Once upon a time, glass was a rare and magical thing. Only the very wealthiest could afford real glass windows in their homes: having even small windows was a status symbol.
Of course, that changed as technology evolved. Glass manufacturing technology made windows cheap and affordable — perhaps too cheap! There are lots and lots of flimsy, low quality windows out there: windows that allow your home’s heat to leak directly from your home into the wide open world.
However, just as glass can let your heat escape, it can play a pivotal role in keeping your heat in. Let’s take a look at the different types of glass and how they effect your home’s energy efficiency.
Single Pane Glass Windows
Once the envy of all, single pane windows are now viewed as the least desirable of all window options. A thin pane of glass can’t do much to retain warm air. Single pane glass windows offer little, if any, insulation.
Double Pane Glass Windows
Double pane glass windows consist of two panes of glass. These panels are positioned so they create a trapped pocket of air between them. This air pocket is of course invisible, and so doesn’t affect your enjoyment of the window. Your view will be unimpeded. However, that invisible pocket of air can act as insulation, stopping or minimizing heat loss through the glass. In some windows, the air is replaced with argon or krypton, further enhancing the window’s energy efficiency.
Triple Pane Glass windows
Triple pane glass windows consist of three panes of glass, positioned in such a fashion as to create dual pockets of insulating air or inert gas. As of this writing, triple pane glass offer the ultimate in energy efficiency. The mass of three panes of glass, coupled with two insulating pockets, do a great job keeping warm air in and cold air out.
Gilding the Lily
There are a number of methods top replacement window manufacturers like Alside, Harvey, Champion and Pella use to make their home replacement windows even more efficient. As we’re considering the glass in this entry, let’s take a look at one of the most popular options: low E coatings.
The E in low E coatings stands for emissivity. When you opt for low E coatings on your home replacement windows, you’re getting home replacement windows coated with a low emissivity film. This film, which is invisible, prevents thermal energy — in other words, heat and cold — from traveling through the glass.
The glass you select for your home replacement windows can play a huge role in the look of your home. Most glass is clear, but tinted options are available. Frosting or other window coatings can give you a replacement window that lets the light in but keeps prying eyes out. Leaded glass gives a home the look of the stained glass windows of old, and bevelled edges add an air of elegance.