Types of Window Glass

Energy Efficient l

Energy Efficient label

There are multiple types of window glass on the market.  Just because you have a broken window doesn’t mean you have to replace it with the exact type.  Look at it as an opportunity to upgrade to the current products being used.  The majority of homeowners do not replace a functioning window but instead wait until they have no choice. The final decision must take into consideration your climate and types of weather.  The Baltimore area experiences multiple seasons so your selection will be different than if you live in the south.  Below we will go through a variety of different types of glass along with their features and functions.  All windows now a days are energy efficient (some more than others) so I won’t continually ad in the “energy efficient” tagline to each one.

Tinted Glass

Tinted glass is a popular choice in places that experience direct sunlight for the greater portion of the day.  By absorbing the sun’s rays, the amount of heat entering your home is reduced.  A darker tint will keep out more solar rays.  By reducing the temperature in your house you also will reduce your air conditioning bill.  There are also “window films” that can be manually applied to your window that are more cost effective but not as effective as one that is tinted in production.

Low Emissions Glass

Low Emissions glass (commonly known as “Low E glass) is coated with a very thin layer of metal oxide.  They allow sun rays in and filter them as they pass through the window.   A huge benefit of this type of glass is that it reduces sunrays that take the natural oils out of your woodwork. Better said, the lack of a Low E window will dry out your woodwork (especially staircases). Palladium windows are usually Low E because these windows are so large and are placed high on the wall therefore sunrays will come down on everything below the window.  It too is energy efficient.

Reflective Glass

Reflective glass has a thin layer of metal oxide on it like Low E glass.  This type is usually used in warmer climates where the sun’s angles produce more heat.  The thin metal oxide coating acts as a mirror to reflect the rays back before they come in.  They also provide privacy.  Did you ever see someone wearing sun glasses that are mirrored?  You can’t see in but they can see out.  It’s the same principal that is used in homes.

Impact resistant Glass

This is best known as Plexiglas.  It’s used in areas where physical protection is the main concern.  These are built by layering plastics and resins.  The main function of Impact Resistant glass is to keep everything and anything from penetrating through the opening.  This glass is designed not to shatter. Many houses that reside on a golf course have this type of windows facing the fairway.   Let’s face it, even the best of golfers have an occasional slice or hook.   Another use is in areas where hurricanes are common and where miscellaneous debris turns into projectiles.  No other type of glass will withstand direct hits without shattering.

Wired Glass

This glass is also used for protective and safety applications.  There is thin wire similar to chicken wire placed between two layers of glass. This keeps the glass from fragmenting if it does shatter.  Wired glass is not an aesthetic choice so it is usually in areas where style is not your main concern.

Ordinary Sheet Glass

This glass is just that…..ordinary.  When it is created, the molten product flows through rollers and will leave minor tracks.  The distortions caused make it a choice for greenhouses and sheds where quality can be compromised for a cheaper price.

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