Family Life

What Kind of Glass Should You Use for Your Home Windows?

If you’re considering the installation of new windows in your home, some advance research could save you a lot of money as well as get excellent value from whatever you choose to buy. Window installation can be an expensive proposition.

Also, the type of glass you select for your windows will have a direct impact on your energy bills for many years to come. You probably don’t want to choose the the kind of glass you’re going to be paying extra for over the coming decades.

If you’re not familiar with the range of options, take a look at the most common types of glass that can be used for windows.

1. Double and triple glazing

In most residences and businesses today, single panes of glass are not used very much anymore. The majority of windows found in homes are double glazed.

This is due to the fact that energy efficiency is primary concern for homeowners and builders alike. A double-glazed window consists of two panes of glass that have a spacer to connect them. Gas fills the space, so these are known as Insulated Glass Units (IGUs).

It’s also possible to triple-glaze IGUs. Triple glazing tends to be considerably more expensive, though. Triple-glazed windows are more typically installed in homes located in climates that experience extremely cold temperatures.

2. Fillings: inert gas or air

Historically, air used to fill IGUs. However, when air cools and warms, the movement of the air creates cold areas at the bottom of the panes and warm areas near the top.

This kind of heat transfer is reduced by the substitution of a less-conductive gas than plain air. This helps to improve the glazing’s performance and lowers the window unit’s heat transfer rate.

3. Low-E coatings

A coating that qualifies as low-emissivity (or Low-E) has a thin layer of metal. It’s applied by the manufacturer to a single side of the glass.

Even though the coating is difficult to see, it slows down the U-factor of the glass, which is a technical rating for how quickly it conducts (or loses) heat. In the United States, manufacturers will always subject the glass pane’s inner face to the Low-E coating as a way of protecting it from physical damage and harsh weather.

4. Tempered glass

Glass that is tempered is an outstanding choice for areas of the home where glass has a higher chance of getting broken. Glass that is tempered has been heat-strengthened. This is a process that’s capable of making the glass roughly four times as strong as glass that has not been treated.

If tempered glass gets broken, it is specially designed to crumble rather than shatter into many sharp and dangerous pieces.

Selecting the correct type of glass is a decision you probably shouldn’t take lightly. With energy prices constantly on the rise, it’s in your financial interest to do whatever’s necessary to reduce your energy costs as much as possible.

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Anna Johansson

Anna is a freelance writer and researcher from the Olympia, WA area who loves to obsess about weird topics and then write about them. When she isn't writing, she is outside on her bike and comtemplating her eventual trip to graduate school.

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