To make it easier for you to compare and select energy-efficient window attachments for your home, the AERC Energy Improvement label is divided in to two sections, “Cool Climate” and “Warm Climate.”
The good news is that any product with a Cool Climate or Warm Climate rating above zero can save you energy compared to not using a window attachment at all.
The “Cool Climate” number—or rating—indicates your potential energy savings when using that particular window attachment when it’s cooler outside, and you may be required to turn up the heat in order to keep your home more comfortable. The closer this number is to the product category “Max” indicated in this section, the more energy the product can help you save. So, if you live in a climate that tends to be cooler throughout the year, this number will be most important to you.
The “Warm Climate” rating indicates your potential energy savings when using that particular product when it’s warmer outside, and you may be required you to down the air conditioning in order to make your home more comfortable. The closer this number is to the product category “Max” indicated in this section, the more energy the product can help you save while keeping your home comfortable. So, if you live in a climate that tends to be warmer throughout the year, this number will be of most importance to you.
If you live in a climate that tends to get both very warm and very cool, it’s important to consider both numbers when purchasing your new window attachment(s).
Reaching the “Max”
Different window attachment products (think: blinds vs. shades vs. shutters vs. storm windows) have the potential to save different amounts of energy. Therefore, every product category has a different “Max Improvement” number, or maximum possible energy rating. In other words, if you live in a cool climate and are looking to buy new storm windows, the Max Improvement number you can expect to see for that product category is 110; if you are shopping for new blinds, on the other hand, the Max Improvement number you can expect to see is 15. Put simply, the closer the product’s energy rating is to the Max Improvement number for its product category, the more energy the product can help you save.
Looking to compare energy improvement across different product categories (i.e. storm windows vs. blinds)? Simply compare the Cool Climate or Warm Climate ratings on each product label, depending on the climate in which you live.
Do you see the words “Not Applicable” anywhere on the label? This is because certain window attachment products are only designed for use in a particular climate or under particular temperature conditions. When you see “Not Applicable for Energy Improvement” on any AERC Energy Improvement label, it means that product is not recommended for energy improvement in that particular climate.