The Glass Guru Guide to Low-E Glass: Enhancing Your Home’s Comfort and Efficiency

At The Glass Guru, we believe in helping homeowners make informed decisions about their glass choices. Low-E coated glass has revolutionized home performance, but there are some common misconceptions about this innovative product. Let’s dive into what Low-E glass is, how it works, and what you should consider when selecting it for your home.

Understanding Low-E Glass

You might think of glass as a simple barrier against the elements, but modern glass technology has come a long way. Today, our homes demand more energy-efficient building materials, and ordinary glass just doesn’t cut it. Enter Low-E glass—an advanced solution for energy efficiency and comfort.

Low-E Glass saves on energy and saves the view.  Comfort is a byproduct of Low-E efficiency.

Low-E, or Low Emissivity, refers to a special coating that significantly improves the performance of glass. This technology isn’t new; in fact, it’s been around for over 15 years, continuously evolving to make our homes more comfortable and energy-efficient.

How Low-E Coating Works

The main difference between Low-E glass and regular glass is the ultra-thin coating applied to one side. This coating acts as an invisible insulation barrier, reducing the transfer of heat and cold through the glass. Just as wall and ceiling insulation helps regulate indoor temperature, Low-E glass does the same for your windows.

This innovative coating helps maintain a comfortable indoor climate, reduces heating and cooling costs, and allows for larger window areas without sacrificing efficiency. By incorporating better-insulated products into our homes, we can also contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Types of Low-E Coatings

There are two main types of Low-E coatings: Hard Coat and Soft Coat.

Hard Coat Low-E

Hard Coat Low-E glass has a coating applied while the glass is still hot from the furnace, fusing the coating to the glass as it cools. When installing Hard Coat Low-E glass, the coated side should face the interior to protect the coating. Professional window installers and glaziers will ensure proper installation. Cleaning this type of glass requires specific methods, which we detail on our website. Like all finished glass products, Low-E glass needs protection during fabrication, transport, and installation to prevent damage. In certain lighting conditions, a phenomenon called haze may appear. Hard coat is primarily used on single pane or monolithic for commercial applications.

Soft Coat Low-E

Soft Coat Low-E glass is coated after the float glass manufacturing process and must be enclosed within a double-glazed unit for enhanced performance and longevity. Enclosing Soft Coat Low-E glass in a double-glazed unit enhances its performance, allowing for larger windows with better energy efficiency. Double-glazed units clean like ordinary glass because the coating is protected within the unit. Proper installation is crucial to maximize the benefits of double-glazed units, and your window installer will ensure this. Soft Coat Low-E glass does not exhibit the haze seen in Hard Coat versions, making it a suitable choice if haze is a concern. Soft coat is primarily used for double pane residential applications.

 

Making the Right Choice

When selecting glass for your home, it’s important to discuss your options with your local glass expert. Understanding the performance, lifestyle, and maintenance aspects of your glass choice will help you make the best decision for your home and/or business.

At The Glass Guru, we know that glass can offer so much more than just a view. It’s a critical component of your home’s energy efficiency and comfort. Prioritizing your glass choice alongside your colors, appliances, and design finishes to get the most out of your home.

For more information or to discuss your glass needs, contact us at The Glass Guru. We’re here to help you make your home as comfortable and energy-efficient as possible.

 

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