Shopping for replacement windows isn’t just about deciding what type of frame will best suit your requirements; you also have to give careful consideration to the glass that the frames will hold. And it’s not just a case of choosing between single and double glazing (or triple nowadays) either — there are many different options available to you that could have a positive impact upon your home.
Improved Energy Efficiency with Modern Glazing Options
Modern glazing options are specially designed to be more energy efficient. But what does that mean? And how is it going to benefit you?
- Energy efficiency refers to the efficiency with which energy is used to produce its intended effect, and when talking about windows, energy efficiency refers to the heating and cooling of your home. If your windows are poorly insulated, heat energy may be allowed to escape during the winter, therefore driving up your heating costs. Likewise, when the warmer weather arrives, the same poorly insulated windows will allow hot air into your property, ensuring your air-conditioning unit won’t get a break all summer.
- Selecting energy efficient glazing for your replacement windows will bring you a number of benefits. Firstly, you should see a significant dip in your annual energy costs, as both your heating system and your air-conditioning system won’t haven’t to work as hard (thus consuming less energy). Secondly, annoying draughts blowing through your home will become a thing of the past. In addition to improving the heating and cooling aspects of your home, energy efficient glazing will also protect you from outside noise, which can be particularly handy when you have an early start in the morning and are trying to get to sleep. Lastly, as you will consume less energy, your new windows will actually be helping to save our planet by lowering carbon dioxide emissions.
The Top Glazing Options for New Replacement Windows
Now that we have established how important window glazing is, it’s time to take a closer look at some of the most popular options that are available when looking for new, energy efficient replacement windows.
When compared to some of the other options, low-e glass is actually very affordable. How does it differ to regular glass? Well, the glass is exactly the same, except it has a thin metallic film applied to the surface of either one or more of the panes in the window. This film is so thin that it’s practically invisible to the naked eye, and is usually installed during the manufacturing process. There are several different grades of this film too, each with slightly different characteristics. The effects this film has are very simple. During the summer months when it’s hot outside and the sun’s heat hits your property, it isn’t allowed to enter through the windows, instead being reflected by the low-e layer, ensuring the temperature inside your property remains bearable. Similarly, in winter this film prevents heat transfer through your windows, ensuring the heat is retained by your home. People often worry that this layer will block light from entering your property too, but that is a common misconception about low-e glass. It’s a clear film, as opposed to tinted, and natural light makes its way into your home normally; it’s the heat transfer that is controlled not the light.
Just like low-e coatings, reflective films are a thin metallic layer that is added to the glass’s surface when replacement windows are being manufactured. However, they are often coloured, with gold and silver both being popular options. The end result also differs from that of low-e coatings as well, since the layer tends to block a significant amount of natural light from passing through the window, in addition to heat. This can be desirable if you have problems with the glare created by the sun’s UV rays, but one thing you will have to consider is the increased amounts of electricity you will use on artificial lighting, which will probably largely cancel out any money saved on heating and cooling.
Heat-Absorbing Replacement Windows
Reflection is not the only way heat transfer through windows can be prevented — absorbing the heat is another option, which is exactly what this type of glazing does. It contains special chemicals that if mixed with heat, cause a reaction that results in the heat being absorbed, therefore preventing it from transferring through the window. These type of windows are tinted and blue, gray and bronze are all common colours, which often fit in well with a property’s existing architecture. As with reflective films, these tints (some colours more than others) can block a significant amount of light from entering the property too. Blue and green tints are the best choice if you want to allow light to enter. One thing you should be aware of is that often a small amount of the absorbed heat will transfer into your property via re-radiation and conduction, which reduces their energy efficiency slightly when compared to other types of replacement windows.
Window Gas Fills
Practically every modern glazing unit is sealed, which means air and moisture is not allowed to flow through the spaces in between the panes of glass. An increasing number of window manufacturers now fill these areas with specially selected gases, typically argon and krypton, rather than just using a standard air fill. The reason being that these gases have a much higher resistance to heat transfer than air, which helps to keep warm air out in the summer and inside during the winter. These gas fills are often combined with the other window technologies we have mentioned, particularly low-e coatings, to produce replacement windows that are highly energy efficient.
The range of options when in the market for new replacement windows is now staggering, from window types and designs, to frame materials to specialised glazing options. In order to select the right combination, call us today to speak with one of our experienced representatives.
For all your glazing options in Edmonton & Calgary, trust Weather Pro
About Weather Pro Windows & Doors
Weather Pro Windows & Doors has years of industry experience and our goal is to use our expertise to help each and every client that approaches us, whether a first time buyer or a long-time homeowner, to find the perfect windows and doors that meet all their needs. We specialize in Replacement Windows, Vinyl Windows, Entry Doors, Exterior Doors and Patio Doors. Weather Pro Windows and Doors proudly serves the Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg areas. Visit us on Google+.