View of Fountain in Front Yard of House

Green Building Materials: Low-E Windows

Rancho Santa Fe ca architects

Glass is one of the most widely used and versatile materials that builders use today. But regular clear glass absorbs an incredible amount of energy and is not energy-efficient. Some of the most efficient windows are treated with what is known as Low-E or Low-emissive. This cutting-edge coating creates a surface that reflects heat while simultaneously allowing light to pass through. Windows treated with Low-E coatings reduce energy consumption and reduce fading in fabrics by almost 75%! Low-E windows are the wave of the future and will soon become the standard that all builders use. Here is an overview of how Low-E windows work:

The “Low Down” on Low-E Windows

The transparent coating on Low-E windows is incredibly thin, in fact, thinner than a human hair! This coating reflects long-wave infrared energy/heat. The heat that passes through the glass on your window is measured by what’s called the U-factor or ultraviolet light. This means that the lower the U-factor is, the more energy-efficient your glass becomes. During the warm months of the year in places such as Southern California and Hawaii, your home’s interior temperature can rise, causing you to constantly run your AC. By installing Low-E glass, the amount of heat that you lose through your windows is greatly reduced. The reverse happens during the colder months. The coating reduces the amount of heat lost through your windows from the inside, reducing the need to run the heater so much. Various styles of Low-E glass are available to accommodate your home’s heating and cooling needs.

The Application of Low-E

In warmer weather areas, Low-E coating is applied to the outside of the window panes. This keeps the heat from the sun out. Low-E is applied to the inside of the windows in colder climates to trap the heat inside. Low-E coating can be applied to windows, doors and skylights and this process is completed at a glass manufacturing plant. The best thing about Low-E glass is that is absorbs, reflects and emits radiant energy, which in turn saves your energy and money!

Several different methods are used for coating Low-E windows, including Pyrolytic and Magnetron Sputtering. Pyrolytic coating is known as “hard coat” and is the standard. Magnetron Sputtering is considered “soft coat” and is much more efficient and high performing of the two types.

ideal-homes low-e glass

Photo courtesy of

By choosing to have Low-E windows installed in your home, you will have windows that perform better than regular clear glass and can rest assure that you are controlling your heating and cooling costs, no matter what climate you live in.

Looking to make a design and decor change in your home in San Diego, California but can’t decide which direction to go? We get it. The choices can be overwhelming and our talented designers can help. Contact Smith Brothers to see how we can help you!


Smith Brothers is a unique team of construction craftsmen, architects, and interior designers. Since 1978, we stress the absolute highest levels of quality, performance, value and service in each and every project. Our award-winning design ideas, expertise, and collective experience allow us to provide the very best in what we do. For more information please contact us at 877-230-0333, (+01) 858-350-1445, or

Building a “Green” Home with Style

Your home represents comfort and stability After a long day at work, returning home can ease your nerves and promises a sense of security You can…

Smith Brothers Construction house framing

Habitat for Humanity

Each year, millions of Americans move into the home of their dreams Five and a half years ago one family in particular was fortunate enough to do…

How to Reclaim, Reuse, and Utilize the Sun in Your Home

Earth Day was April 22nd, but we believe it should be everyday We will be posting creative ways to implement many new green practices today and…