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What Is Low-E Glass?

4/2/2016 1:10:39 PM

If you’re tired of dealing with the leaky, hard-to-open windows in your home, it’s time to consider replacements. Depending on which new windows you choose, you could end up benefiting tremendously from the upgrade.

One option is to install low-E glass. Windows with this coating cost a little more upfront, but the benefits are well worth it.

How Does Low-E Glass Work?

Many people assume the heat and light from the sun are one and the same, but low-emissivity glass proves this notion wrong. The heat that passes through your window is caused by ultraviolet light, and a window’s a U-factor measures how much of this heat passes through it.

Low-E glass is treated with a super thin metallic oxide coating you can’t even see. This coating reflects UV light to the outside while still allowing visible light to enter. This gives the glass a lower U-factor, indicating that it’s good at reducing interior heat gain in the summer without blocking natural light. In the winter, low-E glass works in reverse to reduce the amount of heat lost from inside your home.

Types of Low-E Glass

Depending on what climate you live in and the orientation of your home, you may choose high, medium or low solar heat gain to best suit your heating and cooling needs. The way the coating is applied also makes a difference.

In warm climates, the low-E coating should be applied to the exterior of the window pane to emphasize keeping the sun’s heat out. In cold climates, the low-E coating provides greater benefit when applied to the interior of the pane to focus on trapping heat inside your home.

Low-E glass can also either undergo a hard or soft coat. A hard coat is comprised of tin and is applied directly to the glass while in its molten state. This coating is durable and hard to scratch off. A soft coat usually involves applying silver to the glass while in a vacuum. This produces a more delicate coating that must be sandwiched with a second piece of glass. Argon gas between the panes helps to insulate the glass and prevent the silver coating from oxidizing.

Benefits of Low-E Glass

With a little extra investment in low-E glass, you can enjoy these benefits:
  • Reduced energy consumption: Whether your goal is to keep your home warmer or cooler, low-E glass can help, reducing strain on your heating and cooling equipment and lowering your utility bills.
  • Decreased textile fading: By filtering out harmful UV rays, low-E windows help prevent the color in your furniture, carpet, wallpaper and window treatments from fading.
  • Increased home comfort: If your home has a south-facing room with large windows, you know how uncomfortably hot it can get there. Low-E glass helps to even out the temperature in your home for better comfort in every room.
To learn more about low-E glass window products from Weather Shield, feel free to contact us directly or find a Weather Shield dealer near you.

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