What to Know About Low-E Glass

Super IS Department
05 Oct, 2021
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When you have made the decision to get new windows or doors for your replacement project, remodel or perhaps a new construction, you have no doubt heard the term “low-e glass.” It is generally understood that it has something to do with the energy efficiency of the window. Does that mean that Low-E 3 is better than Low-E 2? Not necessarily. Read on to find out what Low-E is and which option is best for you.

Low-E Glass Defined

The “E” stands for emissivity which scientifically means how a material transfers (or emits) energy. When it comes to the glass in windows and doors, it refers to reflecting heat. Low-E glass has a virtually invisible coating applied to the inside and/or outside of the glass to “trap” heat on the side of your home you want. Basically, keep heat inside during the winter and keep it out in the summer. Remember, Low-E glass is only part of the energy efficiency equation because the number of panes and frame material can also be factors.

awd low e glass energy efficiency

How Low-E Glass Works

The invisible Low-E coating by comparison works like horizontal blinds in your home with rows of slats. If you open the slats slightly, some light gets through. Here in the northeast, you would not want the slats opened during the summer months in order to block the sun’s rays when it is high in the sky. However, during our colder months, opening the slats when the sun is lower in the sky allows more light (heat) into the home. A Low-E 1 glass would be preferred in colder climates when heating is more of a priority than cooling. In hot regions, Low-E 3 would be preferred because the slats block the sun’s heat that is constantly beating down from above.

Which Low-E Glass is Best

In the northeast, a Low-E 2 coating best balances our hot humid summers and stinging cold winters. The Low-E coating would be placed on both sides of the glass to trap heat out in summer and inside in winter. Keep in mind you may want to customize where you choose to apply Low-E. If you have a south-facing large window that you favor in summer months, you may opt for a Low-E 3 option to keep the room cooler for entertaining. On the other hand, you may have a north-facing sliding patio door where it may get slightly chilly at times. Choose Low-E 1 to intentionally allow more heat to pass into the home. The same logic may apply to windows facing the east when the sun rises. Again, double paned glass (which most windows are) contribute greatly to the comfort of a home. The Low-E coating helps make windows and doors more energy efficient.

Your Window and Door Options

AWD proudly offers a wide selection of replacement windows and doors with energy efficient features, including Low-E.  Regardless of the window style or size you choose, know the Low-E coating that is best for your needs is offered.  Speak with one of our experts about replacing your windows or for more information about Low-E.  Our window and door installation is backed by a Lifetime Installation Warranty.

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