It is undeniable that energy efficiency is becoming an increasingly important topic. With Low-E glass you can achieve greater efficiency and save money at the same time.
If you live in either a cold or a warm climate then Low-E double glazing can help you to run a more efficient home, by increasing your property’s thermal efficiency.
This article will outline what Low-E glass is, how it works and the pros and cons that come with its usage.
Table of contents
What is Low-E glass?
Low-E or low emissivity glass uses a microscopic coating of transparent material over a glass window.
This coating helps to prevent thermal loss from inside a property and also reduces heat entering a property from outside.
This type of glass is becoming increasingly popular, especially with architects and builders, due to its versatility.
Due to the high level of performance Low-E glass also adheres to and surpasses many regulations regarding efficiency and emissions.
Source photo: glazcon.com
How does Low-E glass work and why do I need it?
Low-E glazing was designed to limit the amount of infrared and ultraviolet light that enters into your property from the outside.
The reflective coating is able to deflect both ultraviolet and infrared light by blocking their respective wavelengths, whilst allowing visible light through.
By doing this, Low-E glass reduces the heat entering you house from outside via sunlight (infrared waves).
The coating on the glass also helps to prevent heat loss from inside the property. It is able to do this by re-emitting heat back into the property rather than losing it through the window itself.
Because it helps to prevent heat from both entering and leaving the property, Low-E glass is perfect for maximising the level of temperature control in a building.
Despite being an incredibly effective at keeping a property temperate and comfortable, Low-E glass looks no different to normal glazing.
Is your glazing ready for replacement? Opt for Low-E glass. Request free quotes from glazing installers.
What are the different Low-E glass types?
There are two types of Low-E coating and they are defined by the process in which they are made, and how they perform.
Hard-Coat: This type of Low-E glass is known as ‘Passive’ coating, it is developed by using a process called the pyrolytic process. This is where the coating is essentially fused as a layer onto the glass. It gets its name ‘hard-coat’ because the process makes the unit very durable.
Soft-Coat: This type of Low-E glass is known as a ‘Solar Control’ coating and is created by using a Magnetron Sputtering Vapor Deposition (MSVD) process.
This means that once coating is applied it needs to be protected by another layer of laminate or insulated glass.
This type of Low-E glass gets its name because it has a much greater level of performance when it comes to solar control.
What are the benefits of Low-E glass?
So, what are the immediate benefits of installing Low-E double glazing windows?
- Reduced condensation in your property, reducing the chance of damage through mould and damp.
- Furnishings and interior are protected from UV rays, meaning they will not be bleached by sunlight.
- Low-E glass increases the durability of for example your bay or uPVC casement windows, meaning that they are less likely to receive damage during extreme weather conditions or during a burglary.
- Windows with Low-E glass save you money on your energy bills by drastically improving the efficiency of your property.
Saving money with Low-Emission glazing
Simply, Low-E glass allows for better control over the temperature inside your home. It prevents heat from entering during the summer, reducing the amount of money spent cooling the property.
It also works to keep the ambient temperature level inside a property, meaning that in the winter it costs a lot less to heat your home.
Low-E glass is especially effective if you live in a region where you experience extremes of temperature, ranging from hot in the summer months to cold in the winter.
Do you also want to save money on energy? Replace your existing glazing with Low-E glass. Get your free glazing quotes here.
What are the disadvantages of Low-E glass?
Low-E glass also comes with a few disadvantages that you should consider before purchasing it:
- Low-E glass is considerably more expensive than other types of glazing. This is largely due to the extensive manufacturing processes it needs to go through before it reaches the market. Depending on where you live, Low-E glass might not be the most economic option available.
- Due to its material properties Low-E glass can sometimes be too effective if the temperature inside a property is not properly managed. If air conditioning units are left to run during the summer the property can become very cold.
- Alternatively if heating is left on during winter then properties can become very warm.
- One complaint is that some types of Low-E glass can create a haze on the sunlight entering a property. This overall detracts from the level of visibility through the window itself when compared to normal panes of glass.
What are the costs of Low-E glass?
The costs of Low-E glass coating is surprisingly reasonable.
The costs of a Low-Emissivity coating on existing glazing is on average £10 per square meter.
A coating decreases the U-value of your existing glazing. But for a great impact, installing new double or triple glazing with uPVC window frames is the best option.
You will find the costs of the different uPVC window types in the following guides:
Getting quotes from glazing installers
When looking to find a glazing installer it’s important to do your research. Low-E glass can be a major investment and should not be taken lightly.
Being informed about what you should expect is critical in any decision making and investment. Request different quotes from glazing installers in your area, so you can compare on price and quality.