Infrared light or heat energy is transmitted as heat into a building, and begins at wavelengths of nanometers. Solar infrared is commonly referred to as short-wave infrared energy, while heat radiating off of warm objects has higher wavelengths than the sun and referred to as long-wave infrared. Low-E coatings have been developed to minimize the amount of ultraviolet and infrared light that can pass through glass without compromising the amount of visible light that is transmitted.
When heat or light energy is absorbed by glass, it is either shifted away by moving air or re-radiated by the glass surface. The ability of a material to radiate energy is known as emissivity. In general, highly reflective materials have a low emissivity and dull darker colored materials have a high emissivity.
What Are Window Panes? | Feldco
All materials, including windows, radiate heat in the form of long-wave, infrared energy depending on the emissivity and temperature of their surfaces. Radiant energy is one of the important ways heat transfer occurs with windows. Reducing the emissivity of one or more of the window glass surfaces improves a window's insulating properties. For example, uncoated glass has an emissivity of. This is where low emissivity or low-e glass coatings come into play. Low-E glass has a microscopically thin, transparent coating—it is much thinner than a human hair—that reflects long-wave infrared energy or heat.
Some low-e's also reflect significant amounts of short-wave solar infrared energy. When the interior heat energy tries to escape to the colder outside during the winter, the low-e coating reflects the heat back to the inside, reducing the radiant heat loss through the glass. The reverse happens during the summer. To use a simple analogy, low-e glass works the same way as a thermos.
What is Low-E Glass?
A thermos has a silver lining, which reflects the temperature of the drink it contains. The temperature is maintained because of the constant reflection that occurs, as well as the insulating benefits that the air space provides between the inner and outer shells of the thermos, similar to an insulating glass unit. Since low-e glass is comprised of extremely thin layers of silver or other low emissivity materials, the same theory applies.
The silver low-e coating reflects the interior temperatures back inside, keeping the room warm or cold.
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There are actually two different types of low-e coatings: Solar control low-e coatings are designed to limit the amount of solar heat that passes into a home or building for the purpose of keeping buildings cooler and reducing energy consumption related to air conditioning. Finally, the glass is cut into stock sheets of various sizes for shipment to fabricators. Because of the historic evolution of these coating technologies, passive low-e coatings are sometimes associated with the pyrolytic process and solar control low-e coatings with MSVD, however, this is no longer entirely accurate.
In addition, performance varies widely from product to product and manufacturer to manufacturer see table below , but performance data tables are readily available and several online tools can be used to compare all low-e coatings on the market. In a standard double panel IG there are four potential surfaces to which coatings can be applied: Passive low-e coatings function best when on the third or fourth surface furthest away from the sun , while solar control low-e coatings function best when on the lite closest to the sun, typically the second surface.
Low-e coatings are applied to the various surfaces of insulating glass units. Whether a low-e coating is considered passive or solar control, they offer improvements in performance values. The following are used to measure the effectiveness of glass with low-e coatings:.
What Are Window Panes?
When thinking of window designs: However, low-e coatings play an equally important role and significantly affect the overall performance of a window and the total heating, lighting, and cooling costs of a building. Tempered glass is four times stronger than regular glass; heat strengthened is just two times stronger. Pure glass is incredibly strong — it only scratches or breaks because of imperfections that can occur during the manufacturing process. If you see condensation on the outside of your low-e glass windows, it means the coating is working properly.
The word window comes from a Norse term translated "wind eye", for "eye on the weather.
Even a little bit of moisture coming in through the windows can cause mold, rotten wood, and warped framed. A poor installation or improper sealing could be the culprit, as well as plain old wear and tear over the years. You should also watch out for condensation building up on the interior window panes. However, a cracked and damaged window is more susceptible to shattering completely if bumped or struck, and your heating and cooling systems may start to run up heavy bills.
Is one type of window pane better than another? You can get window panes tinted with a heat-absorbing coating, which reduces glare from the sun and keeps your house from getting overheated by sunlight. Other window panes focusing on energy efficiency may come with low-emissivity coatings , which keep your heat from escaping your windows and reduces your heating bills. We offer full replacement windows installed by factory trained and certified professionals. Get a free quote now and see why over , homeowners have trusted us with their home improvement needs.
Get a summary of our newest articles and other helpful home improvement tips. Sign up for free below. Over , homeowners have trusted Feldco with their windows, siding and doors. Enter some basic information and we'll get started on your quote. What Are Window Panes? What are window panes? Here are some facts about windows to help make you an educated shopper. Windows Then vs Now We take for granted a shiny, see-through, glass-pane window that we can open and close at will.
Panes Window panes are the sheets of glass inside the window frame. Frame The frame is the wooden, vinyl or fiberglass build which contains the window system. Sash The section of window frame which allows the pane to be moved up and down. Screen A sheet of mesh , often metal, which is stretched over the exterior portion of window to allow ventilation without bugs.
Weatherstripping A flexible and tough strip of material which seals the connection of the frame and the sash, keeping air from getting out and rain from getting in. Single Pane Windows Single-pane windows are fairly self-explanatory: Double Pane Windows A double-pane window features two sheets of glass within the window frame. Your House is Hard to Heat or Cool Looking at your utility bill will provide you some clues, but you can also look at your windows.
Your Windows Are Leaking Even a little bit of moisture coming in through the windows can cause mold, rotten wood, and warped framed.
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