Switch to Low-E windows with Solar Gain.


Replacing the windows in your house can improve the quality and value of your home. You may be unaware of the vast amount of choices you have. Finding the windows that are right for you could be a time consuming task. However, the time you will spend deciding will be well worth it. If you choose the right type of windows you get you will lower your electric and gas bills by decreasing your energy usage. Before we get into the juicy details you need to be educated a little on what low-e glass is.

Low-e glass contains a metallic layer in the pane of glass along with a special coating. The layer is so small and thin that it is virtually invisible. The purpose of using the metallic material is to prevent harmful UV rays from the sun getting inside your house. Hopefully you already know that UV rays are harmful to the human skin. What you may not know is that UV rays can also be harmful to your furniture. If too much UV light gets in your house it can start fading your furniture.

By using the metallic coating, the window will prevent a small amount of the UV rays from getting inside your house. Low-e glass is sort of like a double sided blade, because it creates a big problem, which is easily solvable. With the reduced amount of UV rays getting inside your house, the amount of heat you will get is also reduced. This is why there are several different types of Low-e glass. You can get Low-e glass with high solar gain, moderate solar gain and low solar gain. The three types of solar gain are basically going to determine how much heat and light your windows will provide. When it comes to windows, solar gain is used to describe how much heat the window can ‘bring in’ from the outside and how well it keeps it in your house.

Window technology is actually pretty advanced. Windows can filter out light and harmful UV rays. Due to the structure of double glazed low-e glass, it is possible to lower the amount of heat and increase the amount of light you receive. It just depends on what you’re looking for. Most windows now days are double glazed with coating on both panes of glass. A double glazed window consists of two thin panes of glass separated by a small gap filled with air. It is this ‘technology’ that makes filtering light and UV rays possible. Let’s go a little bit into detail about the different types of low-e glass windows offered.

Double-Glazed with High-Solar-Gain Low-E Glass
This type of Low-e glass is designed to reduce heat loss and increase heat, or solar gain. You will be pulling in quite a bit of heat and keeping it in with this type of low-e glass. You will get up to 75% of visible light and 71% heat transmitted through this type of glass. Glass with high solar gain is ideal for areas with cool summers and very cold winters.

Double-Glazed with Moderate-Solar-Gain Low-E Glass
Windows with moderate solar gain are designed to let in a smaller amount of heat without loosing any light. You get up to 50% heat transmitted and around 75% of the outside light transmitted. This type of window is great for keeping the home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. If you live in an area where summer and winter seasons are mild, this may be the best type of window for you.

Double-Glazed with Low-Solar-Gain Low-E Glass
The coatings on these windows are prefect for offering the most protection against UV rays. Not only does this protect human skin, it will also protect your furniture from fading. This type of window is idea for areas where the summer climate is extremely hot and winters are mild or moderately cold. It reduces the amount of heat by up to 61% and still allowing enough light to get in.

Why does any of this matter you ask? Aside from the reasons listed above, your windows can affect the amount of money you spend on your electric or gas bill! That’s right; I am talking about energy efficiency.  Say for instance you live in a place with really hot summers and moderate winters. If you have a lot of windows there is quite a bit of heat in your house. You will most likely start running your AC in the mornings and through the entire day. Using low solar gain windows will allow you to be able to keep most of the heat out while still allowing the same amount of light to pass through. This, in turn, will keep your house cooler and keep you from running the AC all day.

Window technology is improving everyday. The technology is geared towards energy efficiency. As the cost of living goes up due to increasing energy costs, window ‘makers’ are trying their hardest to provide us with windows that will help decrease our energy usage. Decreasing energy use will ultimately decrease the amount of money we spend on our gas and electric bills.

This post was written by

jasonjason – who has written posts on Home Tips Plus.
I'm a father of three, married and a home owner since 2006. I've worked in fixing up homes and rental properties.

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