When it comes to residential windows, times have changed a lot in the past 10 years. There are many different types of windows, such as aluminum, wood, vinyl, or even combinations of more than one of these. And there are even more choices when it comes to the glass. Single-pane, insulated, Low-E, tempered…the list goes on. When you need to replaced the glass in your existing windows, you need a company that knows glass, understands the benefits and drawbacks of each type, and can provide what you need.
Double-pane & Triple-pane
There are 3 basic types of windows: single-pane, double-pane, and triple-pane. The image above will give you an idea of the basic construction of each kind. However, when discussing insulated units, you’re only looking at double-pane and triple-pane. And both are pretty much exactly what they sound like. Double-pane windows have 2 panes of glass separated by a spacer. Triple-pane windows have 3 panes of glass with a spacer separating the outer panes from the inner pane. The National Fenestration Rating Council (NFRC) is an organization that rates windows in order for consumers to more accurately compare different window types. The rating system they use is U-Value, where the lower the number, the better the insulation. Double-pane, Low-E, argon-filled windows rate between .31-.40. Triple-pane, Low-E, argon-filled windows rate between .21-.25. Obviously, triple-pane windows are going to have better insulation, but it will make a bigger difference in colder climates. In Missouri, it will be more noticeable during the extreme hot and cold temperature, but will not make quite the difference when our temperature fluctuations are more moderate. Triple-pane units will cost more than double-pane units, so it will take longer to recoup the cost if temperatures are more mild. However, the biggest difference between double-pane and triple-pane units can be found in the sound suppression. Triple-pane windows can be considerably more quiet than double-pane windows. Give us a call to discuss what best suits your needs.
When replacing window glass, Low-E, or low emissivity, glass is an option more people may want to consider. Low-E glass, which was originally developed for jet pilots, is just annealed or tempered glass with a microscopically thin layer of metal or metallic oxide, usually silver, deposited onto the surface of the glass. This is used to block the radiant heat flow from the outside in or the inside out while still allowing light to pass through. This can reduce the amount of heat that is conducted through the glass by between 30%-50%.
The Low-E coating usually puts a slight tint on the glass, giving it a different look from clear glass. Some more noticeable than others. This also protects the interior of your house from the sun’s UV radiation, thus lessening or preventing fading and damage to your furnishings. While it is true that Low-E glass can reduce unwanted heat-gain in the summer and heat-loss in the winter, which helps keep your utility bills lower, it also unfortunately reduces the potential valuable solar heat-gain in colder weather. If you’d like to discuss the possibility of putting Low-E glass in your existing windows, give us a call for a free estimate.
Insulated windows are made by sealing together two or more panes of glass with a spacer separating the panes. The material between the panes of glass is supposed to be dry, which is what provides the insulation. Originally, air was used. But there is another option. In this economy, everyone wants to save money where they can. Since approximately one-third of your home’s total heat-loss usually occurs through windows and doors, making your windows more energy-efficient is a great way to save money. Air is still used to insulate window glass, but another option is argon. Argon is an inert, harmless gas that occurs naturally in our atmosphere. It is non-reactive to wood, vinyl, and glass, so you don’t have to worry about it poisoning the air in your home if a window is broken. And since argon is nearly 40% more dense than air, it has a much lower thermal conductivity than air. This means it reduces the overall transfer of heat between the inside and outside of the window. This can provide you with significantly better insulation than just using air in your insulated units, making argon one of the best and most cost-efficient ways to improve the performance of your windows. On top of that, argon also provides much better insulation against outside noise as well. This will help keep your home quieter. If you’d like to discuss the possibility of replacing your units with argon-filled units, just give us a call.
Most people don’t realize that almost all window parts can be replaced if broken. If there’s something wrong with your window and it stops operating correctly, or if it’s never operated the way it’s supposed to, give us a call. Rather than spending the high cost of replacing the whole window system, let us take a look and see if it’s something we can fix. From balancers to latches to locks to shoes to springs…we can replace just about any part of the window. It won’t cost you a dime to have us come out and take a look. So give us a call and let’s see if we can get your windows working the way they should.