The advantage of glass windows today is that they allow you to say hello to light, while waving goodbye to all problems that have been associated with glass so far. New technology and the incredible development in the industry gave room for the construction of glass that can bring all amenities and comforts to your home and keep away the troubles.
The options are already out there, the question is what you really want for your home.
Obviously, most windows are not just about the glass. Their performance, strength, resistance – all things about them, are subject to all components – the frame above all. But glass is always at the core of things. Why? Because it provides views without obstructions but also no privacy. It won’t rot or corrode, but it may break.
Now, forget all you knew about glass so far and see what you can get today.
- Thermal efficiency
- Privacy (yes, that’s right)
- Noise reduction
- Enhanced security
- Great views
Whether we are talking about double-hung and casement windows or patio doors, glass does much more than bring in the light. That’s clear so far. Now, the hard part is to decide what you need based on your personal needs or the climate at your location. Did you know that you can control heat transfer by choosing replacement windows with the appropriate Low-E coatings?
Understanding glass to get the right windows for your home
Single glass pane windows quickly fall into oblivion. Today, most windows incorporate at least two panes of glass. While up to recently, 2-glass pane windows dominated the market, nowadays more and more people opt for triple pane products.
The glass panes may be of different thicknesses and are held together by spacers, while the gap created between them is filled with gas or air – usually argon gas. The whole unit is sealed all around.
The whole point of having double or triple glazing windows is to improve the insulating properties of the unit.
R-value, the thermal efficiency of the window
The type and thickness of the glass along with the number of the panes determine the thermal efficiency of the window which is measured by an R-value. When you buy a new window, you see a number constituting the R-value of the window. The higher it is, the higher its thermal efficiency.
U-value, the thermal efficiency of the glass
In order to get a window that will insulate to your satisfaction, you need to pay attention to another measurement – the U-value. The number, indicated as the U-value, shows how much heat energy is gained or lost through the glass. When the number is low, the heat transfer is low and so, the insulation is better.
Low-E glass windows explained
There’s a thin coating covering the inside parts of the glass panes and acts as a shield against the cold temperatures. This coating is called Low-E (emissivity) and depending on the type, it controls the heat transfer based on your needs. Since not all climates are the same but the need to control heat transfer and thus, save energy, is a must everywhere, there are different types of Low-E coatings and often subject to the local code requirements. So, you’d better check with your window installation company.
Decorative glass options, if you want to increase privacy
For a clear view through your sliding glass windows or patio doors, you need clear glass. But how about if you worry about your privacy in the bathroom or bedroom? Today, the options range from bronze tint and laminate to obscure and milk. Frosted glass will still let the light in but will protect your privacy. And then, there’s textured glass – ideal for windows where privacy or security is a consideration. Also, the frosty effect doesn’t have to cover the entire window. If this is a double hung window, the bottom glass can be tinted or textured and the upper part can be clear.