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low e glass vs double glazing

Perth, Bunbury and southwest WA homeowners are taking advantage of energy efficient windows and doors to improve their home’s comfort level, as well as its heating and cooling efficiency.

Two popular glazing options among energy-conscious customers are double glazing and Low-E glass, but which one do you choose?

Short answer. It depends, and it’s worth speaking to a glass expert to help you make a suitable choice.

Long answer. It still depends but read on as we summarise the features and benefits of double glazing vs Low-E glass for your windows and doors.

What is Double Glazing

Most people are familiar with the term double glazing but what exactly is it?

Jason Double Glazing, also known as an Insulated Glazing Unit (IGU), is constructed with two panes of glass, with the gap between them filled with either air or Argon gas. Our choice of Argon gas instead of air creates an additional layer of insulation that can help reduce energy loss and keep your home at a comfortable temperature year-round.

Argon gas is known to create a more effective insulation break than air by greatly reducing both heat flow and thermal conductivity through the glass, meaning it is even harder for heat to transfer in to, or out of your home.

Now that we know what double glazing is, let’s look at the benefits of using it in your doors and windows.

 

Benefits of Double Glazing

  1. It helps to improve energy efficiency – double glazing helps to reduce the amount of energy lost through your windows, which can lead to lower heating and cooling costs.
  2. It improves thermal comfort – the extra layer of insulation created by double glazing may help keep the internal temperature of your home more consistent, resulting in less temperature fluctuations and a more comfortable environment.
  3. It may help reduce noise pollution – with the right combination of glass, double glazed windows and doors can act as a sound barrier, reducing outside noise and creating a quieter living space.

 

Close-up on Jason Windows double glazing frame, showing the two panels of glass and the spacer in between.

Depending on your choice of glass combination, Jason Double Glazing can be optimised for energy efficiency, thermal comfort, or noise pollution.

Is Double Glazing worth it?

Depending on your circumstances and budget, double glazing can be very beneficial for your home. Not only in terms of energy savings, but also in terms of comfort and quiet enjoyment.

Double glazing can make your home more comfortable in winter and in summer.

Depending on your choice of glass combinations – double glazing can help keep the internal temperature of your home more consistent.

During winter, the Argon gas-filled gap between the two panes of glass acts as a thermal barrier, trapping warm air inside and blocking cool air from entering your home, leading to less temperature fluctuations and a more comfortable environment.

The reverse is true in summer with double glazing helping to prevent cool air escaping your home and warm air from entering. This helps keep your home at a comfortable temperature year-round and may lead to lower energy bills.

Speak to our glass experts for advice on which double glazing combination is best for making your home more comfortable year-round.

Double glazing can create a quieter living space.

While it won’t make your home soundproof, the right choice of glass combinations in your double glazing can help reduce the amount of noise coming through your windows and doors, improving your home’s peace and quiet.

Speak to our glass experts for advice on which double glazing combination is best for improving the acoustics in your home.

What is Low-E Glass

Single glazed Low-E glass is a performance glass which has a transparent metallic coating that allows natural light through but helps to block heat (if your main concern is blocking summer heat, ask our glass experts about toned glass).

It works by absorbing and releasing certain wavelengths of ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) radiation and is often considered as an alternative to double glazing.

Popular brands of Low-E Glass, also known as low emissivity glass, include Sunergy™, EnergyTech™, SmartGlass™ and ComfortPlus™.

Learn more about Low-E glass.

Now let’s dive deeper into its features and benefits.

Benefits of Low-E Glass

  1. Insulation and Solar Control – Low-E glass provides insulation and solar control when using tints so you can enjoy a comfortable temperature within your home all year round.
  2. Protects Furniture – Low-E Glass can help reduce the rate at which furniture fades by absorbing UV radiation.
  3. Improved Energy Efficiency – Low-E glass can improve energy efficiency ratings for new homes, especially in cases where plenty of light is desired.

 

Low-E window annotated with arrows showing external infrared heat being absorbed and released back outside, and internal infrared heat being absorbed and released back inside.

Low-E glass can provide energy efficiency, insulation and solar control, and help protect furniture from fading.

