Understanding how to limit solar heat gain from entering our homes affords us the opportunity to save money on large heating and cooling bills. Bills that according to the U.S. Department of Energy account for more than 48% of a homeowner’s energy consumption. A very cost-effective way to control this heat, and keep your energy bills down, is to install Low-E windows.
Understanding Heat Gain
Heat gain is the term used to describe the accumulation of excess heat within your home. While it can come from any source that produces heat, it is most commonly the result of sunlight, which contains various levels of ultraviolet rays. UV streams through your windows, and generates heat in your home, thus causing indoor temperatures to go up.
There are several factors involved in your home’s rising temperatures including the number of daylight hours, outside weather conditions, the angle of the sun in the sky, and the direction in which the windows face. Too much heat gain, as often evidenced by large energy bills, can reduce indoor comfort and make it increasingly difficult for your air conditioner to cool the home.
Every homeowner, no matter the climate in which they reside, should take heat gain into consideration when looking to reduce their energy costs. If sunlight is entering your home, via your windows, it has some effect on indoor temperatures. Luckily, there are many ways you can reduce the negative effects of heat gain, including installing quality Low-E windows.
How Do Low-E Windows Work?
Low-emissive, also commonly referred to as simply Low-E, windows have been treated with an invisible metal or metallic oxide coating creating a surface that reflects heat while still permitting light to pass through. Windows treated with Low-E coatings have been proven to help reduce winter heat loss by as much as 55% and summer heat gain by as much as 70%. They are also proven to:
- Reduce energy consumption
- Decrease fading of fabrics
- Increase overall indoor comfort
Even better is the fact that these windows are ENERGY STAR eligible, which means that upon purchasing your new Low-E windows, you’ll be eligible to receive 10% of the cost up to $200 for all years since 2005 back. Installation costs are not included.