Types of Glazing for Windows

Windows don’t get enough love, in my humble opinion. Not only do they fill our homes with glorious, natural light, but they also allow us to see the outdoors from the comfort of our living rooms, let in breezes on nice days, and use less electricity. But a window is a window is a window, right? Wrong! Although all windows utilize glass (or another transparent material) to let in light, there are many different types of glazing for windows. Some are quite expensive, while others are affordable. Some are energy-efficient and offer fantastic insulation, while others slack in the energy department but come with very pleasing price tags. Today we’re doing a quick run-through of some common types of window glazing, so that you can decide what will work best for your home.

Types of Glazing for Windows

Types of Glazing for Windows

SINGLE-PANE. The simpleton of the bunch, single-pane glazing contains just one layer of glass, so it isn’t very protective and offers little insulation. Although they’re more traditional in style, single-pane glazings are generally avoided these days because they’re so energy-inefficient. If you’re dead-set on single-pane windows, at least use wood frames and well-fitting storm panels. Your windows will need all the help they can get!

TRIPLE-PANE, GAS-FILLED. Triple-pane glazing is far more common because it offers triple the protection. Gas (usually argon or krypton) is sealed within the layers of glass for added shielding, making this type of glazing an excellent choice for bitterly cold winter climates. It also reduces sound, making it a fitting choice for homes near loud highways or busy streets. As you might have guessed, triple-pane windows are also heavier and pricier than single-panes.

LOW-EMISSIVITY (a.k.a. LOW-E). Low-E is a virtually invisible coating capable of reducing or allowing heat transfer. In cold climates, it can be tailored to maximize heat gained from the sun, and in warm climates, it is tailored to block out the sun’s warmth. This effective coating will increase your windows’ overall cost by about 10-15%, but your energy savings (of 25-50%) will make that extra cost worth it. Low-E is also a popular choice nowadays, and it’s offered with most windows.

HEAT-ABSORBING TINTS. If you’re open to changing the color of your windows, you could use tinted glass. It reduces heat gain and glare and absorbs solar radiation. Common tints include gray, bronze, blue, green, and black, each offering different benefits.

REFLECTIVE COATINGS. Reflective coatings, which are typically made of thin, metallic layers, can block out both light and heat. They come in metallic colors (like gold, silver, and bronze) and their efficiency varies based on the material’s thickness and reflectivity. They’re often used in commercial buildings (on large windows) and in homes burdened by insufferably hot climates.

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These are just some of the types of glazing for windows currently on the market. All windows are not created equal, so before you remodel your home, be sure to research your options. Your budget and your climate will likely dictate your final choice.

If you’re remodeling your house or building a new home and you live in the southwest Missouri area, please give Adam Cowherd Construction a call at 417-877-7548 or click here for a free quote. We would love to help you build the home of your dreams!