Energy-efficient glass has become increasingly popular, due to its ability to improve the comfort of indoor environments, while also reducing wasted energy that is used to heat or cool a building.
While most people have heard about energy efficient glass, most are unsure of how it actually works.
Benefits of Energy-Efficient Glass Windows
Types of Energy-Efficient Glass
- Insulated windows consist of two panes of glass that have air trapped in between. In some cases, special gases such as argon is used to fill the space to provide further energy savings.
- Low-emissivity, or low-e, coatings are also applied to glass to help lower the U-factor.
- Today, newer types of these coatings that are called spectrally selective allow sunlight to come in while also keeping the heat out of a building.
Understanding the Ratings
When you replace windows with energy-efficient glass, you will likely notice that there are ratings for each type.
For instance, the U-Factor is a number that represents the heat loss allowed by a window. Ideally, this number should be as low as possible for the highest energy savings.
The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) is another rating that you may see, and this represents the amount of solar radiation and heat the glass allows to come inside of a building.
The ideal number for this rating will depend upon the climate in which you live. For instance, people who live up north will want a slightly higher number than those who live in southern areas, since allowing some natural heat in reduces the energy required for warmth during colder months.
Visible Transmittance is another number that is used to rate how much light passes through a window. Your preference for this can vary according to the area in which the glass is being installed.
A higher number means that more light is let in, and this can be important in places where proper lighting is essential such as art studios or medical offices.
Keep in mind that a low number might are preferable if you need a dimmer environment, but going too low could require the use of more artificial lights.
Deciding on the Right Type of Window Glass
The right type of energy-efficient glass for your residential or commercial building depends upon factors such as where you live and how certain rooms are used.
In some cases, even something as simple as the direction the window faces can make a difference in the decision.
We always assess a building for each possible factor that could influence the impact of the windows, so that you can rest assured that you will get the most from your new energy-efficient windows.
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