Glass is more than just about energy efficiency. The best window manufacturers offer many combinations of window glass for everything from sun and noise protection to ensuring your privacy and safety. Described here are some popular glass options that contribute to glass aesthetics.
Obscure door and window glass protects your privacy but allows abundant light to enter a room. Obscure glass is perfect for places like bathrooms and front door entries. A variety of colors and texture patterns are available for a translucent to semi-opaque effect.
Tempered glass is extremely strong and often used for its safety characteristics. Not only is it extra strong but, when it breaks, it breaks into little pebble-like pieces without sharp edges. Tempered glass is ideal for reducing the likelihood of injury in the event of breakage in applications like patio doors, side lights and bathroom enclosures for showers and tubs.
Laminated glass (two or more panes of glass bonded together with a plastic inner layer) is highly effective in reducing noise. It also eliminates 99.9% of ultraviolet rays, providing the highest degree of protection from the sun for your home furnishings.
Many homeowners today are looking for ways they can contribute to global energy-efficiency and reduce energy costs. Energy-efficient glass is an excellent place to start. The glass you select is the single most important component when considering energy efficient windows and patio doors. Innovations in window and door glass coatings and insulated glazing assemblies enable today’s windows to provide excellent energy efficiency, clarity and performance. Two of the most important innovations are double glazing and Low-E glass.
Low-E stands for low-emissivity. It is a clear window coating applied to one side of the glass in dual-pane windows. What’s emissivity? It’s simply a measurement of a surface’s ability to absorb or reflect radiant energy. The lower the emissivity rating, the better the insulation effect in regard to heat loss.
For years, Low-E glass was a product used for cold climates. But companies like Milgard® have changed that with the introduction of microscopically thin coatings that filter the sun’s energy in the summer, keeping your home cool and comfortable by rejecting the sun’s heat and damaging rays. These Low-E coatings allow visible light through but block heat-bearing and fabric-fading portions of the solar spectrum. The result is less solar gain and UV protection against fading fabrics and furnishings.
Argon Gas Fill
Argon gas, used between panes, is often an option offered by top window manufacturers. It enhances thermal performance without getting in the way of the view.
Other Things to Look for in Glass
In a world where some homeowners face the blazing heat of the Arizona desert while others face the freezing cold of a Chicago or Alaskan winter, one type of energy-efficient glass and window does not necessarily fit all. Often it can really pay to look for a manufacturer that is able to customize their glass and window for the different climates in the markets they serve.