Replacing windows in your home isn’t as easy as it may initially sound. There are many different types of glass, so you need to make sure you get the right kind. In addition to aesthetics you need to consider user needs, and energy efficiency.
Your home isn’t like every other home, so even when shopping for windows, you have to keep that in mind. If your house is exposed to more heat than others, it simply can’t have the same type of windows other houses have. If you want to know what the best glass for windows is, then look no further, because all your questions are about to be answered.
Double and Triple Pane Glass
You want windows that are better insulated and eco-friendly. You want glass that’s hard to break so your home is more secure. With panes of glass linked to each other by a spacer and filled with insulating gas, all of this is possible. You really don’t have to go all the way with triple-glazed windows unless your home is exposed to a colder climate.
Double-glazed windows are energy efficient. They increase the comfort level in your home and they don’t succumb to condensation problems the way single pane windows do. Add to the fact they reduce noise and energy bills while increasing property value, and you’re on the up and up.
Windows with double glazing don’t come at a small cost, however, with some nearing the $1000 mark. Additionally, if your home is more traditional, it probably won’t go well with these modern windows.
Also consider just how hard it is to repair these windows, and their replacement when damaged.
As for triple-glazed windows, one pane can break and they’ll still work fine. They’re so durable and sturdy, that they stop cold drafts in their tracks, all while reducing heat loss. As if that wasn’t enough, they’ve proven to be more thermally efficient than windows with two panes.
Cost is definitely one of the big drawbacks when you go for three panes. Not only do they cost more than single and double pane windows, but they also call for a robust frame and tough hinges. What’s more, you might have a brightness challenge because many homeowners claim that three panes reduce brightness.
Low E Coated Glass
Low E coated Glass has a microscopic film of metal on the inside surface of the window. What this does is reduce the amount of heat without reducing the amount of light. There are different kinds of e-coatings, which allow for varying levels of heat gain. Some will allow a lot of heat to go through the window while others can block most of it out.
This type of glass is fortified by heating it at high temperatures and cooling it quickly. This makes the glass less brittle while reducing internal stress and strengthening it. Tempered glass is also called safety glass, and for good reason. It’ll break into blunt pieces when struck, resulting in lowered chances of injury.
Tempered glass doesn’t scratch easily and it’s multi-purpose since you can pretty much use it in all the typical places you’re likely to find glass. You can personalize it in ways that suit your style and it can withstand the highest of temperatures. What’s more, visibility and clarity are guaranteed.
Tempered glass is one of the more expensive types of house window glass to install. Replacing it will also eat into your pocket since the whole window needs replacing when significant damage has been done. This glass has also been known to explode out of the blue due to the impurities from the manufacturing process.
We mentioned how windows with multiple panes of glass have spaces in between them filled with gas. This gas helps slow down heat transfer in the window, resulting in higher energy efficiency and better performance. You’re mostly going to have two kinds of gas that will be used, which are argon and krypton gas. These gases are transparent, they have no smell, and they aren’t toxic at all.
What makes these gases so effective is the fact that they move slower than air, which makes it harder for energy to travel through them. Being in an enclosed space also makes them useful as energetic barriers. Now with these two options on hand, you may have trouble deciding which one is best. Both of them reduce heat transfer, how do you know which one to pick?
You’re going to fork out more cash for krypton-filled glass than you are for argon. This is because it works better to insulate your home. Krypton is also composed of smaller particles, which makes it better at filling the kind of small spaces you’ll find in triple-pane windows. Argon works better to fill larger gaps like the ones in double-pane windows, accordingly.
Check the Ratings
Picking the best type of glass isn’t about going for the most popular brand. You need to be able to differentiate between those that perform well and those that are lacking. In order to do that, you’ve got to know what numbers to look for. Legitimate manufacturers will have certifications and ratings for their windows, so that’s what you need to look out for.
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient will give you an idea of how much solar heat passes through the window. In hotter climates, you’ll want this number to be as low as possible because a higher number means more heat. You also want to look at Visible Transmittance, which will tell you how much natural light you have coming through the glass. Keep your eyes peeled for the u-factor as well, this will tell you how fast heat flows through the window. You want a lower u-factor as that tells you the window is good at retaining heat.
You’re going to find all these measurements on the label of the window. As long as the window is certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council, you’re going to find these numbers. Your job is then to compare the ratings for the different windows while taking into consideration your needs and what you hope to achieve. You can then decide on which one is ideal for you and your home, no testing is needed at all.
What Type of Windows are Best for Hot Climates?
Where window cooling glass is concerned, we noted that low E glass coated windows have incredible heat reduction properties. With e-coatings, you can boost your energy efficiency efforts while regulating the temperature in your home. UV light, infrared radiation, and heat simply have no place in e-coated windows. That’s exactly why these are the best kind for hotter climates.
What is the Best Glass for Heat Retention?
A low-e glass solution combined with argon gas filling is best for heat retention. This allows for light to pass through while bouncing back heat into the house. As a matter of that, such a set-up can be up to 50% more efficient than double pane windows. If you’re avoiding spending too much on your energy bills, low emissivity coatings will do the trick.
Are there Windows that Keep Heat Out?
You can either go for multi-paned windows, or the ever-popular e-glass coated windows. As long as the windows have a low SHGC rating, then you know they’re good at blocking solar heat from entering the room. Just make sure you understand what’s considered a high rating and a low rating, and you’re good.
What Type of Glass is Best for Home Windows?
Tempered glass is the most ideal when it comes to home windows. It’s many times stronger than normal glass and when it breaks, it crumbles into small, blunt pieces that can’t do you any harm. Since it’s created by a heating and cooling process, tempered glass is heat-resistant, making it perfect for warmer weather.
Which Glass is Best for Exterior?
The best glass for house set-ups isn’t a uniform thing. Some glass works better on the outside and some works better on the inside. Once again, tempered glass takes the crown. It works exceptionally well for external glazing because of its ability to withstand the most extreme climate.
What Type of Glass is Used for House?
Insulated glass is more and more commonly used in houses. This is due to pressure from building codes, increasing energy efficiency concerns, and rising energy costs. Glass is insulated in many ways, as we’ve discussed, but in general, the insulated kind is becoming the norm in homes.
What’s the Toughest Glass for Windows?
Tempered glass isn’t called safety glass or toughened glass for nothing. We’re talking about one of the strongest kinds of glass you can make use of residentially. The chemical or thermal processes it goes through harden it. When facing an impact, the outer surface will flatten or squeeze onto the inner surface. This results in tension on the inside which hardens the glass and makes it hard to break.