Good News! New Types of Low-e YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS


Name: [B][U]Low-e4[/U][/B]

I was wrong about what I said about the coating being on the outside of the glass. My apologies for inaccurate information. Upon doing more research (which I am not finished with yet) I found out that the coating on the outside is only the titanium oxide we’ve heard about for a while now.

I am still not clear on all of this yet, but since I began this post I wanted to update this info for future reference.

The following few paragraphs are pasted info I found and copied from another site. Also found out that Milgard has somewhat the same product.[/B][/U]
Here is what I found:

There are basically five types of LowE coatings currently on the market.
Three are “sputter” or softcoats and two are “pyrolytic” or hardcoats.

Of the three softcoat products, basic LowE would be considered a high solar heat gain product. LowE2 would be considered a low solar heat gain product, and LowE3 would be considered an even lower solar heat gain product.

Andersen’s LoE4 has a standard LowE2 coating between the lites and argon gas for energy performance, but it also includes a titanium dioxide coating on the exterior of the window that makes the glass “self-cleaning”.

Although some folks might cringe at the term self-cleaning, the coating does work quite nicely and you will notice a difference in how they look and in how often you will have to clean the glass.

Finally, the “4th” feature of the LoE4 is a plastic film that is applied to the glass in the factory that protects it from dirt and debris and even minor scratches during shipping and handling and install.

Andersen’s SunII glass is a tinted LowE2 that has very nice solar heat gain blocking ability and also it is nice because it cuts down on glare as well.

Milgard’s SunCoat is a standard LowE2 product - much the same as the LowE2 that Andersen offers as their standard.

SunCoatMax is a LowE3 product. The LowE3 product is very new and has only been around for maybe 3 or 4 months - this doesn’t mean avoid it because it is new - it means that it is an advancement of a proven technology and it works really well.

LowE3 has the same heat blocking ability as a tinted LowE2 (such as SunII), but with visible light transmittance very similar to a standard LowE2 product - without tint.

In the case of a west-facing door that has both heat and glare issues, then you may prefer a tinted LowE but with the understanding that the view thru the door will be less.

SunII has either 38% or 40% visible light transmittance (I forget which version they use) and SunCoatMax has 66% visible light transmittance - again with very comparable solar heat blocking capability. Standard LowE2 (including SunCoat) has about a 70-72% visible light transmittance.

Standard LowE has about a 78% visible light transmittance, but it also passes significant solar heat which is an advantage in places other than where you live.

I didn’t mention anything about hardcoat coatings because none of the products you mentioned use them. Also, they are much less appropriate in your environment (primarily cooling) than are sputter coats.

No LowE coating has an affect on sound propagation thru the glass. "

[B][U]Please note, the source of this information does not come from an official or trusted source.[/U][/B]

If you are not aware of this already, please educate yourself and do some research because this WILL affect you and your business from now on.
Previously, the Low-e coating has always been on sides 2 or 3 (inside the IG unit) which did not affect us at all.

The new windows that are already installed in some newer homes. We had an estimate request from a nice woman who mentioned that her windows were new but that the manufacturer (Anderson) will void the warranty if any kind of “harsh” soaps are used, and of course, no razors.

So, I did some digging, and found out that the coatings are also on the exteriors and the interiors of the windows.

[B][U]Which would also put an end to the FD issue since razors absolutely can’t be used.[/U][/B]
It would also mean that no stickers should be on that glass, and that if the builders don’t know about this and continue to let the other trades muck up the glass-they’re screwed.

It would be a perfect oportunity to not only educate yourself, but also inform the builders and commercial clients you currently do have about the new product and also your new procedures.

Here is the info from Anderson. (Tried to attach the PDF download from them but its too large, here is the link to download for your records. Scroll to the bottom and click the care and maintenance guide).By the way, Old Castle has them as well. Take a look at their new site, and new biz name. We all know that they are the worst for FD, but now? They absolutely HAVE to turn out good product.

This is from Old Craple’s site regarding the cleaning methods to be used…NO AMONIA…

Do not expose the edges of any laminated glass to organic solvents, acids or any cleaner containing
ammonia, which can react with the plastic components. Once the glazing is installed, the glazing contractor
should ensure that the glazing is protected from possible damage caused by the construction practices of
other trades. Take particular care during the initial cleaning, especially if the surfaces are severely soiled.
Never attempt to remove dry deposits. NEVER use a sharp blade or scraper to remove deposits or clean
the glass.
First flush with water to soften and remove as many contaminants as possible. Then use a clean squeegee
to remove excess water, ensuring that abrasive deposits do not get trapped between the squeegee and the
glass surface. Then use a mild nonabrasive, nonalkaline cleaner and a soft, grit-free cloth to clean the
glass. Rinse immediately with water, removing excess water with a squeegee.
For routine cleaning, a mild soap or detergent, with lukewarm water, can be used with a clean, grit-free
cloth. Dry the surface immediately and never allow metallic or hard objects, such as razor blades or
scrapers, to come into contact with the glass.”[/B]

I spoke with Tony Evans about this yesterday morning, who knows about it as well long before myself who says that if the glass has FD on it, and the low-e coating is on it that it will be very obvious.

