting.
are going to be ringing off the hook
Maynes points out speciﬁc prob- with people complaining about the facturers is the additional costs that
lems with the current Energy Star incredibly massive amounts of con- arise from changes to the speciﬁcation
Version 6.0 speciﬁcation, which took densation that will be with them all that some feel come too fast.
effect on January 1, 2015 in the U.S. winter long, which will lead to sheet-
“Obviously as the EPA raises the bar
except in the Northern Zone, where rock damage and mold growth. And on performance in order to achieve
the criteria for windows went into what comes shortly after that? Class- the Energy Star rating, it requires man-
effect on January 1, 2016.
What did the EPA do here? They
eschewed responsibility and simply Steps to Improve
pointed to one value (U-factor of 0.27
ufacturers to pour more and more
money into the window to achieve
smaller and smaller improvements,”
To its credit, the EPA is trying to said Maynes. “It’s a business decision:
or better) or two values (a sliding ﬁx problems like this. For example, do we want to inventory speciﬁc pro-
scale of U-factor and solar heat gain in January the agency began work ﬁles, speciﬁc types of glass, speciﬁc
coefﬁcient) from the array of NFRC on a new methodology for analyzing glazing systems, speciﬁc anything, in
testing we all perform, and used those NFRC’s Certiﬁed Product Directory order to address this niche?”
as its pass/fail criteria for whether or (CPD), the massive database of win-
Maynes’ company, Mathews
not the window passed (for the North dows, doors, skylights and other Brothers, is the type of smaller manu-
and North/Central climate zones),” products that have been approved by facturer that might be especially sen-
he said. “In reality, it’s the single cri- the organization. The analysis could sitive to ﬂuctuations in production
terion that the market looks at: the be used in future Energy Star speciﬁ- costs, but even major players in the
U-factor. All we have to do is achieve cation revisions.
industry have expressed concern.
a 0.27 U-factor, and we’re in.”
In a statement, the EPA said it’s
And while many window manufac- proposing the new approach to better
continued on page 36
Door & Window Market