If you’re in the market for new windows, you may have heard talk about low-E glass and how desirable it is for replacement windows. But you may not know what low-E glass is, or what makes it so important.
First, the name: low-E is short for “low emissivity.” Low-e glass is formed by applying a microscopically thin, transparent coating on the glass surface that has the ability to reflect heat. When glass absorbs heat, it is convected away via moving air or re-radiated by the surface of the glass, according to the Efficient Windows Collaborative. How well a material radiates energy is called emissivity. Because heat emission is one of the critical aspects of heat transfer when it comes to your windows, reducing emittances can enhance insulation properties. Therefore, low-E glass is a desirable component of any window.
For example, in the case of standard glass, 84% of the heat hitting the glass surface is absorbed, with only 16% being reflected. But low-E glass coatings reflect 96% of heat. Low-E coatings work to minimize the amount of ultraviolet and infrared light that can pass through the glass without limiting the amount of visible light transmitted.
Benefits of low-E glass include:
- Reduction of radiant heat loss through the glass: this is the main goal of low-E glass. Try this simple analogy. A Thermos features a lining that reflects the temperature of whatever drink it holds. Thanks to the constant reflection with that silver lining, the temperature is maintained for many hours at a time. Low-E glass works in much the same way.
- Low-E glass is important for interior comfort within your home. Whenever the interior heat energy attempts to escape to the colder outdoors in winter, that coating reflects the heat back in, thus cutting down on the radiant heat loss through the glass. The reverse is true during the summer. The result? Lower energy bills and better comfort levels all year long.
- In addition, low-E glass can block two times more ultraviolet light than standard windows, helping to reduce fading on carpets, curtains and couches. Also, due to the low-E coating, the temperature of the inner window remains similar to the room temperature, preventing condensation and any resulting mold or mildew growth.
- Low-E glass also reduces the prevalence of cold spots and drafts at windows. There are also environmental benefits to this type of coating as well, as low-E can help reduce CO2 emissions. In turn, when you have a more energy efficient home, you can increase its value if you’re looking to sell in the near future.
- Providing up to three times more insulation than ordinary windows, low-E glass coatings ensure indoor temperatures remain consistent with no need to constantly re-adjust your AC and heat.
The Importance of Natural Light
Natural light is a much sought-after element for many homeowners. Why not put the sun to work for you? It cuts down on daytime energy costs, plus it adds beauty as it streams in through windows and skylights. Plus, points out Home Advisor, your home appears larger and more inviting with plenty of windows to let in light. Not only does natural light maximize electric lighting energy savings while minimizing peak energy demand, it also enhances efficiency, productivity and comfort, according to Architectural Lighting.
However, the more windows you have, the more opportunity for solar gain, heat loss, and UV infiltration. That’s why it’s a good idea to invest in quality replacement windows with low-E glass.
Here at Rescom Exteriors, we offer a variety of beautiful and energy efficient windows available with low-E coatings. Call us today at 508-832-5202 to learn more.