The whole point of getting the right window glass is to create a cozy indoor environment, minimize risks, and keep the outdoors where it belongs. Security, privacy, energy efficiency are the things you care about the most. And so, choosing glass for your home windows has suddenly become a daunting task. Wait until you see the window glass options – safety, tinted, double pane, single pane, annealed, low-e, wired…
The list of window glass options is long enough to make your choice extremely difficult. And let us point out this. Although the way the window installation is done plays a huge role in the performance of the product – hence, your peace of mind, the type of glass you choose is of equal importance.
Assuming you want to ensure home security, energy efficiency, and privacy, these are the best window glass choices.
Glass energy efficiency
Most windows today are manufactured with two or three panes. You will hardly find a window with a single pane in modern homes these days. The space between the panes is filled with gas or air and so, the window offers better insulation. With triple pane glass windows, the energy efficiency is even higher – since there’s an extra pane to keep the indoor heat intact and the cold outside.
Now, some windows may have heat coatings to further increase energy efficiency. Such glass options are ideal for all climates, especially those which the heating and cooling costs are considerable. Low-E (low-emissivity) glass, for example, reflects interior heat back inside and so, keeps the indoor temperatures intact. This is a very thin layer of coating applied on the inner surface of the panes and apart from increasing energy efficiency, it also protects from the UV rays.
So, what’s between the glass panes?
The spacer – in other words, the space found between the panes, has always been a concern since moisture – hence, condensation, is easy to build. This is a common problem when the spacer is filled with air. No wonder most window manufacturers fill spacers with gas these days. They use argon or krypton gas (totally harmless, odorless) to avoid the condensation – fogging, problem and improve the glass performance.
• Tempered glass is the ideal solution for windows since it’s very durable and even if it breaks, the pieces will be round and not a threat to anyone’s safety. That happens due to the process of manufacturing tempered, safety glass. The glass is heated at very high temps and then quickly cooled to make it resistant to temp fluctuations.
• Laminated glass is even stronger. It is created by fusing two panes around a PVB interlayer. The glass becomes extremely durable due to this process and will stay put, if broken – just like the vehicle windshields do.
• Impact glass is laminated glass tested and made to withstand impact. Such glass options are ideal for areas where the climate is harsh or the possibility of force entry through the windows is high.
Glass designs for enhanced privacy
Most windows have clear glass for full view. And these are great choices as long as there are no privacy concerns. If there’s a privacy consideration, you can get obscure glass – coated, frosted, etc. This is the best choice for ground floor windows. The next best thing is tinted glass, in which case there’s a bit of coloring added to the glass.
So, the best thing you can do before you find window installers, before you start considering window styles and designs, is to understand your needs when it comes to energy efficiency, privacy, and security. This will get you started.