Impact windows and doors are a great way to protect your home from severe weather and burglaries.

These types of windows and doors are designed to withstand the impact of high-speed winds, debris, and other potential hazards, while also providing an added layer of security against intruders. They are also known for their energy efficiency and noise resistance.

There are so many different ratings and certifications associated with impact windows and doors that understanding them all can be confusing.

Let’s explain the various impact ratings and certifications that you should be aware of when shopping for these products.

Government/Institutional Ratings
Miami-Dade County Impact Requirements
The Miami-Dade County building code is considered one of the most stringent in the United States when it comes to impact resistance.

Windows and doors that are approved for use in Miami-Dade County must be able to withstand a range of severe weather conditions, including hurricanes, high winds, and flying debris.

Florida Building Code (FBC) Impact Requirements
Impact windows and doors that are approved for use in the state of Florida must meet the requirements of the Florida Building Code (FBC).

The FBC sets standards for wind-borne debris resistance, air and water infiltration, and structural performance.

American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) Impact Rating
The AAMA rating system is based on tests that are performed on a sample of a manufacturer’s product. The product is then given a rating based on its performance in relation to a set of standards established by the AAMA.

National Accreditation and Management Institute (NAMI) Impact Rating
Similar to the AAMA rating system, the NAMI rating system evaluates windows and doors based on their performance in relation to a set of standards established by the NAMI.

Energy Efficiency Ratings
Energy efficiency ratings for impact doors and windows are a measure of how well the products are able to reduce heat transfer and keep your home comfortable.

These ratings are determined by testing the product’s ability to insulate against heat and cold, and by measuring the amount of solar heat gain that the product allows.

The most common rating system for energy efficiency in windows and doors is the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC).

The NFRC rating system uses several different measures to evaluate the energy efficiency of a product, including:

U-factor
This measure evaluates the rate of heat loss through a window or door. The lower the U-factor, the better the product is at insulating against heat loss.

Solar heat gain coefficient
This measure evaluates the amount of solar radiation that is transmitted through a window or door. The lower the SHGC, the better the product is at blocking solar heat gain.

Visible transmittance (VT)
This measure evaluates the amount of visible light that is transmitted through a window or door. Higher VT values indicate that more natural light is being transmitted through the product.

Air Leakage (AL)
This measure evaluates the amount of air that leaks through the product. Lower values indicate that the product is more airtight, making it more energy efficient.

Water Resistance Ratings
Water resistance ratings for impact doors and windows are a measure of how well the products are able to keep water out of your home in case of heavy rain or flooding.

These ratings are determined by testing the product’s ability to resist water penetration and by measuring the amount of water that can seep through the product under specific pressure.

Both the AAMA and the ASTM give water-resistant ratings according to standards set by their organizations. You may see these on doors and windows you are thinking about purchasing.

Keeping the weather out

Impact windows and doors are an excellent way to safeguard your home against severe weather and intruders.

To get the best protection, It is essential to understand the different ratings and certifications associated with these products to ensure that you are purchasing high-quality and reliable windows and doors.

When shopping for impact windows and doors, be sure to look for certifications from reputable organizations, and consider other important factors such as energy efficiency and UV protection.

Don’t Forget…
It’s highly recommended to seek professional help when you’re in the process of replacing or installing new impact windows and doors.

The installation process is crucial for the security and performance of the windows and doors, and professionals can provide you with the best outcome.

Give us a call today to arrange a free consultation.