Do I want low-SHGC windows on the east and west sides?
I live in sunny New Mexico and am doing research for having my ancient, awful aluminum windows replaced. I'm torn on the question of whether I want low solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) windows, though. My house faces east-west with only two small, unshaded windows on the south side. Most of the windows are east or west, and these windows cause the house to gain undesirable amounts of solar heat in the summer, especially a large west-facing picture window which makes the living room really hot. Most of the east and west windows are fairly well shaded, but still let in a good bit of direct sunlight in the summer, especially in the afternoon. However, they also let in a lot of desirable solar heat in the winter when the sun is lower and gets under the shading more, especially a large sliding glass door on the east side which really helps to prime the house with heat in the morning.
So I don't know if I should be spending more for the fanciest LoE coating available for these east and west glazings. On one hand, it seems like it would help with summer overheating, but if it's going to block an equal amount of desirable winter solar gain, what's the point? Should I go with a less-serious LoE coating on the east and west windows? What about the south ones? There are only two; does it really matter much?
Posted Jun 13, 2014 4:10 PM ET
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