Have you ever wondered why some buildings or new homes have different colored windows or appear coated? Many of today’s windows are coated with a super-fine layer of essentially transparent metal. Metal? Yes, metal! This is called low-E glazing, and is one of the most innovative features of today’s modern window glass.

Low-E glass enables the glass to basically give the heat back to where it came from, rather than the heat just passing through the glass. So, if the sun is blazing hot outside and all the heat from outside sources is hitting the window, the low-E glazing will help bounce that heat right on back to the outside air. Conversely, if it’s winter time and the heat is coming from inside your home, the low-E glazing will return the heat back into the air indoors keeping your home nice and toasty.  Pretty neat!

low-e coating windowsPhoto Credit: How Power

Types of Low-E Glazing for Windows

Low-E glazing can reduce the emissivity of the glass by up to 80%. A standard window without this glazing will typically emit around 84% of the heat energy it absorbs. Comparatively, glass treated with low-E glazing will only emit around 4% of the heat energy- that means it’s reflecting 96% of the radiant heat!

The added bonus is that the low-E glazing material can be customized to strategically optimize energy flows for solar heating, daylighting, and cooling. This provides supremely energy efficient windows!

Soft-Coat Low-E

Soft-coat low-E glazing has superior reduction in emission rate. The soft-coat low-E glass only emits about 2% of ambient heat. The processing for soft-coat includes one or more layers of silver. Since silver is an inherently soft metal more susceptible to corrosion, the silver layer(s) must be surrounded by other materials that act as barrier layers to minimize the effects of humidity and physical contact.

Although there have been advancements in recent years, this soft-coat material is still considered slightly less durable than its counterpart.

Hard-Coat Low-E

Hard-coat low-E glazing got its name from the process used to apply the coating to the glass. This process makes for an extremely hard, durable surface, hence “hard-coat” low-E. Hard-coat low-E glazing makes windows highly efficient.

Perhaps one of the most practical benefits that makes these preferred is that hard-coat low-E coatings can be cleaned with traditional glass cleaning products and techniques without damaging the coating. This makes the homeowner happy and business owners don’t need to fret about how service personnel will be cleaning the glass.

Energy Efficient Options

If you are looking to repair, upgrade, or replace your windows or window glass, consider low-E glazing to make your windows as energy efficient as they can be. An energy audit can help you identify good strategies for more efficient windows and a more efficient house.

Glass West can assist you whether your windows need repair or you want new installation. Contact Glass West today!