Posted by on Mar 28, 2016 in blog

Science concept: Flask icon on Green chalkboard background

Energy efficiency is an increasingly important factor in many of our major shopping decisions – everything from toilets to major appliances to vehicles are being designed with more and more attention to efficient functionality.

The same is especially true for windows. Studies have shown that 18% to 20% of a home’s heat loss can be attributed to windows and doors, which makes inefficient windows one of the biggest energy drains in your house! Today, virtually all new windows are manufactured using energy efficient materials, including Low-E coatings and Argon Gas fill. But what are these coatings all about? What exactly is Argon Gas? Does all this really help? Read on, to find out how energy efficient windows really work!

The Low Down on Low-E Coatings

Low emissive glass, or Low-E glass, is glass that has been covered with a microscopically thin coating that minimizes the amount of infrared and ultraviolet light without affecting the amount of visible light that is transmitted. This is done by re-radiating heat and light energy; the ability of a material to radiate energy is known as emissivity, which is where Low-emissive glass earns its name. Reducing the emissivity increases the insulating properties of the window. Because the process works both ways, both preventing heat from entering the home and stopping it from escaping, manufacturers have developed various types of low-E coatings, each designed to work in specific climates.

The Two Main Types of Low-E Coatings:

Hard coat, or passive coating: Passive coating is applied while the glass is being manufactured, through the pyrolytic process. The coating is fused to the hot surface of the glass, creating a hard coating. This is a very strong and durable type of coating, and is great for cold climates as it allows some of the sun’s heat to enter the home, but still prevents hot air from escaping.

Soft coat, or solar-control coatings: Soft coat Low-E is applied using the MSVD process, or Magnetron Sputtered Vacuum Deposition. The coating is applied to glass in a vacuum chamber, at room temperature. This coating is not as durable as a hard coat, but offers superior solar control. It’s best suited for mild and warm climates, especially where air conditioning is frequently used.

Let’s Gab About Gas

If you’ve been shopping for new windows or sealed units, you’ve probably heard of Argon Gas. It’s commonly used to fill the space between the panes of glass in sealed units.

Argon gas is colorless, odorless, non-flammable and non-reactive. It’s a member of the noble gas family and is the third most common gas in the Earth’s atmosphere. Argon is 38% denser than air and it does not carry heat in a rotational mode, giving it a very low thermal conductivity rating. It’s also relatively easy to produce and very cost effective, making it the most popular choice for air replacement in windows.

Two Is Better Than One

When combined, Low-E coatings and Argon gas work together to greatly increase the efficiency of your windows. Over time, this translates into huge savings in heating and cooling costs and, most importantly, a home that is consistently comfortable for you and your loved ones. Interested in learning more? Contact the experts at Marcotte Glass to start saving money today!



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