Commonly Asked Questions About New Windows and Glass for Home

Posted on: 11 December 2015

Getting new windows may be a big investment for your home, which is why you want to understand your options when it comes to the glass you choose for your windows. The right glass will keep your home insulated and secure, whereas buying windows simply because they're cheap may mean thin glass that lets out heating and air conditioning and which shatters easily. If you've never purchased new windows before and aren't sure of your options, note a few commonly asked questions so you know what to discuss with your contractor.

1. Why is a contractor recommending something with a lower insulating factor?

Because glass works to insulate your home, you may assume that you should choose windows with the highest insulating factor. However, if you live in a tropical climate or an area with lots of sunlight, you would do better to choose glass with a low solar gain. This is glass that helps to block the sun's UV rays and keep heat out, rather than having insulating properties that keep heat in. If your contractor recommends a lower insulating factor and a lower solar gain, this is probably to keep your home cooler in warmer areas.

2. What is the difference between safety and security glazing?

These terms are often used to denote how easily glass shatters as well as how protected it can be from breaking into sharp pieces if it should shatter. Typically, safety glazing will keep glass from breaking into those sharp pieces if it should shatter, but it may not do much to actually keep the glass shatterproof. Security glazing is typically a process that adds layers to the glass itself so that it's less likely to break in the first place. You may not need security glazing in your home's windows, as you may not have a high risk for rocks being thrown at it, but safety glazing can keep you safe if a window should shatter.

3. What is the difference between argon-filled and air-filled glass?

Adding a layer of air between the two sides of glass that actually make up a window pane can increase its insulating features, but argon is an even more effective insulator. Argon-filled glass will help to keep your heating and air conditioning inside during winter and summer months and work harder to deflect the sun's damaging UV rays. Argon-filled glass may be more expensive, but it can be worth the cost because it is such an effective insulator.

For more information about your window options, you may want to contact a glazier in your area. 


Stained glass features

I love seeing old stained glass features in churches and historic buildings. Not only do stained glass features let in light, but they are also beautiful works of art. One of these days I'm going to a build a big house where I can have features of stained glass in all my living rooms. That's still a little way away so in the mean time I'm starting a website to collect the ideas, images and inspirations I find online. That way when I finally do have enough money saved I should be ready to go! If you like stained glass, you'll love this site.