Disadvantages Of Low-e Glass
At the outset, let me say this - on the whole, there are very few disadvantages of low e glass. It is the reason that nearly 70% to 80% of all new and replacement windows sold today come standard with some form of low-e. Despite this, there are a few disadvantages of low e glass that you should aware of before you start window shopping. (Get it - window shopping - I digress.) First off, let's do a quick primer on low-e glass itself.
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Low-e glass is an exterior coating applied to the glass during the manufacturing process that allows sunlight to pass through, while reflecting heat (UV rays). The result is a more energy efficient window from the older clear glass used in past decades.
Disadvantages of Low E Glass: Darker Tint
Life is a trade off and window glass is no exception. Low-e coatings darken the glass pane. How much? For a single coating - not all that much. It’s usually not a big concern for the majority of homeowners. However, as you get into the higher end low-e glass that might contain three or four coatings, this darker tint can be quite noticeable. For some homeowners, it really bugs them visually. For others who live in homes that lack natural sunlight, it can be a big detractor.
Disadvantages of Low E Glass: Green Tint
Glass with multiple low-e coatings can take on a green tint that really bothers certain homeowners. This is one reason it’s so important to see the glass in person prior to ordering it. If you do have a problem with this green-ish tint, ask the sales rep what other glass options they have that might not take on this greenish tint.
Disadvantages of Low E Glass: Cost
Like all upgrades and add ons, low-e will add to the per window cost. A standard low-e upgrade might run $50 per/window - this is for windows that don’t come standard with low-e coatings, which as I stated at the outset is a lot. For a two or three coating upgrade, expect to pay $75 per/window. Finally, upgrading to a premium 4 coating low-e glass, consumers can expect to pay roughly $100 per/window. As with all things in the replacement window industry, these prices will vary by manufacturer. For instance, an expensive seller like Renewal might charge double this price. Check out our Renewal By Andersen complaints page to see some examples of expensive bids and upgrade costs.
Low E Glass Options
Dear Mr Dane, I have filled out the form on your site. Your opinion matters!!! Thank you so much for your great support.
[Site Editor's Answer]
Hi Dulce. So I tend to think that low-e 272 is the best option for providing comfort year round and thermal performance. There are too many what ifs for me with glass -- season, where they face, times of day. There are going to be trade offs that you could spend weeks analyzing and not necessarily coming up with any "magic pill". Then there is the darker tint issue by going with a low-e 366.
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