Low-e windows (low-e stands for low emissivity) help save energy by reflecting harmful UV rays from the outside of the home and reflecting radiant heat back into the room. This keeps the home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
There are three main types of low-e glass.
- Hard coat: created by applying microscopic layers of metallic oxides on the outside surface of glass or storm window. Hard coat is not as efficient as soft coat but can withstand the elements better. (Approx. R value of 2.45)
- Soft coat: created by applying microscopic layers of metallic oxides on the inside surface of the glass making the window energy efficient. Soft coat must be applied on the inside of the glass, or in between two panes of a double-pane window, as it does not hold up well to extreme weather conditions. (Approx. R value of 3.50)
- Low-E with Argon gas: created by adding a thin sheet of metallic oxides (usually soft coat) in between two panes of a double-pane window. This process creates a reflective surface and adds a thermal insulation layer to the window. The addition of inert argon gas adds even more R value to the window. (Approx. R value of 4.35)
The most obvious advantage of low-e windows is in energy cost savings by reducing heating and cooling costs.
They also reduce the amount of UV rays entering the house which prevents fading and damage to carpet and other flooring as well as drapes and furniture.
Low-e windows have less condensation during temperature and humidity extremes which reduces mold and mildew buildup and keeps the home’s environment healthier.
Low-e windows are completely transparent and allow light into the home without heat gain in the summer or heat loss in the winter. This makes the home more pleasant all the way around.
Low-e windows are slightly more expensive than traditional glass windows.
Highly reflective low-e glass can occasionally damage nearby vinyl siding. Under very rare circumstances, and usually only in winter, low-e glass can magnify UV rays from the sun and reflect them onto a perpendicular wall of the home or a close-by neighboring home and damage the siding if it is vinyl. This is rare and only occurs under very specific conditions. It can usually be rectified with a full window screen or by fencing or landscaping in the case of very close neighboring homes.
Low-e windows protect people and furnishings from harmful UV rays and create a healthier environment by reducing mold and mildew buildup from condensation. They also lower energy bills and keep the home more comfortable during temperature and humidity extremes while allowing plenty of light into the house.
McKee Homes uses low-e windows in all our new homes making them more energy efficient and safer for homeowners and their families.
For more information about McKee Homes and low-e windows please contact us from our website or give us a call at 910-672-7296.