Homeowners frustrated with rising cost of heating and cooling now have a new way to save money on energy bills: SmartSun Glass. Developed by industry leader Andersen Window Company, SmartSun glass is one of the most energy-efficient glass choices for windows and patio doors, yet it has none of the drawbacks typical of highly efficient glass.
“Usually when you get glass that’s this energy-efficient, you make sacrifices in how much light you let in your home,“ says Gerry Rogers, owner of Mr. Rogers Windows in Hampton Roads, VA and Charlotte, NC, which sell Andersen windows and patio doors.
Rogers is talking about tinted windows. If you’ve ever seen dark windows in banks or office buildings, you know what they are. A film or metallic coating has been applied to the glass to make it dark. While tinted glass blocks heat and UV rays better than other glass, it also lets in very little sunlight.
“Tinted glass is a good choice for those one or two windows in a home that get too much sun,“ says Rogers. “But an entire house of tinted windows would be very dark.“
SmartSun glass offers the same high level of energy-efficiency while letting in almost all of the sun’s light. Rogers says that compared to his standard high efficiency thermal glass, SmartSun lets in just 7% less light.
“You can barely notice it,“ he says.
Preserve Your Home’s ’Good-As-New’ Look by Blocking UV Rays
How does SmartSun glass manage to juggle both aesthetics and energy-efficiency? By improving Low-Emissivity (Low-E) coating applied to the glass.
Low-E is a micro-thin layer of metal applied to glass to make the glass more energy-efficient. Andersen uses 9 metallic layers to reflect the heat energy from the sun. These Low-E coatings even reflect UV rays, while blocking a negligible amount of sunlight.
To increase the energy-efficiency and still let in plenty of light, Andersen opted for a simple, elegant solution: add another layer of silver. That extra layer drastically increases the energy performance of the window. In the summer, SmartSun glass is 70% more energy-efficient than a standard double-paned window. In the winter, it is 45% more energy-efficient.
SmartSun also reflects 95% of UV rays. These rays can damage and fade furniture, carpets, and drapes. By blocking UV, SmartSun keeps furniture and fabrics looking good as new.
And yet SmartSun lets in a lot of sunlight. A faint, silvery tint is evident, but when the sun hits the glass, the tinting seems to disappear.
“It’s the most energy-efficient glass we’ve ever offered,“ says Rogers. “It’s the best choice for homeowners today. Not only do you let in the sunlight you want, you keep out the heat and UV rays you don’t want.“
SmartSun glass is available in windows and patio doors.