Is Low-E Glass worth it?

Given the right situation, single glazed Low-E glass can be an effective and affordable glazing option for your windows and doors.

Low-E glass can make your home more comfortable in winter and in summer.

It can help prevent heat from entering your home during summer and insulate against internal warmth leaving your home during winter, but it also reduces solar gain which means the limited solar heat during winter can be blocked.

Low-E glass can also provide protection against harmful UV rays, helping to prevent your furniture fading from sun damage.

Does Low-E glass reduce noise?

Low-E glass is not designed to reduce noise. A laminated glass with a Low-E coating may include an acoustic interlayer.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficients and U-Values

Which one is better? Low-E Glass vs Double Glazing?

When deciding between Low-E Glass or Double Glazing, it is important to consider your budget, needs, and preferences.

If your main priority is energy efficiency and thermal comfort:

  • Double glazing, with the right combination of performance glass, can yield excellent results tailored to your requirements. However, due to its higher initial expenses, it may take some time to recover the investment through energy savings.
  • Single glazed Low-E glass can serve as a cost-effective alternative and has the potential to offer performance comparable to that of entry-level double glazing with clear annealed glass.
  • Toned or Tinted Glass could be a cost-effective option for beating the summer heat, but it could darken the room more than you would like, so take this into consideration before deciding.

It is recommended that you get an independent energy efficiency assessment to better understand how to reduce your energy usage and increase your thermal comfort.

If your main priority is a quieter living space:

  • Double Glazing with one or both panels in laminated glass can help optimise your home for noise reduction.

Double Glazing and Low-E Glass combined.

Double glazing refers to two panes of glass, separated by a spacer, which are sealed together to form an insulated glazing unit (IGU). This gives you the opportunity to combine two types of performance glass to improve the performance of your windows and doors for different situations.

Double glazing that uses Low-E glass can reduce energy costs significantly while also providing increased comfort inside your home.

Other types of double glazing combinations can include:

  • One or two panes of laminated glass can be used in your double glazing to optimise your home for noise reduction.
  • Tinted or Toned glass can be used in your double glazing to reduce the amount of heat gained from the sun in rooms that get too hot in summer.
  • A combination of Low-E and Laminated Glass in your IGU may enhance energy efficiency and improve acoustics.

A Jason Windows product specialist will be able to help you pick the ideal combination for your desired results.

Factors that can affect your choice of glass

Consider... Curtains and window furnishings

Curtains and window furnishings can help insulate your windows from solar heat gain. By choosing heavier fabrics, such as thick drapes or blackout curtains, you can reduce the amount of sunlight entering your home and keep it cooler during the summer months. Additionally, adding blinds or awnings to your windows can provide shade and reduce the amount of direct sunlight entering your home.

Curtains closed on a large window at the front of the house

Consider... Orientation of the windows

The orientation of your windows can influence solar heat gain. North facing homes are desirable in WA due to the positioning of the sun.

Windows with a northern orientation in WA means they get indirect sunlight throughout the day without coming under the full intensity of the sun, which helps to reduce heat build-up and glare, while still allowing natural light indoors.

For east facing windows that receive the morning sun and west facing windows that receive the afternoon sun, it may be beneficial to have a Neutral or Grey toned glass to help reduce heat transmittance.

Windows bathed in light from the afternoon sun

Consider... Shade from Trees and Roof Eaves

Shade from trees and roof eaves can reduce the amount of direct sunlight entering your home thus influencing your choice of glass for your windows.

Large eaves and trees provide shade over the windows under this verandah

Final Word: Low-E Glass or Double Glazing?

Jason Windows recommended that you seek the advice of a qualified glass expert who will take into consideration your home’s orientation, the function of each room and the surrounding environment to help you decide on your choice of glass.

Jason Windows Glass Guide

If you’re interested in learning more about choosing the right glass for your home, download the Jason Windows Glass Guide.

The guide covers the role of glass in your home, types of performance glass, energy efficiency, and more. It also lists the pros and cons of different types of glass offered by Jason Windows.

Overhead view of person sitting with their ginger cat, reading the Jason Windows Glass Guide on their iPad.