Low-E glass, also known as low emissivity glass, is a type of glass that is designed to radiate heat away from its surface. Most commercial buildings and an increasing number of residential homes are being built with doors and windows that come equipped with Low-E glass, and for good reason. While it may be a bit more costly than standard glass at face value, the cost benefits (along with many others) can quickly be realized in structures that have many windows. What gives this glass its name is the thin layer of metal that it is coated in.
In many cases, the coating consists of a metallic oxide film that is invisible to the naked eye; it is the coating that provides the emissive properties. The two types of Low-E glass are hard and soft coat. The former literally has the metal coating welded to it during the manufacturing process. Soft coat glass, however, has metallic oxide particles stuck to it via a chemical reaction. This type of glass has a better R value, which means it insulates better. Thus, it is no wonder why soft coat E-glass is the leading choice for developers.
What are the benefits of Low-E glass?
- Much more energy-efficient than standard glass; they keep heat in during the winter and out in the summer
- They reflect harmful UV rays that can cause damage to furniture
- They prevent condensation from occurring; moisture damage is a main reason for window frame wood rot
- Most Low-E glass windows qualify for tax credits; the overall price is kept down
For most people, the selling point of Low-E glass is its energy-efficiency. Doors and windows that are equipped with it will do a better job at keeping heat in during the winter and out during the summer. It is not uncommon for this glass to cut energy loss by up to 25%. The cost savings can be quite substantial, especially in the long run. If you live in a climate where the summers are hot and the winters are cold, Low-E glass is definitely worth checking out.
Another benefit to Low-E glass is that it prevents harmful UV rays from coming through the window. The emissive properties work to radiate these rays away from the structure. Carpet and furniture are known to fade over time due to prolonged exposure to sunlight; installing this glass can increase their longevity. In addition, condensation buildup is almost eliminated by Low-E glass. Water droplets leads to moisture damage; wood rot is a detrimental and costly repair. Lastly, homeowners will be pleased to know that many of these windows still qualify for federal tax credits. Depending on how many you buy, you may be able to receive a $1500 credit for your energy-efficient investment. Be sure to check at the Low-E glass selections Clera has available if you are thinking about buying.