Frequently Asked Questions » What Does Low-E Glass Mean?
What Does Low-E Glass Mean?
Low-E glass is an abbreviated way of saying Low-Emittance glass. Low-E glass is glass that has been given a microscopically thin, virtually invisible, metal or metallic oxide coating. In a dual pane window, the coating is applied on the outward-facing surfaces of both the exterior pane of glass and the interior pane of glass. The Low-E coating on the exterior pane reflects the outside heat in sunny weather, keeping heat from entering your home. On colder days, the coating on the interior pane helps to keep the warm air from escaping your home.
When there is less heat transfer (either from the outside in, or the inside out), you are able to use your heating and cooling units less frequently. This saves you money on your monthly energy bills and reduces your carbon footprint.
Low-E glass also protects your home from harmful UV rays, which can cause fading to your furniture, window coverings, walls, and flooring. Low-E glass can block up to 95% of UV rays!
If you have older, single pane windows, they likely have “clear” glass, which means they have no coating on the glass at all. This allows for more heat transfer, and also provides no protection from harmful UV rays.
When you go from windows with clear glass to replacement windows with Low-E glass, there will be a noticeable difference in the comfort of your home. It will be cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, without the need to run your air conditioner or heater frequently. Your furnishings will last longer.
Can I Just Replace the Clear Glass in My Current Windows with Low-E Glass?
If your home currently has windows with clear glass, you could replace just the glass with Low-E glass; however, it probably won’t give you the results you’re looking for. Replacing a single pane of clear glass with a single pane of Low-E glass likely won’t make a noticeable difference in your home. If you want the best results as far as energy efficiency is concerned, you should replace the entire window—frame and all.
An entirely new window unit will not only have Low-E glass, but also other energy-saving features, such as a vinyl frame and a special gas in between the two window panes. A quality vinyl window frame allows much less heat transfer than an aluminum window frame (which is the material that many older window frames are made from), and when a gas like Argon or Krypton is pumped in between the two panes of glass in a dual pane window, it further slows the transfer of heat.
Does Low-E Glass Have a “Tint” to It?
When people hear that Low-E glass has a film on it, they often assume that the glass will have a dark tint to it, similar to sunglasses or a tinted window in a car. This isn’t the case at all! In replacement windows with a high-quality Low-E coating, you can barely tell the coating is there. It looks just like clear glass. You can still see the bright blue sky outside, and your windows will still let in tons of natural light. In other words, windows with Low-E glass give you all of the benefits of clear glass, without any of the downsides!
Learn More about Energy-Efficient Replacement Windows
If you’ve been keeping your blinds closed or your curtains drawn to try to keep out some of the heat on hot summer days, with new, energy-efficient replacement windows, you can open them up and let the sunshine in without letting in unwanted heat!
The replacement windows we sell at BM Windows come standard with Low-E glass, but we also have upgrade options available for homes that need extra protection from the sun or for homeowners who want the most energy-efficient windows possible. You even have the option of only upgrading certain windows in your home, such as the ones that are exposed to intense afternoon sun.
Not all Low-E glass or replacement windows are created equal. Some are definitely more energy efficient that others. Let BM Windows help you compare the various products on the market and help you find the replacement windows that are the best fit for your San Diego home. Contact us today to set up an appointment with one of our knowledgeable and helpful team members.