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Identifying low-e windows

pjb999
October 18, 2006

Hi all,

I bought my house in May of this year and it was advertised as having low-E windows, and most of the windows are, indeed new vinyl types. But how do I know if they are in fact, the Low-E types? There's no labelling to that effect, but the master bedroom window for example does an amazing job of soundproofing - my neighbour's diesel truck, which he has a habit of warming up at ridiculous hours, becomes almost silent when I close the window, however, the bathroom window, also new, does develop condensation quite easily.

Ironically, the only windows in the house with any sort of energy smart type stickers are the last two older/original wooden double-glazed windows which are anything BUT energy-efficient, you can certainly feel the draught around them. I have been considering replacing them myself, I'm a reasonable handyperson but figure financially and climate-wise, I may have to wait 'til spring...

Comments (8)

  • fusion866

    Most (not all) windows with low e have a greenish tint when you look at them from certian angles, an easy way to see it is to lower the top sash so you're looking through both sashes at the same time. If your windows were custom made alot of manufacturers put warranty stickers on the frame, most times they hide it above the top sash. If you can find one there will be the manufacture's name and a series of numbers. They can put that number in their computer and have all the specs of that window, from the sizes of the sashes, the contractor who ordered them, 1 lock or 2, and if they have low e glazing and argon gas.

  • pjb999

    Thanks. Mine slide sideways, but I'll look for specs. I do count myself lucky to have new windows of any sort, we got our house for a really good price, we might well have ended up at the same price with something that needed total updating, windows included.

  • energy_rater_la

    here is a quick way to see if your
    windows have a low e coating..
    take a cigarette lighter & light it.
    hold it up next to the glass.
    if the flame is the same color @ the
    lighter, the reflection in the first
    pane of glass, and the second pane of
    glass, it is clear glass.
    if the flame is more yellow than orange on one of
    the reflective panes, you have a low e tint.
    (this was my test before the purchase of a light
    meter to actually measure the amt of light entering)
    cold climates should have a low e coating on
    the outer of the inside pane
    hot climates should have the low e coating on
    the inside of the outer pane.
    cold climate location is to reflect heat back into
    the house, hot climate location to reflect heat
    out of house.
    some glass mfgs put window glass composition
    on the glass on the lower corner..
    hope this helps..

  • fusion866

    neat trick energy rater!

  • energy_rater_la

    thanks fusion866!
    It served me well for several years
    before the light meter purchase.

  • oberon476

    What she (ERLA) said - great answer btw.

    ERLA, have you ever used a laser IGU thickness measurement gauge? They are rather pricy, but an excellent tool if you need to know the IGU airspace and they will also identify the LowE coating and which lite has it.

  • energy_rater_la

    No Oberon I haven't used that toy!

    Tell me why the IGU airspace is something
    that we need to know..

  • phward_btinternet_com

    Easiest way to identify if it has Low-e, is if the silver trim inbetween the glass has a date stamp on it, if it's after 2002, then the windows will have low-e, as this is standard regulations now (UK). Also another way to determine low-e is look at a bathroom window with patterned glass, if the patterned glass is on the outside, then this has low-e as the coating needs to be on the inside pane which is smooth..Again (UK) Climate conditions

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