The Benefits of Low-e Windows For Your Multifamily Complex

With high heating and cooling costs and a significant demand on both HVAC systems, particularly in extreme climates, energy efficiency is one of a property manager’s top priorities. Energy-efficient windows are an excellent way to save energy on any property. 

What are low-e windows?

Low emissivity or low-e windows are window panes coated with a metallic oxide layer. This invisible coating protects your home from damaging UV rays that can fade furniture and be absorbed by your skin. The metallic oxide layer controls infrared light as well. The way that light filters through low-e windows keeps homes warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. 

Low e-windows consist of hard coatings and soft coatings. Hard coatings are typically layered on the outside of windows or between window panes. They are less efficient than soft coatings but more hardy against the elements. Soft coatings, on the other hand, are applied to the interior of window panes. They are more efficient but less hardy in extreme heat and cold. 

How low-e window retrofits can lower energy costs

Low-e windows were originally designed in the 1980s for the extreme cold in the Northern and Midwestern regions of the United States. The metallic oxide layer on or between the window panes helps a building retain more warmth during the long winter months. Because the panes of low-e windows are warmer, they aren’t as prone to condensation and frost. The original design evolved to accommodate extreme summertime heat as well by reflecting heat back outside during the hot summer months. 

As a property manager, you try to minimize your risk and generate the best return for the building’s owner. When you retrofit low-e windows into your building, you reduce risk and increase ROI in a few main ways:


  • Tenants experience less dramatic temperature changes in their living space and remain more comfortable. This translates into less demand on the HVAC systems…and more money in the owner’s pocket. 
  • Less demand on the HVAC systems means lower operational and maintenance costs. 
  • Tenants who benefit from increased heating and cooling efficiency may be more satisfied with their living arrangements which can reduce the cost and headache of unit turnover. 

How can e-window retrofits can increase your property value?

People want energy-efficiency. Consequently, properties that boast energy-efficient features are that much more marketable. When it comes to selling a property, smart owners can highlight their building’s energy-efficient features and raise the asking price to reflect this investment. Smart investors know that energy-efficiency will benefit their bottom line and that less demand on the HVAC systems means more stable and predictable heating and cooling costs across all their units. Thus, investors will pay more for a property with energy-efficient features. 

In the northern part of the country, we experience the extremes in weather. If you’re managing a multifamily complex with inefficient windows, maybe it’s time to explore how low-e windows can benefit your tenants and keep more money in the owner’s pocket. To learn more, contact Hoyt Exteriors here

Do you think it might be time for a window upgrade? Check out one of our recent posts to learn more!

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