By definition, glazing is the glass part of the window. Or of the patio doors. And while the primarily purpose of installing windows was to bring in natural light, their role has switched to making a difference – insulation-wise. Clear glass enables clear views – one of the greatest advantages of having windows after having lots of sunshine inside. But that comes with a great cost when the glass is not proper. That’s why there’s all this fuss about glazing. What you choose today for your replacement windows will make a huge difference in your energy costs for a very long time. Naturally, it’s worth taking a second look when it comes to the glazing options.
Glazing options – single pane windows belong to the past
Single pane windows gradually fall into oblivion. While double glazing windows dominate, there’s an increased demand for triple glazing too. By all means, the options are not limited since windows may have four panes of glass too. It makes sense to say that the prime reason for the installation of windows with two or more panes is higher energy efficiency. It’s also fair to say that multiple panes also act as the barriers against noise, soundproofing the windows.
U-Value window replacements
The energy efficiency of the window is measured by the product’s U-Value. This is the way heat transfer is measured. The lower the U-value, the higher the thermal insulation. The measurements are taken from the center of the glass since the edge parts of the pane is the worse section, thermally speaking. That’s because this is the spot where the frame, the glass, and the space interact. If there’s any energy loss, it’d be at this part.
Although the number of the panes determines the window’s insulation, it’s not the only factor to consider. The glass’s U-Value is not the only measurement to take into account. You also need to consider the R-value of the frame and its material. Also, the size of the pane – the bigger the pane, the better its performance.
Low-E glass windows – for no heat transfer
There’s a nearly invisible coating often covering the inner part of the glass panes. This is called low-emissivity coating since it is used as the barrier against the cold. It keeps heat inside while allowing the brightness of the sun to come in. Consider this coating the sunscreen of your windows that keeps the home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Apart from keeping the indoors at the desired temperatures and considerably reducing the cooling and the heating costs, low-e also eliminates fading and thus protects furniture, carpets – everything inside the house.
Window pane fillers – from argon to krypton gas
Now, whether you choose window replacements with double or triple panes, you also need to consider the fillers. See, there’s a gap between the panes of glass. And although the panes are help apart thanks to spacers, the void space in between is filled with air or some sort of gas. The best choices are krypton and argon gas. They are both excellent insulators with krypton taking the lead – in cost too.
Tinted window glass panes – for privacy
When you choose glazing for your windows, consider if privacy matters for you. It might matter for some windows in the house, like in the bathroom. Or some other ground floor windows.
What’s the best window glazing for you! How to choose
This takes us to the chapter where you discover what’s best for you in terms of window glazing. You certainly need double-glazing windows – at the very least. Overall, what you should consider before you select glazing is primarily your expectations in regard to the home’s energy efficiency. Then in terms of noise insulation. You should also think of possible privacy issues and security considerations – things you can discuss with your window installation contractor to reach the best solution within your budget.
Don’t forget to take into account external factors, like the condition of the structure. Are the walls insulated or you will gain from the windows and lose from the walls? Also, you need to consider the location, the climate, and the orientation of the building – where will the window be installed? If that side of the home doesn’t get too much sun and it’s rather exposed to the winds, it’s best to get the best possible glazing in terms of number of panes and insulation.