More than Energy Efficiency

Glass Technology

Ply Gem Low-E glass does more than just lower energy bills. It delivers comfort, creates less condensation and protects valuables from sun damage far better than conventional clear glass. Plus, it meets specific solar and energy control needs for different climates and geographic regions nationwide.


Low-E Glass

Low E GlassLow-E (low-emittance) glass has a secondary, very thin metallic dual layer coating that allows the sun’s heat to pass through the glass, but at the same time works to reflect radiant heat back toward its source. Since it reflects radiant heat waves, it helps keep the inside of your home warmer in the winter by trapping radiant heat and cooler in the summer by blocking it from your home.

Low-ESC is optimized for warmer climates because its two heavier layers, which are applied through a patented process, block 73 percent of the sun’s radiant heat from entering your home, while providing superior insulation in cooler weather to save you energy year round.

Our Interior Surface Low-E is engineered to have a lower U-Factor, and is applied to the interior surface of the glass, providing increased comfort and improved energy savings. The U-Factor of this glass is lowered approximately 0.04, improving energy efficiency so that many of our doors and windows meet new energy codes and ENERGY STAR® zone requirements.

The neutral color, low-haze, ultra-smooth surface of the Interior Surface Low-E glass provide a clearer view of the outdoors and can be cleaned with common household glass cleaners with no special instructions. Our Interior Surface Low-E is durable and scratch-resistant.

Ply Gem’s Low-E glass minimizes interior glare, reducing eyestrain and making it easier to watch television or look at a computer screen when bright sunlight fills a room.

Ply Gem offers a wide assortment of Low-E configurations and glass packages:

  • Low-E—One lite of Low-E
  • Low-ESC—One lite of solar-cooling Low-E (for regions with significant indoor cooling requirements)
  • Low E2‡—One lite of Low-E and one lite of Interior Surface Low-E
  • Low-E2MAX‡—Triple pane with two lites of Low-E with an interior glass substrate
  • Low-E3MAX‡—Triple pane with two lites of Low-E with one lite of Interior Surface Low-E


HP Glass

HP GlassHP (high performance) Glass packages combine Low-E with argon gas fill and Warm Edge spacer options, providing high-performance insulating glass to meet your specific needs. 

Ply Gem offers these HP configurations:

  • HP—One lite of Low-E with argon gas fill between panes
  • HP2+—One lite of Low-E and one lite of Interior Surface Low-E with argon gas fill between panes
  • HPMAX—Triple-pane glass package with two lites of Low-E with two chambers of argon gas fill
  • HP2MAX—Triple-pane glass package with two lites of Low-E and an interior glass substrate with two chambers of argon gas fill
  • HP3MAX—Triple-pane glass package with two lites of Low-E and one lite of Interior Surface Low-E with two chambers of argon gas fill


Sound-Reduction Glass Package

Sound-Reduction GlassTurn down the noise from the outside world with Ply Gem’s sound-reduction glass package. This specially engineered assembly reduces the transmission of exterior sound, providing homeowners with one of the best defenses against the unwanted intrusion of urban and suburban life.

Single hung and picture windows are now available with a glass package that achieves an STC 35, while sliding windows achieve an STC 34. This glass package combines asymmetric laminated glass and dissimilar thickness glass within a 1” dual pane insulated glass unit to achieve improved sound performance. This sound control solution is available with both our WarmEdge and WarmEdge + spacers, as well as the Low-E and HP glass packages available within the 1500 Vinyl Collection.


Impact-Rated Glass

Impact-Rated GlassImpact-Rated Glass can take just about anything Mother Nature can throw at it. Rated to meet some of the toughest standards in the country and approved by the Florida Building Commission, this laminated glass package is designed and engineered tough to resist wind-blown objects up to eight feet wide. Impact rated glass packages are perfect for hurricane-prone regions and are also great for extra security anywhere. 

Impact-Rated Glass:

  • Is rated in accordance with International Residential Codes and meets impact requirements in U.S. Zone 2 (110-120 mph) and Zone 3 (120-140 mph)
  • Passes ASTM E1886/1996 Large Missile Impact and Cycling Tests
  • Meets AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440 standards; Florida Building Commission approved
  • Meets wind-borne debris specifications for large missile D (eight-foot missile for Impact Zone 3 at 50 ft/sec) and small missile C (four-foot missile for Impact Zone 2 at 40 ft/sec)
  • Can be added to double hung units, which are constructed to meet DP50 performance
  • Can be added to casement units, which feature corrosion-resistant coastal hardware and are constructed to meet DP60 performance

French outswing patio doors feature corrosion-resistant coastal hardware in bright brass or satin nickel finishes and are constructed to meet DP50 performance.


Features That Make the Difference

Warm Edge Technology
Warm EdgeThe Warm Edge glass spacer system reduces thermal transfer around the glass perimeter by utilizing a unique U-shaped channel to separate glass panes and interrupt the natural flow of heat to cold. Warm Edge is one continuous piece creating a stronger, more energy-efficient insulated glass unit. Plus, it flexes with glass expansion and contraction to ensure a strong seal for the life of the window.

Argon Gas Fill
ArgonArgon is a safe, odorless, colorless, naturally occurring gas, which is denser than air (40%* denser than air). When used in conjunction with Low-E glass, argon provides better insulation because heat and cold do not pass through argon gas as easily as through air, providing better performance. Argon is non-toxic and presents no human health or environmental concerns. Ply Gem offers gas-filled insulated units in a number of windows and patio doors.

R-Core® Insulation
R-CoreSome vinyl mainframes of Ply Gem windows are filled with patented† R-Core insulation (pre-expanded, high-density solid polyurethane), the same type used in many refrigerator and freezer doors. It prevents voids and settling and results in even distribution of the maximum insulating barrier. Windows with the Energy Package upgrade feature R-Core in both the frame and sash for unbeatable thermal performance.

†U.S. Patent Number: 4,516,356

HP3maxOur HP3MAX glass package is a triple pane unit that combines three lites of Low-E with an interior glass substrate, two chambers of argon gas fill and Warm Edge spacer. Windows with the HP3MAX glass system are among the most thermally efficient windows you can buy today.

EPmaxEnergy Package MAX (EPMAX) combines the HP3MAX glass package with R-Core in the sash and frame. Interforce II fiberglass reinforcement is placed in the meeting rails of Premium Series double hung and sliding windows.