The technology of low-E glass has revolutionized replacement windows over the last 30 years. These energy-efficient glass windows are used to insulate your home against heat and cold, which can trickle into your home and increase energy costs. Low-E coatings have been developed to minimize the amount of ultraviolet and infrared light that can pass through glass without compromising the amount of visible light that is transmitted.
What is Low-E glass?
Low-E glass has a microscopically thin, transparent coating that is much thinner than human hair and reflects long-wave infrared energy (or heat). Some Low-E’s also reflect significant amounts of short-wave solar infrared energy. When the interior heat energy tries to escape to the colder outside during the winter, the Low-E coating reflects the heat back to the inside, reducing the radiant heat loss through the glass.
The reverse happens during the summer. Think of it like a thermos: a thermos has a silver lining, which reflects the temperature of the drink it contains back in. The temperature is maintained because of the constant reflection that occurs, as well as the insulating benefits that the airspace provides between the inner and outer shells of the thermos.
This is similar to an insulating glass unit. Because Low-E glass is composed of extremely thin layers of silver or other low emissivity materials, the same theory applies. The silver Low-E coating reflects the interior temperatures back inside, keeping the room warm or cold.
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Benefits of Low-E Glass Window Upgrade
Unless you’re building a home from the ground up, chances are that you already have windows installed. This can make you feel hesitant to rip out perfectly good windows and replace them with something else. Here’s why you should move forward with our energy-efficient glass windows.
According to the EPA, losing or gaining heat through windows accounts for up to 30% of the energy people spend on heating and cooling their homes. Consequently, the EPA recommends updating and replacing windows so that homes are better insulated against seasonal changes.
Lower Energy Bills
What would your energy bills look like if you spent 30% less on accounting for inefficient windows? According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average household spends $115 per month on energy costs. This amounts to $414 in savings each year.
If you don’t have a smart thermostat for your home, you may spend a lot of time manually finding your comfort level. You can experience much greater comfort and convenience from better insulation with energy-efficient glass windows.
Did you know that the UV rays coming in through your windows damage your belongings over time? This may include rugs, paintings, and furniture. Low-E glass reduces UV-ray penetration, which can prevent the early aging of your belongings.
Types of Low-E Windows
At Best Buy Windows and Siding, you can purchase Low-E windows in any style. These are some of many available at our store:
- Double-Hung: These are commonly used in second-story areas and have operable sashes on the upper and lower ends. Homeowners love this window for the classic look.
- Single-Hung: These share a similar, classic look to double-hung windows, but only the lower sashes are operable. They are commonly used in ground-floor spaces.
- Sliding: Sliding windows complement modern homes. They allow one sliding panel to move behind the other for ventilation.
- Picture: These stationary windows do not provide ventilation. Instead, they open up the indoors to the outdoors with amazing views.
- Casement: These windows look like picture windows, but do allow ventilation via hinges that swing to the left or right.
- Specialty: These windows are designed with superb curb appeal in mind and are often found over the entrance in log-cabin-style homes.
- Argon-Gas Filled: Argon gas-filled windows provide additional insulation by using two or three panes separated by air pockets of argon gas.
- Custom: Need an accent window or just a window that fits into a unique or awkward space? Custom windows come in several shapes and sizes.
Types of Low-E Coatings
There are two main types of low-E coatings for energy-efficient windows. Climate is one of the biggest determining factors for which one will best suit your needs.
- Hard-Coat: This coating reflects the long-wave rays away from the home to keep the house cool during the summer. It then allows short-wave rays to enter the home during the winter, so it can warm the space. This makes it ideal for freezing climates.
- Soft-Coat: This coating provides more total protection from UV rays, and it works more like a thermos by reflecting cool or warm air back into the space. It works best in hot to cold climates and is suitable for most Texan homes.
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