Blog

What exactly is Low-E Glazing?

Blog
What is Low-E Glass?

Low-E glass has a barely visible, ultra-thin coating that makes homes more comfortable year-round. In the winter, it reflects heat back inside, keeping your living spaces cozy, and in the summer, it blocks excessive heat from entering, maintaining a pleasantly cool interior. For those with existing standard windows, the good news is that this comfort-enhancing feature can be added retroactively, offering an easy upgrade path for increased home comfort.

The Science, Made Simple

In assessing the efficiency of Low-E glass, two terms pop up: Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) and U-Value.
SHGC tells you how much heat from the sun gets through your windows. If your home feels like an oven in the summer, a Low-E window with a low SHGC can help keep it cooler. If you’re looking to capture some of that free solar warmth in the winter, a window with a higher SHGC will allow more heat in.
On the flip side, the U-Value gauges how good the entire window unit—glass and frame—is at keeping heat where you want it. If your home feels drafty in the winter or too warm in the summer, a Low-E window with a low U-Value can make it more comfortable by doing a better job of holding onto or rejecting heat.
Both these factors—SHGC and U-Value—work together in a Low-E glazing unit to help you regulate your home’s temperature more effectively.

Advantages of Low-E Glass

Enhanced Insulation: Low-E glass excels in thermal control, contributing to energy savings.
UV Protection: Nearly 100% of harmful UV rays are blocked.
Solar Gain Control: Adjusting the SHGC can help maintain indoor comfort.
Versatility: Beyond insulation, Low-E glass offers extra features like security and noise reduction.
Environmental Impact: Its energy-efficient nature can significantly reduce carbon emissions.
Cost Savings: While initial costs are higher, long-term energy savings justify the investment.

Cleaning Low-E: What to Look out For

Low-E glass, while exceptional for energy savings, isn’t as robust as traditional or double-glazed options. Its metallic oxide coating demands special care during cleaning. Use gentle, lint-free cloths and steer clear of abrasive or ammonia-based cleaners to ensure longevity. For persistent stains, cautiously apply approved solvents like denatured alcohol. Always consult the manufacturer’s guidelines to keep your home comfortable without compromising the glass’s delicate coating.

Improvements in Low-E Coatings Are Leading the Way

As Australia gears up for more stringent energy efficiency standards, including a move toward a 7-star energy rating, Low-E coated Insulated Glass Units (IGUs) is expected to skyrocket. Industry experts predict a 150 to 200% increase in adopting these advanced glass solutions. Traditional single glazing is quickly becoming obsolete, replaced by high-performance Low-E glass that aligns with these new regulations.
Forward-thinking manufacturers have been ahead of this curve, developing various Low-E glass options and IGUs designed to adapt to different comfort needs, well ahead of these upcoming legislative changes.

Conclusion

Low-E glass is a tried-and-true solution for people seeking energy efficiency and comfort in their living spaces. It is more cost-effective than double-glazing while offering significant benefits like thermal control and UV protection, it remains a popular choice for homeowners balancing budget and performance. Although the unique coating requires specialised care, the long-term energy savings and environmental impact gains make it a worthy investment.
As energy standards tighten globally, Low-E glass’s continued relevance and adoption underscores its role in helping households meet sustainability targets.

Simliar articles you may be interested in