Different Types of Glass
The type of glass that you end up choosing for your window replacement may hinge on many different factors. It would be great if the best glass choice was obvious, but this is not always the case. The benefits of different types vary based on things like affordability, climate where you live, style, and specific application. Low e glass coatings and the use of double or triple panes lowers energy costs and improves comfort. But this also adds to the cost of the project. And the cost of the glass is only one part of the overall cost; therefore, glass sometimes takes a back seat to frame choice due to budgetary reasons.
The Right Glass for You
Appearance is extremely important to many homeowners. This fact can sometimes trick them into making the wrong choice in their replacement window glass. For example, the latest glazing styles may catch someone's eye, whether it is functionally needed in their particular home or they can really fit it into their budget. In many cases, more than one different kind of glass is legitimately needed in different parts of the home.
There is no rule that says all windows in the house have to have the same glass. For example, south facing windows could really use reflective or tinted glass, while windows facing north can do just fine with standard glass. Homeowners making these choices have to consider the particular nuances of their home. The need for more daylight in certain areas, heating and cooling expense concerns, aesthetic desires, and of course the monetary budget they are working with all have to come into play at some point.
Single, Double, or Triple Pane
As far as window replacement is concerned, the primary variables involved in any discussion will be the choice of frame, the type or types of glass used, and how many layers of glass the homeowner chooses to have on the frame. Obviously, the more panes, the better as far as energy efficiency is concerned; but again, budgetary restraints also come into play. Normally it all boils down to cost, like it or not. While obviously anyone doing a window replacement project at their home would love to do al triple pane windows, the cost of such an order might make this only a dream for many. The initial cost, as always, has to be weighed against the eventual benefits. Those who are staying longer in a home may be more inclined to stretch the budget a little more than those who are planning on moving soon.
Single pane windows are the cheapest of all, but their installation won't lower the heat bill much versus those old windows you're replacing. They allow a lot of heat to escape outside. These types are the lightest and the easiest to repair. But most new replacement windows these days are either double pane or triple pane. Both double and triple pane windows are insulated glass (IG) units.
Double and Triple Pane Glass
A double pane window that has an internal low e plastic strip in between the panes is a way to get some of the performance you'd see in a triple pane without the steep cost. But a window with a full three panes and low e glass will always outperform any other and have the lowest U factor. When it comes down to it, homeowners really just have to decide whether they can afford to stretch their pocketbooks and spring for this obviously superior product. If not, double pane windows still do a nice job for a low price.