Pittsburgh window experts recommended low-E glass

Pittsburgh window experts recommended low-E glass

Our front windows face southwest. We have no shade trees in the front yard, so we are expecting the front rooms to get hot this summer. We also have condensation between the panes.

We plan to replace the glass, but I am getting conflicting advice. Should I get low-E glass and rely on it to block the IR heat waves, or get clear glass and have an IR-reflective film applied? Which will give me the best results? — Angie's List member Roger Linville

Melissa Kish, sales manager at highly rated Window Installation Specialists of Pittsburgh Inc. in Irwin, Pa., says the film works if you are not planning on replacing your glass. But if you're already planning on replacing windows or glass, you should use low-E argon insulated units. These block about 50 percent of light and about 82 percent of ultraviolet rays.

John Schmotzer, president of highly rated Metropolitan Window Company in Pittsburgh, also says you should consider replacing the entire window — not just the glass.

"You might be better off — from an energy efficiency and an operational perspective — to compare the price of both options, replacing just the glass or the entire window," Schmotzer says.

Either way, he recommends getting a low-E coating on the glass rather than a film that is applied after the windows are installed.

"A low-E insulated glass unit with argon gas between the panes will reflect radiant heat from coming into the home during the summer months and will keep radiant heat from escaping your home during the winter; therefore, saving you heating and cooling costs."

Do you have a service-related question? E-mail us at mailbag@angieslist.com.

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