The Lowdown on Low-E Windows
If you live in Frisco, Texas, you probably know that having Low-E windows is the law—the city requires it. But it’s a good thing: they help keep your house cooler during scorching Texas summers and they allow you to reduce what you pay for utilities. However, if you don’t live in Frisco and are thinking about getting them, here are a number of reasons they just make good sense.
A Little History
Low-E windows were first invented in the ‘80s for people back East, in the Midwest, and up North so that they’d stay warm during their brutal winters. They were built to let as much light in as possible and to reflect the sun’s rays back into the room when heat tried to escape through the windows. They act as insulators and can reduce condensation build-up on icy days. In fact, if you stand near the windows in a snowstorm, you may feel the heat bouncing off the pane. But here’s what happened. Southerners and Texans started wondering why they couldn’t get in on the energy efficiency and comfort, so now they’re designed to save you some money and keep you cool during our hot-as-Hades Texas summers.
How Low-E Windows Work
The “e” in Low-E stands for low thermal emissivity, which is a fancy way of saying they reduce heat transfer. (You want this June-August.) The inside of the glass is coated in microscopic layers of metallic oxides that reflect heat back to its source. The particles are minuscule—invisible to the naked eye—and reflect the rays outside, away from certain parts of your rooms. This is a huge improvement from heavy tints or manually applied films. Better still, these windows allow natural light to easily pass through and flood your interior space. The special coating also protects against harmful UV rays, which can damage things like rugs and paint. This way, you experience increased energy efficiency, lower bills, as well as comfort in summer and winter. That’s a big plus, due to the extreme weather that invariably comes our way.
DIYers, You’re in Luck
Now, if you like your windows but want to install them yourself, Low-E tinted film can be retrofitted for you. You’ll have to practice a bit before you dive in, but it can be done. Luckily, there’s a wide range of films that come in different tints and you can put them both inside and outside of your windows.
Generally, Low-E Windows Get Good Press
These days, Low-E windows look great and in terms of energy efficiency, go the distance. But for older commercial buildings, they have the potential to be an eyesore. Here’s why: When buildings are constructed, the glass typically has a Low-E and UV tint (usually blue or gray) applied during fabrication. Over the years, some of the windows will need to be replaced, for a variety of reasons. It’s not uncommon that the same color of tint is no longer available or an exact match cannot be made. So, when you’re driving downtown, look up and see a few windows on a high rise that are a slightly different color, you’ll know why.
At Peak, when we start the conversation with you about replacing your windows, we begin with your objectives and priorities. Most of the time, though, we’ve found that people pretty much want the same things. They want them to be aesthetically pleasing, energy-efficient, and low maintenance. Other desirables folks want are that they have a long lifespan and a good warranty. Fortunately, Low-E windows provide all of these things—and at a reasonable, affordable price.
If you’re ready to replace the windows at your home in Frisco, Plano, Allen, North Dallas, or anywhere in the Metroplex, call Peak. We’ll give you an honest assessment about what type of windows are right for your home or business. We’re here, ready and waiting, to help.