Which Window Glass is Best for Your Area?
If you live in a colder climate, you want to minimize heat escaping your home and maximize radiant heat from the sun entering your home in the winter months, which means a lower U-Factor and higher SHGC.*
If you live in a warmer climate, heat escaping your home is not as important as preventing the sun’s radiant heat from entering, which means a higher U-Factor and lower SHGC.
There are additional factors when considering Low E coatings
. If you want to protect grandma’s family heirloom or a valuable art collection, you may want to add specific coatings that will reduce the harmful effects of UV radiation, even if you live in a cold climate. In far northern climates the sun will not shine directly through windows located on the north side of the building, so it may be unnecessary to install windows with a high SHGC to take advantage of the warm sun rays. Large shade trees can reduce the need for windows with a low SHGC. If perfectly clear glass is important to you, remember that the more coatings you apply to a window, the more tint it will have.
The bottom line for glass performance is this: When building a new home or replacing windows in your existing home, make sure to have a conversation with the installation contractor or window dealer
. Let them know which glass characteristics are most important to you.
*In northern climates it’s sort of a “pick your poison” when it comes to SHGC. If you choose a window with a low SHGC, you could benefit from the sun’s heat in the winter, but you also may have to manage the heat from the summer sun with shades, large overhangs, shade trees, etc.