If you’re getting ready to buy new windows, you must understand what window glazing is, why window glazing is essential, and the types of window glazing available. High-quality window glazing saves homeowners a lot of money in energy bills by reducing a home’s heat loss, making these energy-efficient windows often worth the investment.
Keep reading to learn more about window glazing and how replacing your old windows with new window glass can save you money in energy costs.
What Is Window Glazing?
The term window glazing can refer to several different things, including the window glass itself, the window glazing compound, which is a putty that holds the window glass in place, and the installation of the window glazing compound. Typically, window glazing means the window has two or more glass panes, optimizing your home’s energy efficiency.
The term window glazing can quickly become confusing when you consider that manufactured glass, like laminated glass or tempered glass, is usually just called glass, not glazing. Remember, if a window installation expert starts talking about installing glazing, they’re likely referring to the window glass itself. However, asking them to give a more detailed explanation never hurts to ensure you’re both on the same page.
Types of Window Glazing
Here are the must-know types of window glazing:
- Single-pane windows are windows with a single layer of glass. Unfortunately, these windows are terrible for energy costs because they offer no protection against the cold or heat. As a result, only a few single-pane windows are sold today. If you choose single-pane windows, perhaps because you like the traditional look, pick ones snugly fitted into wood frames with tight storm panels to prevent further energy loss.
- Double-pane insulated glass, also known as insulated glass or the former trademark Thermopane, is the most common type of new window sold today. Double-pane windows slow heat loss because they have a layer of inert gas, such as krypton or argon, between the outer and inner panes. Inert gas is a poor thermal conductor, preventing heat from escaping your home.
- Triple-pane insulated glass is an even more energy-efficient option because it seals two layers of gas within the window frame. These windows are an incredible choice if you live in freezing temperatures or want sound reduction because you live on a busy street or near a highway. Keep in mind that the window sash for triple-pane windows will be thick and heavy, so it’ll need a supportive frame.
- Heat mirror or low-E glass is another excellent energy-saving window choice. These windows have a low-E, or low-emissivity, coating, which reduces how much heat passes through the glass. Most windows today have this feature, so the important thing to note is that you’ll want to check how much low-E coating the windows you’re considering have. If you live in a hot climate, choosing a low-E coating customized to block out the sun’s energy will be a better choice. Alternatively, a low-E coating that maximizes heat absorption from the sun will be a great choice if you live in a cold climate.
Why Is Window Glazing Important?
The type of glass and type of glazing you opt for will substantially affect how much heat your home loses. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy shares that around 30% of a home’s heating energy loss is through windows. During times of the year when you’re trying to keep your home cool, 76% of sunlight on typical double-pane windows will enter to become heat, increasing your cooling costs.
Opt for low-E coated windows appropriate for your area. Low-E coatings on windows are the most expensive, with many options costing about 10% to 15% more than standard windows. However, the payoff is significant because low-E coatings reduce energy loss by 30% to 50%.
In older homes, installing double-pane or triple-glazing windows can significantly affect energy efficiency, saving you a great deal on monthly heating and cooling costs. These savings will be significant if you replace the frames and have the windows fitted with tight storm panels to prevent unwanted solar heat gain or loss.
In some cases, having enough sheets of glass in a glazed replacement window can eliminate the need for storm windows. We recommend checking with local authorities to ensure your home is adequately protected from the types of storms your area gets. You’ll also want to consider your visual requirements, as some types of window glazes and tints can impair or distort the color of your view. Depending on your situation, this may be a pro if you experience a lot of glare. If a tinted window would be a deal breaker, consider the transparent glaze coatings instead.
Selecting the right type of window glazing for your home and area can save you a significant amount of money in energy costs. Take time to speak with a window specialist and consider factors like your current energy costs, the types of storms and temperatures common in your area, and your budget. You can also take other steps to reduce energy costs, such as using caulk to seal gaps between a window and its frame.
Typically, the more you can invest in your windows now, the less you’ll be paying for increased energy costs later on, so try to invest in the best window glazing you can afford. Your future self will thank you!