There is a lot to consider when choosing the correct replacement windows for our Arizona homes. The glass we select is one of the most important choices. All Arizona homeowners have, at one time, or are currently living in a home that gets unbearably hot in the summer months. 90 percent of the heat that enters our homes is due to the glass in our windows. Having a properly insulated window is extremely important due to our intense desert heat. Affordable Windows understands this, and that is why we only offer quality windows to uphold in our extreme climate. All of our windows are custom made and properly configured to help keep our home comfortable year-round.
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What is an Insulated Glass Unit?
An insulated glass unit, commonly referred to as an IGU, is simply two or three pieces of glass, separated by a spacer system, that is then hermetically sealed. This prevents moisture from getting in between the glass. Due to the extreme heat we experience here in Arizona, our homes need more protection from the sun than just glass, as glass itself can conduct heat, just like a glass cup when exposed to hot liquids. This is why industry leaders have designed a formula called Low E coating, in order to obtain energy efficiency in glass and reflect the heat away from your home.
What is Low Emissivity Glass?
Low Emissivity Glass, which is referred to as Low E Glass in the window industry, refers to specific coatings placed onto the glass to reflect heat. There are several types of Low E available, but only two are specifically designed to handle our Arizona, desert heat.
Low E 366 –
Cardinal Industries is the leader in producing the most energy efficient glass for replacement window manufacturers. Affordable Windows is proud to have partnered with manufacturers whom only utilize Cardinal Glass in their window frames. Cardinal Industries was formed in 1962 and has been advancing coated/ Low E glass since 1983. Throughout the years, their glass has become more and more efficient! Whether it’s to keep our intense desert heat out, or even Minnesota’s much needed heat inside, Cardinal Industries has a specific Low E formula to cater to any climate. In 2006, their next generation Low E coating was introduced with a triple layer of silver that produces a low U factor, low solar heat gain and high light transmission; This is Lowe 366.
Low E 340 –
When it comes to glass that can block out our Arizona heat, Low E 340 has no rival. The solar performance of this glass is much more substantial than a dual pane unit. Low E 340 alone has a solar heat gain co-efficient ( SHGC) of just 0.18. Add a quality frame from one of our manufacturing partners and the solar heat gain coefficient of an Arizona window is reduced to a 0.05 or lower. What’s more, Low E 340 still allows an abundant amount of natural light to enter our homes, while keeping the inside of our homes at the perfect temperature.
Low E 340 also delivers the greatest UV protection out of all the Low E glass on the market. UV protection is important because ultra violet rays are damaging to our furniture, flooring and window coverings.
Benefits of Low E Glass
#1 – Reduced energy consumption – Keep heat out = lower SRP / APS bills.
#2 – Reduced Fading – Keep UV light out = furniture and flooring are protected
#3- Increased Comfort – How do you put a price on comfort- Priceless
#4 – Reduced Condensation– Windows with the proper / right Low E can eliminate condensation.
U Factor: This factor measures the amount of heat loss from inside to outside. The importance of a u factor here in Arizona is not as relevant as it is in colder areas of the country. This ranges from 0-1.2 ; The lower this number, the greater the window is at resisting heat loss. This number can also tell you how well the window was built and engineered. In our professional opinion, any window above .30 does not belong in the Arizona desert.
SHGC ( Solar Heat Gain Coefficient ): This is the measurement of heat resistance from outside to inside our homes. In essence, it tells you how much heat you are keeping out of your home. The range of this factor is from 0-1; the lower the better at keeping out the heat.
Visible Transmission: This is a measurement of how much natural light is coming through your glass. This ranges from 0-1. The higher the number, the more natural light is coming through the glass.