When you buy windows, it’s easy to spend a lot of time thinking about the style and the look of the window without giving much thought to the type of glass. The type of glass you choose for your windows can have a significant impact on your satisfaction with your windows as well as your home’s energy efficiency. Knowing the differences between the most popular types of glass on the market can help you pick the right window glass for your needs.
Low-E coating is a relatively inexpensive way to boost your home’s energy efficiency because it is made from an invisible layer of metal or metallic oxide. These coatings work by reflecting UV light back into the atmosphere while allowing visible light to pass through the glass.
In other words, Low-E coatings enable the room to be lit by sunlight without heating up the air. During the winter, Low-E coatings prevent heat from escaping the home. Low-E coatings also prevent UV rays from entering the home, which prevents fading furniture and lessens your skin’s sun exposure.
Tinted windows do many of the same things as low-E coatings. Tinted windows block UV rays from entering the home and reduce the fading that occurs when sunlight hits floors and upholstery. Tinted windows also help reduce glare, making the view inside the home more comfortable.
Window tints come in a variety of shades, from green-blue to brown or black. The level of tinting that the windows provide will depend on the color as well as the thickness of the coating.
Laminated glass contains a layer of plastic sandwiched between two layers of glass. When the glass is broken, the glass remains stuck to the plastic and does not fall from its frame.
Laminated glass is tough, protective and very difficult to break. Homeowners with security concerns often use laminated glass to prevent burglaries. This type of glass also provides some sound protection, which can be useful for homeowners in noisy locations.
Dual-pane glass is made from two layers of glass with an air pocket in between, while triple-pane glass consists of three layers of glass with two air spaces in between. Homeowners hoping to improve their home’s energy efficiency turn to dual-pane and triple-pane glass for insulation.
Triple-pane is more energy efficient than dual pane, but it’s also heavier and more costly. Dual-pane windows are popular because they are cost-effective and easier to open.
Although dual-pane and triple-pane windows are very energy efficient, homeowners hoping to get the most out of their new windows often turn to gas-filled options. Gas fills are windows that have gas in the space between the dual or triple layers of glass. Argon and krypton are the two most popular gasses in gas-filled windows. Argon is popular because it is inexpensive, but krypton is more energy efficient.
Both gasses are clear, non-toxic, and dissipate quickly if the window begins to leak, so gas-filled windows are considered very safe. Over many years, gas may leak from filled windows, but a reputable technician can replace this gas. Homeowners who think their gas-filled windows have lost their energy efficiency can check with a window tech for assistance.
If you’re thinking about buying new windows and have questions about the different types of glass available on the market, contact us at Windows & Doors of Wisconsin. We will be more than happy to answer any of your questions.
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