Perhaps no term is uttered more frequently, in the world of windows, than Low-E. By now, most people think they know what that means, but few know what it means for their home. This is because continued advances in glazing (glass) technologies allow you, with a little advance planning; select from different Low-E finishes for different windows in your home. With minimal effort your budget will go further and you’ll get a more energy efficient home.
A Northern Climate
In a nutshell, our northern region climate is dominated by heating energy use. Our summers can get hot and humid requiring air conditioning, but heat waves are usually short lived, while winter is cold and long. It’s a straightforward decision to choose windows with a higher SHGC (solar heat gain co-efficient), which means the window, will reflect heat back into the home, collecting more solar heat.
In addition to our northern climate, you want to consider the orientation of the windows in your home. Specifying Low-E requirements for different windows allows you to maximize your home’s comfort and spend your money wisely. In other words, it’s no longer, one size fits all, and instead Low-E comes in a sophisticated array of options to meet your exact needs.Here are simple northern region strategies to consider when planning a remodel or new home.
South facing windows: Choose a high SHGC glazing – above 0.40. South windows are a good source of passive heat in winter, but if you use this strategy you also need a roof overhang that provides shading in the summer.
West facing windows: Choose a low SHGC glazing to reduce much unwanted afternoon summer heat gain. Overhangs don’t work well against the low evening sun.
East facing windows: Like west facing windows, keep the size of these windows to a minimum in order to control unwanted solar gain or loss. Most people select a low SHGC, however some prefer a high SHGC glazing as a good way to warm cool mornings.
North facing windows: Minimal contribution to the temperature control of your home’s interior.