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What's the Difference Between R-Value & U-Value? November 29, 2019

Downtown Dayton, Dayton
What's the Difference Between R-Value & U-Value?, Dayton, Ohio

Your vinyl windows play a substantial role in heat loss within your home. For example, when windows lack the proper insulation, your home suffers from the intrusion of cold air. Not only does this diminish comfort, but it can also cause energy bills to rise. When buying new windows, understanding R-value and U-value is crucial, since these numbers indicate just how well a window stands up to heat loss. Below, learn the difference between these two models and how each can benefit your home. 

What Is R-Value?

R-value is a measure of heat resistance. It’s often associated with wall insulation, and the higher the R-value, the better the resistance to heat loss. R-value is associated with specific materials, and each material will receive its own R-value. These values will then be added up to give you an idea of how energy efficient the insulation is. 

What Is U-Value?

vinyl windowsU-value is a measure of heat loss or gain. In this case, the lower the number, the more energy-efficient the windows will be. U-value is expressed in decimals, while R-value is expressed in whole numbers. You can calculate a material’s U-value by dividing 1 by its R-value. For example, an R-value of 5 would work out to a U-value of 0.2, which is what you get when dividing 1 by 5. 

What Should I Look for When Buying New Vinyl Windows?

Windows are often rated using U-values, so look for those with the lowest number for the best results. Make sure the U-value refers to the entire window unit and not just the glass itself. Air can also escape from other window components, including the frame. 

In colder weather, gas-filled windows work best to prevent heat loss. Certain types of gases, such as argon, are denser than air, which improves the insulating properties of the window. When combined with low-emissivity coating, gas-filled windows are quite effective at keeping cold air from making its way into your home. 


Whether you're looking for vinyl windows for your new home construction or are looking to replace an existing set, you want to be sure that they’re as energy-efficient as possible. The team at Buckeye Home Services in Dayton, OH, can help due to their expansive selection of high-quality, energy-efficient windows. Choose from numerous styles from top-rated manufacturers. They will also help you coordinate window color and hardware. Take a look at their window selection online or call (937) 586-6600 to get started on your free estimate. 

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