Is your home too hot when the sun shines?
Low e and solar control glass
Glass in the 21st Century is much better than glass from the 20th century
The UK isn’t renowned for its sunshine but that doesn’t mean that when the sun does come out, your home can become uncomfortably hot. Glass magnifies the heat from the sun and the more of it that you have, the more likely it is you’re your home is going to become uncomfortably warm.
The other factor in this equation is aspect. In the UK South facing elevations get the sun all day, while those facing west, get it in the afternoon and evening when the air temperature is at its highest.Ironically this is the very reason why we prefer south facing gardens and why so many of us find older conservatories almost unusable in the high summer!
The world, has, however moved on, and one area where it has moved on most significantly is solar control glazing, generating new flexibility to control heat in conservatory installations, including the replacement of glass in older conservatories. As the name suggests, solar control glazing prevents excessive temperature build-up in summer months. It’s not new – it’s been used for decades in office buildings, shops and public buildings where glass is used on a large scale. It would be worth mentioning at this point that a south facing glass building, that is sitting in the warm summer sun all day will still get warm if not properly ventilated or shaded, after-all it is much like sitting in the sun or sitting in the shade!
But new innovations in glass technology and with it increased affordability, mean that solar control glass is now far more accessible to home owners. This provides a solution to anyone who has an older conservatory, which is too hot when the sun comes out. It also means that glass can be used in new ways to create new year-round living spaces.
So how does it work? Solar control glass reduces the impact of heat radiation or solar gain in three main ways – reflectance, transmittance and absorptance. In other words, it reflects sun radiation, it limits the amount which can get through and it absorbs some of the energy.This is measured through the ‘G-Value’. We have already seen how this contributes to the overall performance of energy efficient windows and doors as part of a Window Energy Rating.
It’s based on the total amount of solar radiation that enters the home through the glass. The lower the G-value the lower the solar gain – or the better it is at preventing the build-up of heat within your home. In addition to the chemical constitution of the glass itself, this minor miracle of technology also uses special coatings, which improve the glass’ ability to prevent solar radiation still further. These coatings are known as low e glass (low emissivity)
Depending on their design, older conservatories can be retro-fitted with solar control glass. But the major shift that solar control glass delivers, is the flexibility to develop a vast range of new glass installations, which provide an affordable way to add extra year-round living space to your home. This includes garden rooms, sun rooms, orangeries and contemporary hybrid-conservatories.
Feel free to contact me or a member of the team by calling 01264 359355 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.You can download our self cleaning Pilkington Solar Control brochure ideal for conservatory roofs.