Windows are one of the most important parts of the home. They place an important role in establishing a visual appeal and they also provide security. With many homeowners trying to keep bills down, low-E windows are becoming more and more popular.
Low-E windows are an excellent way to add to your home’s value while also keeping your home safe. In addition, they are great for keeping your energy bills down. If you’ve wondered what low-e windows are and how you can save money by installing them, here is some helpful information.
One of the best parts of a window is that they let in natural light. Some rooms may have windows on all sides so that the light can filter through and provide the perfect natural backdrop. In addition, windows will help you save on your energy bill because you can keep the lights turned off or on a lower setting while using the natural light.
A low-E window means low emissivity, which is another way of saying that a special coating is put on the window to allow light to still come through the window while at the same time letting a very small amount of ultraviolet and infrared light to pass through the glass.
The special coating that goes on low-E windows is so thin that it’s completely transparent. It also reflects heat as opposed to absorbing it. A window that absorbs heat is one that will easily transfer that heat into the room.
An easy test for this is to feel how warm a window glass becomes after the sun shines on it for a few hours. A low-E window will resist heating up, which means that less heat is brought into your home.
There are several factors that are used to measure how well a low-E window works. The first is the solar heat gain coefficient. This measurement tells the fraction of solar radiation that is absorbed and transmitted into the window. In other words, it measures how much heat passes through from the outside environment into the room.
The U-Value measures how much heat is lost from the window. Imagine you have your heat on, and yet it seems the heater has to continually run. It may be that your windows are passing warm air from the room to the outside, causing your energy bill to go up. A low-E window would help with this problem if it’s effective at keeping heat in.
The Visible Light Transmittance tells a homeowner how much light can pass through. This is different from the Solar Gain Coefficient because the VLT measures the amount of light whereas the SGC measures the amount of heat.
The VLT is important because it’ll indicate to a homeowner whether or not light filters through. Since the natural light that comes through a window is so important to the visual appeal of a room, the VLT is an important indication.
The Light to Solar Gain will measure the SGC and the VLT and come up with a ratio to help you compare the difference in heat that comes into the room through the window and the amount of light that is able to pass through.
The type of low-E window that you get for your home depends largely on the type of coating that is on the window. A solar control low-E coating means that the coating is put onto glass in a vacuum while the temperature is average. It is sometimes referred to as a soft coat.
This type of low-E window coating has a low emissivity rate, so it allows in very little heat from the outside. It also has a high level of solar control performance, making it an excellent choice.
Another type of low-E window is the passive low-E coating, which has a pyrolytic coating. It’s put on a glass ribbon that then adheres to the window, creating a very strong bond. Some of the heat comes through since it doesn’t block out quite as much as the solar control.
The type of climate where you live can be a good indicator of which type to choose. Most people who live in somewhat cold or slightly warm places would do very well with a hard-coat since it provides the maximum amount of UV light protection. It also does a good job of keeping cool air in and warm air from escaping.
If you live in an extremely cold area, you may want to opt for the soft-coat since it allows some UV heat to enter, which may, in fact, be helpful for someone who lives in an extremely cold place. Most people would do well with the hard-coat since most climates are not overly warm or cold.
If you have any questions about which type of low-E window is best for your home, be sure to check with a professional who has a good reputation and a lot of experience so that you make the best choice.
For those who are concerned about energy bills, it’s also a good idea to check window seals and make sure that they are working. Window seals have non-toxic gases that are trapped within the panes to prevent air from leaking outside.
When a seal has failed, it can be difficult to tell at first, but you may see moisture build up on the window pane or even a distortion from afar. If this is the case, contact a professional who can help you fix the seal to avoid energy bills from soaring. It could be that the window seal was improperly installed, so check your warranty as well.
With the right low-E window, you can bring down your energy bills and keep your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. In addition, you can make sure that natural light filters through still even with the UV protection that low-E windows provide.
Think about the climate where you live and opt for the hard-coat or soft-coat that will best work with you. Then think about the factors that are used to evaluate how well low-E windows function so that you can get the most for your money.
Feldco has you covered for all your window needs. Our windows are made from energy efficient vinyl, perfect for the Midwest, with low-e glass and insulated frames. Plus, all Feldco products are professionally installed by factory trained and certified installers to ensure your windows have a proper and secure fit. Get a free quote online for your new replacement windows with energy efficient low-e glass.