HOW DOES ENERGY-EFFICIENT GLASS HELP IN COST-SAVING?
What Are Energy Efficient Glass?
Earth is the only home we’ve got for now. And, with a steady increase in global warming, there is a need to look for alternatives that will not harm our planet more. Along with minimizing combustion, energy-efficient glass is another sure way to help save the planet while saving some money for yourself too. Energy-efficient glass is designed to prevent unnecessary losses of cooled and heated air from your home. The insulation of energy-efficient glass sheets helps in reducing the energy usage that translates to more money and greater comfort for you. Which is total A win-win!
How Much Can You Save with Energy Efficient Glass?
So you’ve seen how necessary energy-efficient glass is for your home. The next question is “how much can you save?” I’m sure your wallet and utility bills frowning over the huge loads of cash you pay monthly for your home due to your aging and leaky windows and doors. Perhaps you’ve been using single pane glass for your windows and doors for a while now. The truth is, you are going to keep paying high on utility if you don’t take the right step today.
Replacing your glass windows and doors to glass with higher energy star ratings is sure to save you up to $300 yearly, as reported by the Department of Energy. Looking at the figures, you might be tempted to discard the idea because the amount might seem small and inconsequential. Energy-efficient glass is known to save up to 12 percent in utility bills yearly that amounts to about $290 yearly for someone that pays $2400 yearly. These are just estimates and could be greater depending on other factors like climate and the number of energy-efficient windows and doors in your home.
Nevertheless, replacing just a window will have an almost negligible effect on your energy consumption considering the cost of getting energy-efficient windows and doors. Replacing all the windows and doors in your home from single pane glass to energy-efficient double or triple-paned glass will do the trick.
What is Low-E coating on glass and why is it highly energy efficient?
Low emissivity or Low-E glass is a special type of glass designed to reduce the amount of infrared or ultraviolet rays that pass through the glass without necessarily reducing visibility. They comprise of a thin transparent coating that reflects heat during the summer and traps heat during winter. Trapping and reflecting heat, when necessary, helps save money on energy consumption.
Insulating Gases used in Low-E Glass
LOW-E GLASS can reflect and trap heat effectively due to the presence of insulating gases like argon and krypton. The gases help with enhanced energy efficiency to give you the required comfort in your home.
Both gases are colorless, odorless, and reduce the R-values in addition to external noise. Argon gas, while cheaper than Krypton, is best suited for places where there are gaps between window panes. Although Krypton is more expensive, it serves as a better insulator.
Factors that affect Low-E coating
● Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC): This is indicative of the amount of solar radiation that passes through the glass that could either be absorbed, transmitted or radiated.
● U-Value: This gives the level of heat loss allowed by the glass.
● Visible Light Transmittance (VLT): This factor indicates the amount of visible light that passes through the glass.
● R-value: This gives the resistance of the glass to heat.
Types of Low-E coating and their benefits
Passive Low-E Coatings (Hard-Coat): This type of Low-E coating is manufactured through a pyrolytic process thereby creating a pyrolytic coating. The subsequent coating is applied to the glass ribbon, which eventually causes the fusing of the coating and the glass surface. The product is a durable and strong bond.
Solar Control Low-E Coatings (Soft-Coat): A solar control Low-E coating manufactured through a process called the Magnetron Sputtering Vapor Deposition (MSVD) process involves applying the coating to pre-cut glass at room temperature in a vacuum chamber. The resulting product has lower emissivity and a higher-performing solar control.
Types of window panes for low-E glass
Single Pane Glass – Single with no insulation. Single pane glass is made of only one pane of glass, which offers little to nothing in terms of insulation. Single pane glass is only effective against the elements and nothing more.
Double Pane Glass – Comprising two individual panes and a fusion of Low-E, argon, and krypton gasses. This is the most common type of LOW-E GLASS and offers good insulation.
Triple Pane Glass – As the name implies, triple-pane glass is made of three layers glass put together and filled with either argon or krypton gas. This type of glass is the most energy-efficient.
The recommended type of Low-E coating and windowpane for you
Choosing the right type of LOW-E GLASS for your home can be overwhelming especially with the different types available to choose. In choosing a type of Low-E coating, your surrounding climate is the determining factor.
Places with extremely cold climates are better with the hard-coat type of glass that allows sunrays in the form of infrared rays to pass through. This is very important during the winter to help heat your home and keep you warm.
Soft-coat, on the other hand, is suitable for places with hot climates. Boasting better U-value and UV protection, this type of glass reflects the warmth and cool air.
Are Energy Efficient Windows Worth it?
Are they worth it? The answer is relative. How much you’re able to save monthly or yearly on utility bills is dependent on how many windows and doors you’re replacing and the type of glass involved. If you opt for triple-paned glass with Low-E coatings for your doors and windows, then you’re going to notice a huge difference in your energy consumption.
While many houses already have double-paned glass installed, upgrading them to Energy Star ratings will save you around $100+ yearly. Opting for energy efficiency is a long game. The effects may not be noticeable after just a month. Besides, upgrading to energy-efficient windows and doors would add to the value of your home that will be a big deal when you want to sell in the future.