Before you can evaluate the energy efficiency of your home or business, you need to understand the impact that glass can play in improving your insulation rating. Let’s begin by understanding that glass windows and glass doors are more than glass. Today’s windows are designed and manufactured with a watchful eye on insulating capabilities.
Double Glazed Windows and Doors
Double glazing is a much misunderstood term. Double glazed windows consist of two thicknesses of glass separated by a small air pocket. The air pocket and double panes are designed to improve the insulation against heat transfer. Today, most double glazed windows and doors are reliable because the glazing process of the past often caused condensation in the air pocket.
If your double pane windows have condensation, the glazing is not adequate and you are losing heat. Ideally, the external pain is keeping cold air out and the interior pane is keeping heat in the house. Reputable provides offer lifetime warranties on their double glazed windows.
Triple glazing is a new option. Triple glazed doors and windows have three panes of glass and two air pockets. This type window is popular and effective in areas where weather is very hot or very cold. Triple glazed windows have excellent insulating ratings. Again, reputable manufacturers will offer a lifetime warranty.
Low-E stands for low-emissivity. This is a coating applied to one side of the glass in dual-pane windows. Emissivity is a “measure of a surface’s ability to absorb or reflect radiant energy.” A low emissivity rating is a good insulation rating. The higher the emissivity rating, the less effective the insulation is.
Low-E glass has been used in low temperature climates for many years. Refinements in the production process have made this very effective product available to some manufacturers in the UK. The theory is that the coating allows visible light but reject the sun’s heat and other damaging rays. These windows are an excellent protection against rays that cause colors of furniture and other items to fade. If you have fine fabrics, low-E emissivity windows are your best protection.
Argon Gas Fill
Windows with argon gas between the window panes are upscale windows and doors. The argon gas enhances the thermal performance of the window without permitting any condensation. Argon filled windows have excellent insulation ratings.
The bottom line in window and glass door selection is to understand all your options and only buy from providers that issue a lifetime warranty.