So, read up on it so that you know what you are up against when you encounter it.




I’ve run into a few of those beauties in the past couple of years. As Bugs would say “What a maroon!”


When your talking low-e are you talking plastic window tint or is it a spray on coating. I am aware of low-e IG units but since it has been in between the glass I have not known what the coating is made of. It sounds like the dumbest thing the window industry has come up with so far. They did this back in the 70’s I believe with commercial glass where they put the coating on the exterior of the buildings. The problem is the coatings are not as durable and resistant to damage as glass is. Tory are they putting it on the inside of the homes or the exterior. If they put it on the exterior that will cause big problems for us as the dirt that collects on the exterior often cannot be removed without an abrasive.

From the sound of the instructions though it could be on the exterior of the home. You can’t flush with water on the inside. This is messed up! If an abrasive cannot be used on the exterior you can’t in most cases remove all the dirt without an abrasive! I don’t see this helping us in the window cleaning industry. If its on the inside then its no no different than cleaning a home with tinted windows.

Good luck to the building industry being able to deliver a quality finished product to the home owner!


low-e coatings are generally a metallic spatter coating. We’ve all no doubt seen the fish eye blemishes in between IG units which is a reaction of the low-e to FD on the glass. The reality is that once anything serious gets on the glass it’s ruined. If a pet scratches at the window it’s shot. If a kid carrying anything metal around bumps the glass it’s shot. If you use CC-550 for hard water staining it will react with the metal in the coating. All around they have sacrificed durability for a little better energy rating.


Thanks for the heads-up. Ill keep my eyes open.


the link to download the PDF wouldn’t work when I tried it Tory.
This is an interesting move. I really see how this could destroy the “Quality”-image of Andersen windows. We all know how quick to blame the window cleaner a homeowner can be if their window gets scratched, but with the description stated above I see how homeowners themselves could easily end up ruining their own brand new windows just trying to clean them up. On the other hand, I don’t see how this could be any worse for Old Castle, ha ha.
Ok, so for all of your opinions do you guys/gals think using bronze wool or a white 3m scrubby pad would be out of the question?


It sounds that way from there warranty warnings. That’s why I was asking if the coating will be outside or inside. If inside then its no different than a tinted window. If outside that could and will be a big problem. The outside gets dirty quickly and needs wool or razor to come clean all the way. I guess we will see.

Has anyone ran across these windows with the coating on the exterior of the home?


This is what I found when I looked up information on Anderson windows for another thread: page 3


No metal in contact w/ this coating at all. This means no steel Or bronze wool. No metal blades of any size.


I’ve maintained floors for a long time. I’ll use ARMSTRONG as an example. They not only design a product but tell you what you need to maintain it. They even make the products to accomplish this.

Vinyl Floor Cleaning Products from Armstrong

Why don’t the window manufacturers do this. They don’t have to make the products, but at least publish what products can be used to clean their windows. I think they don’t want to do this because it would be much more expensive for the homeowner to have their windows cleaned without scraping.


The real problem John, is that they have no idea how to clean their product. Not to mention if they do give specific ways to clean up after serious dirt and then the windows got damaged they would be liable and they are all about staying out of the liability loop.


I wonder how many homeowners know this?

You can remove dust, dirt, smoke, film, soot and salt spray by using a mild
detergent and water solution and a soft cloth or brush. [B][COLOR=“red”]To remove heavy dirt or
grime from glass, first wipe loose debris from the glass surface with a soft, dry
cloth.[/COLOR][/B] Then apply a cleaning solution, such as mild soapy water, vinegar or a
liquid window cleaner, and wipe in a circular motion. Remove cleaning solution
with a squeegee or a clean, lint-free cloth. As a general practice, you should
never clean glass in direct sunlight. To avoid damage to the glass, never use
razor blades on glass surface.


They are morons for putting the coating on the outside, even a finger nail will mark it up. I had a house that i couldn’t clean the inside because of the coating, and there was stickers on them from the manufacturer.


Has anyone cleaned this type of glass and not damaged it? We have run into a few homes with low-e on sides 1 or 4 and passed on them once we realized what was going on.

On another note, when we talked to a bunch of window installers at a home show a few months back, most of the guys were really “aloof” about the subject, or they just flat out told us they think it’s a terrible idea too.



