Measuring Performance: National Fenestration Rating Council

What is the NFRC?

The National Fenestration Rating Councilexit disclaimer (NFRC) is a nonprofit, public/private organization created by the window, door, and skylight industry. It is composed of manufacturers, suppliers, code officials, researchers, and government agencies. The NFRC has developed a fenestration energy rating system based on certified whole product performance.

All major standards and programs for window energy efficiency — including building energy codes, tax credits and utility incentives, ENERGY STAR, and others — base their criteria on certified ratings by the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC). To ensure that their products are recognized, manufacturers must therefore participate in the NFRC certification and labeling program.

The NFRC Label

The NFRC label provides the only reliable way to determine the window energy properties and to compare products. The NFRC label appears on all products certified to the NFRC standards and on all window, door, and skylight products which are part of the ENERGY STAR program. At this time, NFRC labels on window units give ratings for U-factor, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC), Visible Light Transmittance (VT), and optionally Air Leakage (AL) and Condensation Resistance (CR) ratings.

Starting the Certification Process
In order to get the NFRC certification process started, contact NFRC and order a Product Certification Program (PCP) Package. This package will contain information on how to follow these further steps:

  • Select an NFRC licensed Independent Agency to verify the simulation and testing process
  • Have your products simulated by an accredited simulation lab
  • Have your product tested by an accredited thermal testing lab
  • Sign the NFRC License Agreement
  • Label the product with the NFRC label

Detailed information about the certification process and the associated fees is available on the NFRC web site. Note that manufacturers with annual sales of less than $2 million qualify for a small business discount that substantially decreases program costs.