What is Low-E Glass? by Curtis Peskov
Around the home there are many ways to reduce energy consumption and save money on energy costs while maintaining a comfortable and elegant home. One highly effective home improvement is to use Low-E glass for windows throughout the home, particularly those that receive ample amounts of sun throughout the day. The following paragraphs will outline more about Low-E glass and how it works.
What is Low-E Glass?
Low-E, or low-emission, glass is glazing that has been treated with a metallic oxide coating that reduces heat transfer without obstructing light passing through. First available in 1979, Low-E windows have been proven to reduce energy consumption by decreasing solar gain, and also prevent interior surfaces and fabrics from fading in the sun. These coatings work primarily by preventing heat transfer between different panes of glass. In standard double-glazed windows, heat transfers from the warm pane of glass to the cool one. In the summer, this means heated exterior panes transfer heat to the interior pane, which then heats the room. In the winter, the interior pane transfers heat to the cooler pane and out of the house.
How does it reduce energy costs?
Low-E glass works in both the summer and winter to reduce energy consumption and costs. By keeping out excess heat in the summer, air-conditioning costs can significantly decrease. In the winter, Low-E glass helps prevent heat from escaping through the windows, thereby requiring less energy to heat the home. Further, different types of Low-E glass have been developed to allow for different levels of solar gain.
How is Low-E applied?
Low-E coatings can be applied to both the inside and the outside of windowpanes depending on needs. Coatings on the outside cut down on solar gain, while coatings on the inside keep heat in. Further, Low-E comes in both soft and hard coatings. Soft coatings generally have a shorter shelf life and need to be carefully applied to prevent damage. Hard coatings are more durable and can be applied to windows after they have been manufactured. In addition, Low-E films are available for homeowners who wish to enhance their existing windows.