The world of windows has come a long way from what it once was. No longer do we simply choose a single-pane wood window and call it a day. Now we have double- and triple-paned windows, high-efficiency windows, and a wide variety of frame materials to choose from.
This post will tackle a few of our most commonly asked questions: what are low-e windows? What is a tempered glass window? Is one better than the other? Are they different at all? Follow along and you’ll find out all you need to know.
The tempering process consists of cutting an annealed pane of glass to size and then exposing the pane to extreme levels of heat, after which it is rapidly cooled within seconds. By rapidly cooling the glass, the surface of the glass will harden much faster than the internal portion in order to create equal tensile stress.
The resulting pane of glass is many times stronger than standard glass types, making it highly valuable when installed in areas where window damage may be possible. Additionally, tempered glass is considered a form of safety glass because it “crumbles” into small pieces when it breaks rather than forming dangerous shards.
Low-emissivity, or “low-e,” windows actually refer less to the glass itself and more to a coating that is applied to the pane. Low-e coatings typically consist of metallic particles or oxides that are applied to a finished pane of glass before installing the window. These coatings offer a reflective barrier against ultraviolet and infrared light, both of which can pass right through a normal, untreated window. Equally important is that a coated low-e window will filter out these light types without reducing the amount of, or altering the look of, natural light that comes into your home.
Ultraviolet light contributes heavily to heat gain, an issue that a low-e window can remedy. By filtering out (or, more accurately, bouncing away) UV light, a treated window can drastically reduce the amount of heat that enters your home through the windows. A low-e treated window will keep your home cooler and more comfortable while also helping to minimize cooling costs.
In order to answer this question, first ask yourself another one: what are your goals? Do you want strong, durable windows that are guaranteed safe if they break? Or is efficiency, comfort, and home preservation more to your liking? Answering these questions can make the replacement process much simpler overall.
Or, if you’re interested, you can actually have both! Windows treated with a low-e coating can also be strengthened and tempered. And additionally, plenty of tempered window options include efficiency advantages like advanced sealing techniques. Many manufacturers offer these window options, and the investment could be well worth it if you want a durable product.
Interested in low-e or tempered window products that can be customized according to your wants and needs? Connect with Quality Window and Door to find out more about Weather Shield products! Weather Shield tempers their own glass in-house and offers a wide range of efficiency coatings, multi-pane options, and custom window products!
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