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Low E – The term used with windows, not the sixth string on a guitar

Continuing on this series of terms used by new home  builders.  Todays topic is Low E windows, chances are when you are out shopping for a new home you will hear a builder tell you, “We have energy efficient windows“, and as proof he’s tell you “they’re double pane, Low E”.  OK the double pane part is pretty self explanatory if you know the glass part of a window is called a window pane so double pane means there are two pieces of glass separated from each other by an insulating layer of air or clear gas.  The window keeps the heat or cold from transmitting through the glass as fast and it also reduces the sound transmission through the glass.

So what’s the Low E referring to?  The E in Low E stands for Emissivity.  Emissivity is the opposite of Reflectivity.  In fact the sum of an objects Emissivity and Reflectivity are by definition, the number one.  A blackbody would have a Emissivity Rating of 1 and a reflectivity rating of 0.  But we are talking about windows here so what does any of this have to do with windows?  Low E windows have a coating, consisting of fluorinated tin oxide and Pyrolytic coatings and then some Silver layers to increase the Reflectivity of the glass and decrease the radiant heat the glass lets through the window.  Have you ever noticed how warm your skin feels when it is in direct sunlight on a bright day?  If you block the Sun and your skin is in shade it feels much cooler.  You don’t have to be Albert Einstein to figure out shade is cooler than direct sunlight.  The reason it feels warmer in direct sunlight is because sunlight contains Radiant Heat.  By reflecting a larger portion of the direct sunlight, Low E windows let a smaller amount of that radiant heat get through the windows and into your home keeping the inside of your home more comfortable all day long.  Double pane windows alone don’t stop radiant heat from coming right through the glass.

Maronda Homes includes Low E, double pane windows as a standard feature in our homes built in Florida.  The energy consumption for Florida homes is greatest in trying to keep the home cool so keeping radiant heat out of the home is important.  It’s just another way Maronda Homes offers an Easily Observable Better Value.  Of course it helps when understand what you are getting and why.

 

About Tom Greenawalt

Tom is a Licensed Builder in the State of Florida. He has been in the construction industry for 35 years building new homes in Pittsburgh, Washington DC, and Chicago before moving to Central Florida. The majority of Tom's career has on detached housing for entry level and first time move up buyers. He was with Maronda Homes for over 15 years.

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