Your home undoubtedly has quite a few windows. Take a moment to count them, then think about what they mean to you. It’s hard, isn’t it? I mean, we tend to take them for granted. Yet they are the things that let us see the outside world through our walls. They allow fresh air to come in when we open them. They also let sunlight pour in when we open the curtains. But as inconspicuous as they tend to be, there’s more to them than you might think.
Things to Consider When Buying Window Glass
When it comes to buying window glass, there are a number of factors to consider. It’s tempting to reduce it to a simple cost-to-benefit ratio, but it’s not just about money. Even if you spend good money on something that delivers good performance on paper, the daily reality of living with it is almost of more importance. The following things may help you to choose the right window glass.
Types of Window Glass:
The simplest way window glass is categorized is according whether it’s insulated or not. Typically, single-glazed glass is not considered insulated, and thus provides low thermal efficiency. Double and triple-glazed glass provide many times more insulation. They also have the added bonus of reducing noise from outside. They’re a must-have for very cold climates, although the thickness and number of layers needs to be chosen carefully for optimal balance between seasons.
Thermal efficiency (R-value):
The R-value of the window glass is a measure of its thermal efficiency. Single-glazed glass has a very low thermal efficiency. That means that it allows heat to escape easily. This can make it harder and more expensive to heat your home in winter. To improve this insulation, double or triple-glazed windows have gaps between the layers of glass. These gaps are filled with an inert gas such as argon, which is a poor conductor of heat.
Size of the windows:
Bigger windows let more light into your home. The downside of this is that the larger the surface area of glass in your home, the more heat is lost, since most of the heat loss in your home occurs through windows. Therefore the best solution to more light isn’t necessarily more or bigger windows, but a skylight, since skylights are much better at letting light in than vertical windows.
Low thermal emissivity (low-e) windows are designed to offset the major side-effect of the thermal efficiency of insulated windows. I’m talking, of course, about infrared heat. With standard thin glass panes, heat passes through easily from one side to the other. Insulated window prevents this to a large degree. The exception is infrared heat from the sun, which gets trapped inside. Low-e windows combat this with the addition of an invisible metallic film on the outside of the glass, which reflects the infrared heat, and thus helps to keep the inside of your home from becoming an oven in summer.
About the author
Apex Window Werks is a wood window repair and glass replacement company. It is a small company with big responsibilities. Feel free to visit their website to make sure they service your area in NY, IL, WI or OH.