Replacement Window Glass | Grades of Glass
Knowing your window options is the first important step when shopping for windows to make sure you get exactly what you need for your home. When choosing from the varieties of glass available to you, consider your energy efficiency goals. Once you have a clear idea of your goals, take a moment to review the different grades of glass. This next section will take you through an overview of the four basic types.
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Replacement Window Glass Options
Clear glass is the most popular choice among homeowners. However, you may find that you enjoy the unique style and flair of your home windows which feature newer techniques in cutting, glazing and custom fitting. These techniques provide you with the option of customizing your window's appearance, and a few enhancements, such as glazing, can actually work to control condensation and heat loss.
Heat Absorbing Glass
Heat-absorbing glass features special tints, which help to absorb up to 45 percent of solar energy and reduce heat gain. It is important to note, however, that a percentage of absorbed heat will still pass through via re-radiation or simple conduction. Read more about windows and energy efficiency.
Low-emissivity Glass (Low-E)
Low-emissivity glass (Low-E) has a surface coating that helps to reduce any heat transfer coming back through your window. Surprisingly, this unique coating reflects 40 percent to 70 percent of transmitted heat. Most people are happy to learn that this type of window glass, while very efficient, does not hinder the normal amount of light that passes through the glass and into your home.
Facts about low-emissivity glass:
1. Low E glass contains a thin, metallic coating on the inside of the outside pane to give it extra insulation.
2. Low E glass keeps your home naturally cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
3. Low E glass keeps many harmful UV rays out of your home. In fact, a good measure of Low E glass will have a UV transmission rate of about 30%, meaning that at least 70% of UV rays will be deflected away from your home's interior.
4. All Low E glass is not the same, which means homeowners can still enjoy a variety of different replacement window styles.
5. The U-Value for Low E glass can vary quite a bit, in fact more than 17%, depending on the type of Low E glass.
6. Solar heat gain coefficient can vary by as much as 35% depending on the Low E window type.
Reflective glass is popular among homeowners, who wish to control their solar heat gain in the summer. Reflective glass helps them accomplish their goals because it is coated with a film that is reflective, hence the name. This grade of glass also helps to reduce the passage of light, as well as solar transmittance.
Did you find the answers you were looking for regarding replacement windows? If you are still confused, check out our page on comparing replacement windows cheat sheet.