Most homeowners forget that choosing features on replacement windows in Woodinville, WA also involves deciding on glazing options. If you haven’t purchased windows in twenty years, you might be surprised by the number of glazing technologies that are available. Here are just a few of the things you need to consider before settling on replacement windows:
Types of Safety Glass
There are three main types of safety glass: tempered glass, laminated glass, and impact resistant glass. With tempered glass, the manufacturers cut it to size, heat it to 600 degrees, and then rapidly cool it. This increases the tensile strength. So not only are these windows more difficult to break but when they do shatter it is in smaller, less-harmful pieces. Laminated glass is two panes of glass sandwiched around an interlayer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB). Instead of shattering and falling out of the frame, the glass adheres to the interlayer so the majority of it remains in place. The last is impact resistant glass, which is a combination of the two for glass that can withstand hurricane-force winds and impacts from flying debris.
Number of Panes
The next thing to consider is the number of panes you want on your replacement windows. These are called insulated glazing units (IGUs). The industry standard is double-glazing. This is two panes of glass set apart by spacers and sealed around the edges as a single unit. But other options include triple-glazing and even quadruple-glazing. For most homes in the area, double-glazing is perfectly fine. The extra layers of glass do add extra protection and insulation for those who want it, but the cost is not as easily offset by the energy savings.
Inert Gas Fills
It is not normal air between the glass. It was too volatile and the thermal expansion would end up wearing the seals out too fast. Modern windows have inert gas sealed between the panes. The noble gasses have more density and are not as prone to thermal expansion. This helps increase the longevity of these products as well as improve the insulation. The most common gasses used on modern windows include argon, krypton, and xenon. Argon is the most common and most affordable.
Laminated Tints or Etched Glass
Another thing to consider is opacity and the transmittance of visible light. Opacity has a lot to do with privacy. In areas like the bedroom and bathroom, you might consider adding etched glass to the windows, so you can get plenty of light but still keeping people from seeing inside. And for more control over visible light and solar heat gains you might consider special tints. These colored coatings on the glass block specific wavelengths of light. Some tints can cut down 45% of radiant heat, but also usually reduce natural light as well.
If you want to reduce radiant heat and maintain plenty of natural light, then Low-E coatings are usually the best solution. This technology involves ultrathin metallic layers applied to the surfaces of the glass. Some go on the exterior surfaces and some go on the interior surfaces depending on the type of energy efficiency you are using them for.
For more information about glazing options on replacement windows in Woodinville, WA contact the experts at Signature Window & Door Replacement.