Consumers tend to pay a lot of attention to the type of window and door frame they purchase without realizing that the glass, known as lights, plays a significant role in its overall functionality. If specified correctly, the glass or coating used should address climate control, energy efficiency, and noise levels.
Single pane glass is no longer an option in the Southern California market as it does not meet building codes. Typically, the glass used in windows and doors is dual-glazed, laminated, use argon gas as an insulator or have a low-e, reflective or spectrally selective coating. Below are some explanations of each type.
A dual-glazed (dual-pane) window has two layers of glass with a hermetically sealed air space between the panes. Air is trapped in the space, providing better insulation. Double-paned windows coupled with the new low e-technology can reduce energy usage by more than 50 percent.
You’ve heard about Argon gas windows and how effective they are. Well, there’s a little truth to all advertising. Argon is a colorless, odorless, inert gas. When used in between glass panes it significantly reduces noise, and when a low e-coating is added energy efficiency is improved.
Laminated glass is constructed by using two more pieces of glass and combining them with layers of polyvinyl butyral (PVP). This process creates a product that, reduces sound, is durable and can be used in areas that are prone to natural disasters such as tornadoes or hurricanes. Often used in housing near a busy road, freeway or airport, the lamination process improves noise reduction.
Tempered or toughened glass is a type of safety glass processed by controlled thermal or chemical treatments to increase its strength compared with normal glass. Tempering puts the outer surfaces into compression and the interior into tension. Such stresses cause the glass, when broken, to crumble into small granular chunks instead of splintering into jagged shards as plate glass does. The granular chunks are less likely to cause injury.
Glass coatings, known as low emissivity or low-E can help windows achieve higher levels of energy efficiency. Low-E glass will not only improve energy efficiency but may help save your interior décor from fading.
To find out how Bel-Air Exteriors can help you select and install the glass that will work best for your environment, contact us today.