Rising energy costs have everyone thinking about how to save on their summer and winter energy costs. Low emissivity, or low-E, glass is one way to help save energy, depending on your climate. This energy-efficient glass might be the answer to your energy woes.
What Is Low-E Glass?
It is estimated that about 70 percent of all energy loss in the home occurs in the windows and doors. The glass in doors and windows accounts for about 90 percent of this energy loss. Low-E glass minimizes the amount of ultraviolet and infrared light that passes through the glass. It minimizes these light wavelengths, but it does not reduce the amount of light that enters your home.
The key to low-E glass is that it has a microscopically thin, transparent coating that reflects heat. In many cases, this coating is thinner than a human hair. The low-E glass keeps the warm air out in the summer and the cold air out in the winter. Several types of coatings are available.
Passive Low-E Coatings (Hard Coat)
Passive low-E glass uses a pyrolytic process to fuse the coating to the glass, which creates a hard, durable product.
Solar Control Low-E Coatings (Soft Coat)
Solar control low-E coatings use a sputtering technique to apply the coating to the glass. This process produces a soft coat that must be laminated or sealed inside insulated glass. This technique offers superior solar control performance.
Choosing Low-E Glass
The type of low-E glass you choose depends on your climate. For those who live in colder climates, hard-coat glass might be the best choice. This type of glass allows some infrared light to pass through. This type of glass helps heat your home in the winter and reflects any heat trying to escape back to the inside of the home.
Soft coat low-E glass is the right choice if you live in a climate that experiences hot summers and cold winters. It offers better UV protection than hard-coat glass, and it has a better U-value, too. The glass reflects the air back inside the home instead of allowing it to leak into the outside air. This results in better energy efficiency for your home.
When it is time to replace your windows and doors, it is important to consider the style, but it is also important to consider the type of glass that you choose. Low-E glass is a good investment and will help you save on your heating bills in the long run.