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.
Double glazing is the use of two thicknesses of glass separated by an air space to improve insulation against heat transfer. Previous glazing efforts often resulted in moisture entering between the panes and causing condensation. Today, most double glazed windows are reliable insulators that will prevent interior fogging. Just the same, one company's double glazed windows are not necessarily the equal of another's. You definitely want to buy your windows from a reputable manufacturer that stands behind its glass with a Full Lifetime Warranty.
Triple glazing technology provides yet another option for improving the energy efficiency of your windows. This technology adds a third layer of glass that improves insulating properties, keeping homes in northern regions warmer.
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.