Heat loss through the windows can account for about 30% of energy losses in the home. That is a lot! But the glass on your replacement windows in Los Gatos, CA is one of the best ways to help reduce heat losses. For homeowners who want smart solutions to energy efficiency, low-emissivity or Low-E glass is a must-have feature. It changes the way windows transfer heat to boost insulation and cut down on energy costs year-round.
What is Low-E Glass?
Low-E windows have special treatments on the glazing units. Manufacturers coat the glass with an ultra-thin, basically invisible layer of metallic oxide. The coating still allows plenty of natural light to get into the home but blocks the infrared and ultraviolet light. These are the frequencies of light emitted by the sun that is responsible for not only heat gains, but also burning skin, fading upholstery, and damaging building materials.
How does Low-E Glass Work on Replacement Windows?
Does low-E Glass sound too good to be true? How can treated glass block heat and UV light and still allow in plenty of visible light? Well, the metallic coatings are highly reflective, just like a silver coating on a thermos. Only these coatings are not visible to the naked eye. And they will reduce the emissivity of the glass. This prevents only certain types of light from exiting or entering the home, depending on where the manufacturers apply the metallic coating. In warmer climates, the low-E coating goes on the interior surface of the exterior glass where it can block the light and heat from coming inside. In colder climates, the low-E coating often goes on the interior surface of interior glass. This will help trap the infrared light and keep things warmer inside.
What are the Benefits of Low-E Glass?
There are so many ways that low-E glass can benefit the home. First, it provides a dramatic reduction in heat gains or heat losses. This reduces the cost of heating and cooling as well as the extraneous wear and tear on the heating and cooling system. Both of these will save homeowners money. Also, low-E glass is not visible and visible light can still transmit through, filling the home with plenty of natural light. Lastly, because low-E coatings block UV rays they can help to protect the furnishings and finishes in your home so there is less fading and damage.
Can I Tell if I Have Low-E Windows?
Because low-E windows are such a desirable commodity, many sellers will mention if their windows are protected by these special coatings. But what if you don’t know if you have low-E windows? There is one quick experiment you can do to test it out. Hold a flame up to the window so you can see the reflection in the glass. With double-pane windows, you will see four reflections. With normal glass, all four reflections will appear the same color. With low-E glass, one of the reflections will appear in a different color.
Low-E coatings on replacement windows in Los Gatos, CA are an investment. But the payoff will be more than worth it when you start reducing your energy costs and prolonging the life of both your HVAC and your furnishings. Something to definitely consider if you are wondering if the benefits are worth the expense.