Experts say it’s important to choose the kind of replacement window glass that best suits your climate. The NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council) label on a window includes information about the glass. All retailers and contractors use this same terminology, so learning glass keywords is helpful:
- Double-paned (double-glazed) windows. Double-paned windows are the industry standard today. They have two layered panes of glass. Since the glass itself is not a good insulator, the air in the space between the panes functions as insulation.
- Triple-glazed windows. Triple-glazed windows are a special feature offered by many premium manufacturers. They have three layered panes and provide even more insulation than their double-paned counterparts.
- Gas-filled windows. Gas-filled windows come in double- or triple-paned and have an inert gas, usually argon or krypton, filling the space between the panes of glass. The gas ensures better insulation than just a layer of air does. The NFRC label will list what type of gas in used in each window.
- Warm-edge spacers. Warm-edge spacers (sometimes called warm-edge technology) are what hold the panes of glass in a double- or triple-paned window apart. They are made of a specialized material that reduces heat transfer and thus improves insulation.
- Low-E (low-emissivity) glass. Low-E glass is coated with a virtually transparent metal film that reflects radiant heat. Low-E coatings reflect radiant heat off the inside of the windows and back into the house to help keep it warm in the winter. Most Low-E coatings also reflect some of the sun’s heat off the outside of the windows which will limit how much of it enters the house as solar heat gain.
- Low-E 2, Low-E 3 glass. As the term suggests, Low-E 2 glass has two layers of Low-E coating, while Low-E 3 glass has three layers. In this generation of windows, manufacturers use a technique called sputtering to help apply the metal solution. Ongoing improvements to these techniques have lead to the use of silver flakes in the process. This provides an even greater reflective surface for the windows. Low-E3 windows are great all climate windows because they offer improved performance in cold weather (U-Factor) and enhanced performance in the summer (SHGC). The third coating is extra protection for keeping unwanted heat out. Low-E coatings also block damaging UV rays which prevents furniture, carpeting and walls in the home from fading.
- High-performance glazing. High-performance glazing refers to glass that has several features designed to make it more energy efficient, such as two or three low-E gas-filled panes with warm-edge spacers.
These are just a few of the terms you will come across when discussing glass decisions for your new windows. The experts at Quality Windows and Doors would be happy to review all these options and help you determine the best choice for your Santa Barbara home. Visit our Ventura County Showroom at 1430 S Oxnard Blvd, Oxnard, CA 93030. The Ventura phone number is 805.984.5895 or our Santa Barbara Showroom at 534 N Milpas St, Santa Barbara, CA 93103 where the phone number is 805.564.7600. You can also call our Malibu location at 310.456.3979. One of our Santa Barbara, CA windows replacement and installation experts would be delighted to talk to you about your window project.