When choosing glass for your home's doors and windows, the choice isn't as simple as it seems. There are several cutting edge glass technologies that are available to improve the comfort and efficiency of your home. One such innovation is called Low-E glass. Low-E glass, or low emittance glass, is a razor-thin glaze coating applied to glass, designed to block harmful UV rays while still allowing visible light to pass through. If you're thinking about investing in new glass for your home, here are a few of the pros and cons of opting for Low-E.


Energy Efficiency: One of the most obvious benefits of having a glass glaze that blocks UV rays is that it improves the energy efficiency of your home. It helps your home retain the desired temperature with less energy loss from your HVAC system constantly turning on and off. It does so by reflecting radiant heat—summer heat is reflected and winter heat is absorbed. Installing triple-pane windows with a Low-E glass rather than regular double-pane glass will double the R-value of your windows.

Protects the Home: One of the most visible benefits of Low-E glass is its ability to block UV rays from entering your home and that will protect things like furniture and curtains from fading. If you've ever looked at the back of your curtains after they've been hanging in a sunny window for several months, you've undoubtedly noticed severe fading in the colors and also degradation of the fabric. Not only do the UV rays warp colors, but they also break down fibers. Low-E glass will minimize fading and keep your fabrics in better shape for a longer period of time.


Price: Just like any innovative technological solution, Low-E glass comes at a price. Adding the glaze will increase the cost of window and door glass. Adding the Low-E glaze to your new windows or glass doors will cost an additional $6 to $14 per square foot. However, many homeowners consider the additional efficiency and protection to fabrics and fibers worth the extra cost.

Blocks Vitamin D: If you're hoping to get your daily dose of vitamin D via the sunlight streaming through your windows, you'll have to find another solution for catching rays. Because Low-E glass blocks those harmful UV rays, it also blocks your ability to absorb Vitamin D from them. Still, you can always go outside, take a supplement, or drink a glass of milk to get your daily dose.

Learn more about your options by contacting local glass services.