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How Low-E Windows Work

Low-E windows allowing light to enter while reflecting infrared and UV rays

We know that when you are choosing replacement windows, style is only one of the factors you consider. Windows give you a view of the outdoors and bring light into your home, but glass can also expose your home to fluctuating temperatures. Heat gain and loss from your windows account for 25%-30% of the energy your home's heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system uses. Using low-emissivity (low-E) windows is one way to improve the energy efficiency of your home.

More information about how low-E windows work:

Light and Heat

The electromagnetic spectrum includes different types of waves. These range from low-energy, long-wavelength radio waves to high-energy, short-wavelength gamma rays. When it comes to windows, the three types of electromagnetic radiation in the middle of the spectrum are most relevant. These are infrared, visible, and ultraviolet (UV).

Visible light is electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths between 380 to 700 nanometers. Different wavelengths correspond to different colors and white light contains all wavelengths within this range. This is the type of electromagnetic radiation that you want to pass through your windows so you can enjoy natural light and see the view outside.

Infrared light has a longer wavelength than visible light, ranging from 700 nanometers to one millimeter. Heat is the primary form of infrared, so the amount of infrared energy a window lets pass through is one factor in heat loss or gain. UV light has a shorter wavelength than visible light and while this does not relate to heat, these rays can damage your skin and furniture. Ideally, you want to minimize the amount of infrared and UV light that can enter your home through your windows.

SolarZone Low-E Glass

Materials reflect or absorb different wavelengths. Low-E glass is engineered to reduce the amount of infrared and UV light that comes through your windows without affecting visible light. It does this because of a microscopic metal coating that is applied to the second layer of an insulating glass unit. This is undetectable to the naked eye so it does not affect how the windows look or how well you can see through them. While visible light can still pass through, a significant amount of infrared and UV rays are reflected and do not enter your home.

During the summer, the metal layer deflects long-wave radiation from the sun to reduce heat gain. In the winter, short-wave rays can still enter the home to increase the temperature while the insulated windows prevent heat loss. This means windows using SolarZone low-E glass are energy-efficient throughout the whole year.

Energy-Efficient Low-E Windows

Window World of Tucson offers a variety of energy-efficient window options. These include windows made with SolarZone low-E glass as well as argon insulation and warm-edge spacer systems. During a consultation with one of our experts, we can go over your choices and help you find replacement windows that look great while lowering your energy bills.

To learn more about our low-E windows, contact us today.

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