They have no idea because they don’t care. They don’t have to care. Their warranty protects them.


Not sure but here in Australia we have glass it called comfort Plus sounds simlar to what you are talking about.

Any way found some directions on how to clean.

Take a look at Specialised cleaning.

It’s a bit long but is this what you are looking for in regards to cleaning the glass you have there.

To clean, wipe over the surface with a few drops of methylated spirits on a damp cloth, and then polish the surface dry with a lint free cloth. Proprietary glass cleaners are not recommended as some of them can cause damage to the silver backing on mirrors and the interlay of laminated glass. Ensure that all cleaning cloths are free of any abrasive substances.

Avoid causing extreme temperature changes as this may lead to thermal fracture of the glass (i.e. do not direct hot or cold water onto glass).

Cleaning tips for ComfortPLUS - Important (as it is not like any other type of glass)
Routine cleaning The coated (interior) surface of Pilkington ComfortPLUSTM can be easily cleaned by hand to remove accumulated dust or fingerprints. This can be accomplished with various glass cleaning products.

As the exterior surface of the glass is not coated it can be cleaned in the same way as ordinary glass. Commercial vinegar-based products usually provide a streak-free glass surface. So does a mixture of one part vinegar with ten parts water.

Pilkington does not recommend the use of ammonia or alcohol based glass cleaners because they tend to leave visible streaks.

Internal cleaning procedure
•Flood the glass surface with the spray-on cleaning solution or apply with a cloth saturated with the cleaning solution Be generous with the amount of solution applied
•Scrub the wetted surface with a clean, lint-free towel
•Wipe dry with a clean, lint-free towel or cloth - do not squeegee on the ComfortPLUSTM coated (interior) surface.
•To prevent streaking, stop wiping when the glass is almost dry and there is a slight, uniform film of moisture left on the glass surface
Spot cleaning
This may occasionally be required to remove any stubborn dirt or foreign materials that adhere to the Pilkington ComfortPLUSTM surface.
Spot cleaning products remove marks from grease, oil, tape adhesive, crayons, waxy materials, paint and rub-off marks from plastics.
We recommend Acetone, a solvent available from most hardware stores.

Spot Cleaning Procedure
•Apply a small quality of the cleaner listed above to clean, wet cloth or towel
•Rub onto areas of glass needing spot cleaning
•Wipe clean using a dry, clean lint-free towel or cloth followed by the normal internal cleaning procedure
Specialised cleaning
Do not use razor blades, steel wool or other metallic objects on the Pilkington ComfortPLUSTM surface. If metallic objects contact the coated surface, a thin layer of metal removed from the object may be deposited onto it; this results in a discoloured stain which is difficult to remove with normal cleaning products. We recommend hydrochloric acid, available from hardware stores.

Specialised cleaning procedure
•Carefully follow the chemical manufacturer’s safety instructions
•Apply a small quantity of the specialised cleaning product listed above to a wet cloth or towel - a cotton bud may be used for thin marks
•Rub on areas of glass that need cleaning
•Wipe clean using a dry, clean lint-free towel or cloth followed by routine cleaning procedure
•Ensure that the cleaning solution does not come into contact with framing materials


Sorry, just noticed the question.
Yes, its on the insides too. I imagine thats why its called Low-e4, the 4 being the number of sides the coating is applied too. Its really NOT messed up for a few reasons, and it IS messed up for the ones who purchase the product for sure because of the high maintenance cost associated with it.

Reason its better, is because the companies will have to turn out a better product, it will need to stay cleaner in order to be maintained in the first place as well so that means greater frequency of service.


Sash replacement will probably be necessary in some instances.


This is why i’m saying it will be messed up for us. Most homeowners will not even read the care instructions. Even if they do they probably won’t keep up with the frequency. They will think oh well I will just have a professional come out and they will deal with it. Kind of like when they have painters come out and they don’t make them cover the glass. They just think oh well I will just call the window cleaner. I deal with customers like this all the time. They expect you to clean up the mess. The problem will be that you can’t because it would require steel wool or razor to get it clean. With my experience customers don’t want to hear an explanation about how you can’t get it clean, no matter how good the explanation. To them that translates into he ca’t handle the job and I need to call another window cleaner who can get the job done.

If enough people install these windows this will be a big problem for us as window cleaners guaranteed. I appreciate your optimism Tory, but I think it will be a big mess that’s just my take. I think we’re both on the same page as far as knowing how ridiculous the product is.

My only concern is if it is on the exterior of the home. That’s what will cause the problems. I’m going to post a new thread on this and the FD issue so be sure and read it. I think there is something we can do as an industry to motivate some change in the manufacturing industry.