Green Building Materials: Low-E Windows
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.
Photo courtesy of ideal-homes.com
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!
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