Window Fixings: Part 1, What in the World is Low E Glass?

When purchasing windows, it can be very difficult to try and discern all of the technical jargon associated. Argon and Krypton insulators, Block & Tackle balance systems, and Low E coatings are just a few of the terms that are way more simple to understand than their name suggests. In the first of this multi-part series I’d like to lay down a quick explanation of one of the few terms that may help home-owners who are looking to purchase new replacement windows: Low E Coatings. 

 What is Low E Glass? 

 Low-E in short for Low-Emissive and is window glass that has been treated with an invisible metal or metallic oxide coating, creating a surface that reflects heat, while allowing light to pass through. Windows treated with Low-E coatings are proven to reduce energy consumption, decrease fading of fabrics, such as window treatments, and increase overall comfort in your home. 

 How Does Low E Work? 

 The heat that passes through your window glass is measured by the U-factor or ultraviolet light. The lower the U-factor the more energy-efficient your glass is. This type of light is produced by the sun and generates heat in your home. Too much of this heat, especially during summer, can cause your air conditioning bill to go up in an effort to keep your house cool. Low-E glass reduces the amount of ultraviolet light that enters your home, without blocking visible light. 

 Conversely, in winter, Low-E glass reduces the amount of heat lost through your windows from the inside of your home, keeping heating costs down. Depending on your home’s heating and cooling needs, various types of Low-E glass have been developed to allow for high, medium or low solar gain. Generally, here in Minnesota, the Low E coating is applied to the inside of a pane of glass to keep heat trapped in. This way, radiant heat is kept on the same side of the glass from which it originated. 

 Thanks for reading and look for part 2 of this series coming soon!



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