Whether you’re replacing your existing residential windows or purchasing windows for a new home under construction, it’s important to understand your glass options. Homeowners are increasingly gravitating toward insulated glass, which provides added thermal protection for the home. If you’re unfamiliar with this type of glass or why it’s an excellent choice for residential windows, you’ve come to the right place. In this blog, we explain what insulated glass is, the many unique benefits it delivers, and what to consider when purchasing it.
Defining Insulated Glass
Insulated glass, also called insulating glass units or IGUs, consists of two or more panes of glass separated by spacer bars and sealed around the edges. The spacers between each plane of glass create insulating airspace, which can be filled with regular air or a noble gas, such as krypton or argon. Noble gases are completely colorless, so you can clearly see through the gas-filled airspace without difficulty.
Because krypton and argon are both denser than air, they impede air-to-air heat transfer both into and out of the home. As such, they provide additional insulation beyond what air can deliver. While double-pane insulated glass has been on the market for some time, as technology continues to improve, triple- and even quadruple-paned glass is becoming more common.
Typically, insulated glass windows are fashioned from low-emissivity (low-E) glass. This specialty glass features a coating that effectively decreases the amount of infrared and ultraviolet light that passes through each pane. As a result, low-E glass helps improve indoor temperature regulation by reflecting heat back where it came from.
5 Unique Benefits of Insulated Glass
When you opt for insulated glass in your residential windows, you get a number of benefits that standard single-pane windows simply cannot boast. These advantages include:
Improved Household Energy Efficiency
Windows are a primary culprit behind indoor-outdoor heat transfer, which can make indoor temperature regulation difficult. Because multiple-pane, insulated glass provides more insulation, it improves household energy efficiency by dramatically reducing the amount of warm or cool air that travels into or escapes the home. When your HVAC doesn’t have to work overtime to cool or heat your home, you’ll enjoy reduced energy bills year round.
Outdoor Noise Reduction
Beyond its heat-insulating qualities, the airspace between each pane of glass in an IGU also makes an excellent noise insulator. Because sound travels in waves that produce slight vibrations, when sound waves hit single-pane windows, the noise travels directly through the glass. In contrast, when sound waves hit insulated glass, the airspace between each pane absorbs those waves, which dramatically reduces the outdoor noise you hear inside your home.
Your windows are one of your home’s most vulnerable areas, and unfortunately, they also happen to be a primary point of entry for burglars. Because insulated glass windows contain multiple panes, they’re more difficult to break than single-pane glass, which provides added home security.
Increased Impact Resistance
Severe storms and high winds can easily propel outdoor debris toward the exterior of your home. Unfortunately, standard single-pane glass provides little in the way of impact resistance. Insulated glass, on the other hand, often features one impact-resistant pane, which allows it to better withstand the detrimental effects of severe weather.
Increased Property Value
Given the number of benefits insulated glass delivers, it should come as no surprise that installing this type of glass in your home can help increase your property value. On average, insulated glass boasts an 85%-95% ROI, which is greater than the ROI on standard single-pane glass.
What to Consider When Selecting Insulated Glass
The effectiveness of insulated glass as a household energy-efficiency improvement depends heavily on the features incorporated into the glass. As such, it’s important to consider the following factors when selecting the type of insulated glass you plan to install in your home:
The Type of Glass
The glass used to manufacture insulated windows can be either coated or uncoated. Coated glass, also called low-E glass, features an extremely thin layer of metallic oxide on the outside, which helps to further reduce indoor-outdoor heat transmission. Certain coatings also reduce UV and infrared light transmission, which helps reduce fading of upholstered furniture and wood flooring.
The Type of Gas in the Space Between Panes
Because the gas within the airspace between panes provides additional insulation, it’s important to consider whether you’d like air, krypton, or argon gas inside your insulated windows. Argon gas is approximately six times denser than air, while krypton gas is about 12 times denser than air. As such, krypton provides the best heat insulation, but windows containing krypton gas are generally the most expensive to produce.
The Window Frame Material That Will House the Glass
The glass inside a window isn’t the only culprit behind heat transfer; the window frame also plays a critical role in preventing heat transmission and bolstering the energy efficiency of your home. Because metal window frames tend to transfer heat more rapidly than materials like fiberglass or vinyl, if excellent insulation is your goal, non-metal frames are a superior choice.
Ready to Discuss Your Insulated Glass Options? Contact Advanced Auto Glass Today
If you’re in the market for industry-leading insulated glass, get in touch with our team at Advanced Auto Glass. Though we specialize in auto glass repair and replacement, that’s not our only area of expertise. We also provide and install a wide variety of residential glass options and would be happy to advise you on the products that best meet your unique needs. To learn more about our services or schedule an appointment, give our office a call today at 817-589-7702 or send us a message, and we’ll be in touch.