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Stopping Heat Loss with Low-E Glass

The rising costs of energy have triggered homeowners to search for ways to reduce cost and cut down on their energy bills. One of these methods involves the use of low-E glass that can prevent heat loss from homes and reduce energy consumption. The E in the term low-E refers to emissivity, which is the characteristic in materials to pass on or emit heat. Low-E means a lower emissivity for heat transfer and is effective in reflecting heat back to its source.

The Mechanics of Low-E Glass

This type of glass is made up of two or more layers, which is treated with an ultra thin metallic coating in the glass. This metallic coating provides the reflective properties, which makes the glass an effective heat barrier. The glass allows visible light to pass through but prevents infrared light and some amount of ultraviolet light from passing through.

Infrared light is basically generated heat. The treated glass prevents this heat to pass through. During summer, when indoor cooling is required, the glass prevents infrared light from passing heat into the indoors. In winter where heating is required, the glass prevents the heat produced inside the home from dissipating through the glass.

The Types of Low-E glass

Hard Coat

This type of glass is produced by applying tin while the molten glass is still being formed. The resulting coating is hard and very difficult to scratch off.

Soft Coat

For this type of glass, a thin layer of silver is applied while the glass if in a vacuum chamber, producing a delicate coating on the glass. To protect this coating, it is sandwiched with another layer of glass. Argon gas is introduced into the layer to prevent the oxidation of the coating and also acts as an insulator.

Other Benefits for Low-E Glass

Due to its heat-transfer preventing properties, the inside surface of the glass develops a warmer temperature. This characteristic helps the glass to be less susceptible to condensation. The more layers a glass panel has, the higher the inside surface temperature becomes. For an outside temperature of zero degreed, a hard coat glass can maintain an inner surface temperature of 49 degrees. A soft coat glass can go even higher at 62 degrees.

Homes are known to lose 25 percent of heat through the windows. The use of low-E glass can greatly reduce this heat loss and eventually save on energy. Investing on this type of glass would be worth it.

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