As a homeowner, you always want to know how to better your home and increase its value. Taking advantage of new technologies and advancements such as Low-E windows are a step in the right direction.
Low-E windows improve energy efficiency, lessen UV damage and reduce condensation. Plus, if you install replacement windows that meet Energy Star requirements, you may be eligible for a tax credit. To know why you need Low-E windows, you must first understand what they are and how they function.
Low-E glass, which stands for low emissivity, isn’t a type of window. It’s an invisible window coating that can easily be put on any window. While invisible to the naked eye, this coating allows as much natural light into your home as possible.
However, because of its transparency, it also protects your home from unwanted UV rays which are dangerous to your body and home. The film doesn’t change the appearance of the windows, but it greatly improves their energy efficiency.
Low-E glass windows are extremely low maintenance. They require no special cleaning or additional window maintenance. Once the Low-E coating is applied, your home reaps the benefits. Your home will be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, providing you a more comfortable lifestyle!
This metallic oxide layer can be applied to a few different areas. If it’s a soft coating, it’ll be on the interior surface of the pane. With the impressive installation and placement of the Low-E glass coating, you don’t have to worry about scratching or scraping the coating when you clean your windows.
The coating is cleverly put inside the glass of double-pane windows, so no cleaner, animal or kid can harm the Low-E.
Redcoats are strong in terms of their reflective capabilities, making them energy efficient, however they can’t hold up under extreme physical conditions so they have to be on the inside.
Blue coats are less efficient but can withstand rain, snow, hail and heavy wind. The most common area it’s applied is in between the two panes. It’s not actually a coating so much as a thin sheet suspended in the middle of the panes; so not only does it act as a reflective low-e window, but also as a form of thermal insulation against drafts and heat loss. This sheet can effectively turn a double-pane into a triple-pane.
When first created, Low-E windows only had one job; to keep in the infrared light. It was originally intended for cold-weather. They were designed to let in as much light as possible and to reflect the solar radiance back into the room when the heat tried to escape out the windowpanes.
If you stand near Low-E windows, you can feel heat coming in through the panes. The Low-E coating reflects sunlight and deflects heat, causing heat to warm the glass and inside the home. This not only reduces condensation buildup on winter days, but it means lower energy bills each month.
When considering energy-efficient windows for your home, look for two key performance indicators – the u-factor and the solar heat gain coefficient. The u-factor indicates a window’s overall insulating value, while the solar heat gain coefficient measures how well a window deflects incoming solar heat. An efficient window should be rated at or below 0.30 in both measurements to get the most energy efficient window.
Low-E coating was developed to minimize the amount of ultraviolet and infrared rays that pass through the glass without compromising the amount of visible light that’s transmitted. Low-E glass includes a microscopic, transparent coating that reflects infrared energy, or heat.
Look for the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) label to determine whether a window includes a Low-E coating. This label is on every energy efficient window and contains its energy rating. Homeowners can test for the Low-E coating in a window by doing the following:
Low-E windows provide a variety of reasons of why they’re worth the investment. Most new homes will provide them as standard now, but if you’re remodeling an older home, these glazes can save money.
Due to efficiency codes, it’s best to have a professional who can install the units and help you pick the right model that works best for each specific area. A professional can provide details on durability, application, location, strength and overall efficacy.
Speaking of professionals, Feldco is Chicago’s number one window company. Our energy efficient windows with Low-E glass are sure to keep your home a comfortable temperature year round. Don’t wait – get a free quote now and join 350,000 happy homeowners.
Glass is one of the most popular and versatile building materials used today. Most of this reasoning is partly due to its constantly improving solar and thermal performance. When thinking of window designs: size, tint and other aesthetic qualities come to mind. However, Low-E coatings play an equally important role and significantly affect the overall performance of a window and the total heating, lighting and cooling costs of a home.