Among all the decisions involved in selecting new windows, choosing the right window glass is easily overlooked. There are no trendy designs, colors or styles. It’s just glass – or is it? The latest in glass technology provides real value for your Madison WI home.
There are three basic considerations for every new window that are especially important when it comes to glass.
- Climate – obviously, in Wisconsin you need windows to keep the weather out. Windows to repel cold and wind in winter and then heat and humidity in summer.
- Privacy and security – every window serves a purpose. Some to visually bring the outdoors in. While tinted, glazed or reinforced windows provide additional privacy. All window designs serve to provide access to the outer elements while keeping them out.
- Energy efficiency – reducing energy costs all year around are the primary goals of today’s modern windows.
Glass is one of the major factors contributing to energy efficient windows. Their coating, insulation and the number of panes all make a difference.
The Value Of Energy Efficiency
When you decide it is time to replace your windows you probably understand the weaknesses of old windows – they need maintenance, they leak air in and out, etc. Window companies all highlight the efficiency of their windows. As you evaluate options, consider the benefits to your family and home:
- Daily comfort – efficient windows stop air leaks from the outside eliminate drafts, reduce condensation and filters out noise. Keep the cold out in winter and humid heat in summer.
- Heating/Cooling bills – air leaks through inefficient windows cost you money. Your monthly energy bills reflect poor performance and your heating and cooling systems work too hard.
- Environmentally-friendly – replacing single-pane glass with modern advances saves energy and natural resources. The ripple effect of energy savings is widespread.
Sifting Through Window Glass Options
The thickness and type of glass contribute to efficiency. Advances in technology have moved glass into the 21st century. Advances that include:
- How many panes – in the old days a single pane of glass was the standard. Now, you have a choice of single, double and triple pane designs. The more panes of glass, the better a window’s energy performance.
- Insulating gas – newer styles use safe, inert gas sealed between panes of glass. The gas has a high resistance to heat flow, improving the performance of windows.
- Glass coating – one of the most important developments in glass technology was the creation of Low-E coatings. Low-E (low emissivity) reflects heat back to the atmosphere. Different Low-E coating are available for various installations.
In addition, Low-E glass coatings come in two versions – hard-coat and soft-coat. Hard-coat is fused to a hot pane of glass creating stronger, more durable bonds. Soft-coat is applied at room temperature and sealed inside insulated glass. Hard-coat is especially efficient in areas with extreme cold. In addition, the soft-coat works well in regions with both hot and cold temperatures. Both are efficient in southern Wisconsin.
Final Window Glass Decisions
In the final analysis of which replacement windows are the right choice for your home, glass should play a role. After considering all the technical aspects of your glass options – and why they’re valuable – choices come down to:
- How much natural light enters the room – do you want a bright, open room or a shaded, cozy place to escape? There are accessory shades installed between panes of glass to offer added shade.
- Natural solar heating – in the summer heat from the sun means added stress on AC units if large windows are not shaded. In winter this free heat adds to the enjoyment of rooms with large windows. Large windows facing away from extreme sunlight provide quality natural light all the time.
- Design elements – arches and custom designed windows are popular architectural additions. Some require special glass creations.
Pella Windows provides performance, value and advances in window design from frames and hardware to glass. Representing a select national group, Sims Exteriors and Remodeling is a Certified Installation Contractor for all Pella windows in the Madison area. Its specialists are trained to install innovative windows and support their extensive warranties.
Contact Sims Exteriors and Remodeling for the latest window creations. And learn how Pella technology, including the right window glass, benefits for your Madison WI home.