We talk a lot on our website about energy efficiency in replacement windows and doors, as this is usually one of the main reasons people in San Diego choose to replace the windows and doors in their homes. But what about UV protection? How do you know if the replacement windows and doors you are purchasing will protect you and your home furnishings from the harmful effects of UV rays?
The key to keeping UV rays out of your home is installing windows and glass patio doors with low emissivity glass (commonly known as Low E glass). Emissivity refers to the ability of a material (such as glass) to radiate energy. Replacement windows and doors with Low E glass are able to reflect both heat energy and UV rays, making them energy efficient, while at the same time protecting your home furnishings from fading.
In replacement windows and doors with Low E glass, manufacturers often add microscopic layers of metallic “silver” to the inside surface of the exterior pane of glass in dual pane windows. These layers of silver act like a mirror, repelling the harmful UV rays that can fade and damage curtains, furniture, and carpets, while still allowing visible light in. These aren’t “tinted” windows—you’ll still get all the natural light from the outdoors, just without the harmful UV rays.
Is All Low E Glass in Replacement Windows the Same?
Low E glass has been around for more than two decades, and has been steadily improved by window and door manufacturers during that time, but just because something is called Low E glass, doesn’t mean it gives you the UV protection you are looking for. Double Low E glass, which contains two silver layers, will give you greater UV protection than just one layer, and triple Low E glass, like that found in Anlin’s replacement windows and doors, will give you an even greater amount of UV protection.
A window with a single silver layer will probably be less expensive than one with multiple layers, but it will still allow the UV rays into your home, and may not qualify for any available energy saving rebates. Get to know the difference between the types of Low E glass, so you won’t get taken advantage of by unscrupulous replacement window salespeople who try to pass off windows with only a single layer of Low E silver as “just as good” as other Low E windows with double or triple layers.
Make sure you ask your replacement window sales representative what percentage of UV rays their windows block, as this information is not readily available on the ENERGY STAR rating label on windows and patio doors. The replacement windows doors sold by BM Windows block 95% of UV rays, while still giving you a clear (not tinted) view of the outdoors. Standard double-pane windows and patio doors with clear glass only block 42% of UV rays.
Once you know what percentage of UV rays are blocked by the window’s glass, balance that number with the window’s visible transmittance (VT) number, which is found on the ENERGY STAR label. VT is measured on a scale of 0 to 1. The closer the number is to 1, the more light your windows will allow into your home. You don’t have to sacrifice visible light for UV protection. The replacement windows and doors sold by BM Windows in San Diego offer excellent amounts of visible light, while still offering superior UV protection.
Contact BM Windows today to set up a free in-home consultation with one of our friendly sales representatives. They can answer all of your questions about replacement windows and doors for your San Diego home, and they can help you decide which products are right for you and your family.