If you have never replaced the glass in your windows before, you may be under the false assumption that glass is glass — it is all pretty much the same. You'll soon discover otherwise when the time comes to choose glass for your windows, and you're not sure which options are best.
You should almost always go with double-pane glass over single-pane glass since the air between the two glass panes acts as an insulator and reduces your energy bills. But beyond that, the best glass options really depend on your budget, preferences, and home location. Here are four common glass upgrades and some tips for when to choose them.
1. Tempered Glass
Tempered glass is glass that has been made stronger and more crack-resistant. If it does break, tempered glass will crack into small, smooth pieces that are less likely to cut you than standard glass shards.
If you are worried about home security, tempered glass may be a smart choice. Criminals are less able to break through tempered glass, and if they do, the broken glass will be less of a hazard to your family. Tempered glass also works well in areas where storms and high winds are common; it is less likely to break if a branch or other object is blown against it.
2. Low-E Glass
Low-E glass, or low-emissivity glass, is a common energy-saving option. This type of glass has been coated in a very thin layer of a metallic substance. This substance reflects heat waves rather than allowing them to pass right through the glass as they would with standard glass.
Low-E glass helps save you money on energy bills year-round. In the summer, it keeps heat from entering your home, and in the winter, it keeps heat from escaping. Low-e windows are a bit more costly than standard glass windows, but the energy savings they offer will account for the difference in cost within a few years.
3. Argon-Insulated Glass
Standard double-pane windows have a layer of natural air between the two panes of glass. You can also find windows that have argon gas instead of air in this space. The windows are tightly sealed so that the argon does not leak out.
Argon-filled windows are more energy-efficient than standard windows because argon does a better job than air at resisting heat transfer. In other words, argon is a better insulator than air.
Argon windows are also more sound-proof than standard windows, so they may be a good choice if you're seeking some quiet in a noisy neighborhood. They only cost marginally more than standard windows and will lower your energy bills year-round. However, the argon does eventually dissipate from the windows, so the windows will grow less efficient over time.
4. Tinted Glass
Surely, you're familiar with tinted car windows, but you may not have seen tinted glass in a home before. Tinted windows are becoming more common because they help reduce energy bills, especially in the summer when the hot sunshine can cause your air conditioner to work overtime. Tinted windows also reduce damage to carpet and fabrics since they block damaging UV rays from entering your home.
The only downside to tinted windows is that they take away that bright, sunshiny look that you may want some times. To get around this problem, some homeowners choose to only tint certain windows and to leave others untinted for a little more natural light.
Thanks to technology, you have more options than ever for replacing the windows in your home. Contact Window Wise if you are looking for a window repair specialist in the Raleigh area. We offer low-e glass, argon-filled windows, tinted glass, tempered glass, and more.