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If you are a homeowner in Tucson or Phoenix and are looking for new window replacements for your house, you will invariably come across products that tout their “Low-E Coatings”. Low-E window coatings are a factor in the overall price of the windows you are buying, but they are also absolutely necessary for the desert environment we live in - so don’t miss out!

low e glass

Low-E stands for “low-emittance”, which is a technical term that essentially means less solar heat will be allowed into your home. To be brief: the less solar heat/energy you allow through your windows, the less energy it will take for your HVAC system to maintain and regulate the comfortable temperature you have set on your thermostat. Translation: low-e coatings are a large part of what helps your new windows to save you money in the long run.

How Do Low-E Coatings Differ From Tinting?

Window tints are designed to lower solar heat gains by reducing the amount of visible light that is transmitted when the Sun shines on them, and thereby reduce the amount of solar energy that is emitted through the glass. The difference between tinting and low-e coatings is that low-e window replacements are specifically designed to allow for high visible light transmittance while still being able to drastically reduce solar heat gain (depending on the particular coating it will vary in how much solar heat gain the window allows - Tucson & Phoenix homeowners should look for low-e glass with the absolute lowest solar heat gain coefficient, or SHGC).

Why Does The SHGC Matter?

The solar heat gain coefficient on your low-e glass should be as low as possible for extreme heat environments like Southern Arizona because the coefficient basically determines what percentage of solar heat gain is allowed through the glass, meaning the hotter it gets outside - the more heat the low-e coating will keep out since it works as a percentage.

Is That The Magic Behind Energy Saving Windows?

Low-E glass coatings do play a major role in why your new home windows will help save so much energy, but they are not the sole contributor. In fact, it’s more so that your window replacements will have two panes of glass (allowing for 2 low-e coatings, and double the barrier agains the outside elements), and also that in between those two panes will typically be filled with argon gas (or sometimes krypton).

Argon gas is special because it moves slower on a molecular level (compared to the typical mix of oxygen and carbon dioxide in regular air). What this means is that the air space in between your low-e coated window panes will be overall less conductive which essentially reduces the overall heat transfer within the window from both inside and outside.

The benefit: your home window replacements will not only significantly reduce the amount of heat or cold coming in from the outside, but they will also prevent hot or cold air from leaving the inside of your home. Not only will you use less energy by not having to cool your home as often, but you will also be saving energy by not letting that cool air escape as easily. The overall combination of all these factors is what keeps your home windows efficient and what keeps you comfortable and happy!

If you have questions about low-e coatings, double pane windows, window gas fillings or anything else please don’t hesitate to contact the expert team here at Apex Windows!

At Apex Windows, we are one of the largest distributors in Arizona. We only offer products that work in our unique climate.
Please call or e-mail us any time to schedule a hassle free estimate.