It’s easy to feel overwhelmed shopping for the right replacement windows, and many homeowners don’t know what separates premium products from basic options.
When customers visit our showroom or have an in-home consultation, our support team is happy to explain the differences. Still, Low-E energy-efficient windows are the better choice, especially for homes in southern areas like Raleigh and the Triangle in North Carolina.
But what makes these products unique? Keep reading to see why Low-E glass replacement windows offer a better value – and add more curb appeal!
What Makes Low-E Glass Windows Special?
Standard single-pane windows allow the most sunlight to pass through the glass. Rooms feel brighter, warmer, and look more inviting. So, what’s the downside? The answer is poor energy efficiency since plentiful sunlight also radiates excessive heat.
Unfiltered sunlight looks fantastic, but it transfers heat into the house more than homeowners realize. They usually don’t notice until energy costs rise or the room gets sweltering in summer.
That’s one reason why manufacturers invented Low-E coatings in the 1980s. It keeps the home cool and comfortable since the layer diminishes the amount of thermal energy transferred from surface to surface.
Back then, the idea was to give homebuyers unfettered views of the property while keeping the seasonal elements at bay. Today, energy-efficient windows come in a wide variety, so it’s difficult for the average homeowner to know the differences.
The improved functionality makes Low-E glass special, and here’s a brief rundown of the science behind the product.
How Do Low-E Products Work?
“Low-E” refers to a physical characteristic called emissivity, meaning how well a surface radiates thermal energy. High emissivity means more heat transfers from a glass pane’s exterior surface to the interior, subsequently warming an entire room.
For example, consider how uncomfortable it feels to wear a pitch-black cotton shirt in August. Wearing the shirt becomes unbearable in minutes, yet wearing a thin white shirt makes it easier to tolerate the heat. The same comparison applies to replacement windows.
In layman’s terms, Windows with Low-E coatings make rooms feel cool in the summer and stay warm in winter. How? The coating also functions as a means to prevent warmth from leaking out of the window.
In a double-pane window, the Low-E coating consists of a thin layer of silver oxide. It’s hardly visible to the naked eye but substantially lowers emissivity. Although the coating is critical, a quality double-pane window also contains odorless, inert gas between each pane to reduce energy transmission further.
The challenge is knowing which Low-E window brands are superior because each product comes with different ratings from the National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC).
What Are the Best Window Brands to Look for?
The hard part for the average homeowner is knowing how to interpret NFRC labels because not every product has the same quality. Price shouldn’t be the only consideration.
Certain Low-E products work best in colder climates, while others do well in hotter climates.
Our preferred high-end, Low-E windows at Kelly Window and Door include Sunrise Windows and Restorations Windows. Both lineups consist of sound, structurally reinforced materials for a longer life span and come with a manufacturer’s guarantee – and our own lifetime window installation guarantee too!
Sunrise and Restorations windows offer superior manufacturing quality, and that’s why both brands are a mainstay in our showroom. Best of all, the latest products now include Low-E Omega 12 Glass, raising energy efficiency to a new level.
Sunrise Windows come in different Latitude Glass packages, insulated glass systems certified by the NFRC. These packages break down into five other models, three options for double-pane windows and two for triple-pane windows.
Double-pane Sunrise Windows with Omega 12 Glass comprises a 7/8″, dual-glazed insulated glass unit (IGU) and features the new XLEdge spacer system. Sunrise also uses high-density Argon gas for superior efficiency. The Omega 12 coating consists of 12 layers of high-performance reflective metallic shields, making the product certified to Energy Star standards.
The result is even greater energy efficiency than previous models, ultimately lowering homeowners’ energy costs.
Sunrise Windows customization options include:
- Decorative grids
- Designer art glass
- Interior trims
- Exterior finishes
We can discuss more customizations when you visit our showroom and speak with our team.
Restorations windows also feature Latitude Glass packages and utilize the XLEdge glazing system, just like Sunrise Windows’ lineup.
XLEdge glazing offers superior protection because it’s a double-sealed system, unlike the single seals used by ordinary window manufacturers. Those companies usually use a lower-quality insulated glass system, which makes the glass appear foggy as moisture builds.
Restorations windows will never have that problem.
Our competition’s glass packages only last 4-6 years in independent laboratory tests. The XLEdge glass spacer system available in Restorations windows has a rating of 70 years!
Best of all, Restorations windows are customizable and can fit any homeowner’s specifications and style.
Visit Our Window and Door Showroom Today to Speak with Our Experienced Team
If you need to speak with our team about which windows work best for you, stop by our showroom today or schedule a free in-home consultation. We’re always available to our customers and can help you decide which Low-E glass windows suit your needs.