Beginners Guide: Low-E Windows

Low-E Windows, A Beginners Guide

Improving your home’s energy efficiency is always a valuable project to invest in. When considering new windows or replacing your old ones, it may be the perfect time to consider switching to low-e glass. Odds are, at some point you’ve heard of this type of glass but we’re here to get you all caught up on the benefits of low-e glass, and why you should invest in it.

Related Post: Dont Try Window Replacement Without a Professional

What is Low-E Glass?

Low-e stand for low emissivity, and simply put is a coating of microscopic layers of metallic oxides. These coatings are unseen by the naked eye and let in as much natural light as possible. The major difference between low-e glass windows and regular windowpanes is that these coatings also protect your home from UV rays, which can fade your furniture and damage your carpets.

Another benefit of low-e windows is they aid in regulating radiant heat as it enters and exits a room. By reflecting parts of the suns light spectrum, you can keep your home warmer in the winter, and cooler in the summer by filtering which light you want inside your home. Low-e windows are a great investment for your home and will save on utility bills!

See Also: What is Low-E Glass

Where is Low-E Coating Applied?

 This metallic oxide layer can be applied to a few areas. If it’s a soft coating, it’ll be on the inner surface of the pane. Soft coats are actually very capable in terms of their reflective capabilities, making them very energy efficient, however they can’t hold up under extreme physical conditions so they have to be on the inside. Hard coats are less efficient but can withstand the elements, and therefore are commonly layered on the outside surface of storm windows.

However, the most common application area is in between the two panels of a double-pane window. It’s actually a thin sheet suspended in the middle of the panes; so it not only acts as a reflective low-e window but also as a form of thermal insulation against drafts and heat loss. In other words, this sheet can effectively turn a double-pane into a triple-pane, and this insulation can be further supplemented with the addition of inert argon gas for even more R-value.

How Do Low-E Windows Keep My Home Cool?

Low-e glass windows not only keep the heat in during December, they can also reflect it back out during July. Spectrally selective glazings are now being made for these warmer regions; they literally pick out and refuse entry to certain portions of the light spectrum. They therefore allow less infrared light (radiant heat) to enter a home, keeping it cooler during those summer months and helping to decrease AC costs.

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