Choosing replacement windows in San Ramon, CA involves more than finding the right style and frame material. For optimized energy efficiency you also have to research window glazing options. You need to decide which features are worth the extra cost and which features you can afford to do without. There is a lot to consider and it can be a complicated topic. So here are the top glazing options and what they can mean for your home’s efficiency and energy savings.
Why do Glazing Options Matter?
The wrong glazing options can create huge holes in your home’s thermal envelope. In a cold climate, windows can leak tremendous amounts of heat. In a warm climate, windows can cause overheating due to solar heat gains. That is why finding a balance of the right technologies for the right price is so important. Here are a few things you need to know to help make better decisions about window glazing:
Number of Panes
In the past homeowners only had one pane of glass between them and the elements. It wasn’t long before the standard upgraded to double glazing or two panes of glass with one spacer in between. The hermetically sealed unit gives homeowners a better buffer between the inside and outside. But those are not the only options. Manufacturers have taken glazing to the next level by producing windows with three or even four panes of glass. These windows have a lower U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). So yes, they are better insulators. That said, in warm climates the added cost of an extra pane isn’t easily recouped by energy savings. Fortunately, there are other technologies to help you improve efficiency in warm weather.
Inert Gas Fills
It isn’t normal air or even a vacuum between the glass panes of modern windows. Instead, it is a noble gas, one with more density than air. While odorless, colorless, and non-toxic, the noble gasses slow down heat transfer. They also do not expand and contract and help keep moisture out. The most common gasses are argon and krypton, but a new inert gas making some headway on the market is xenon. Each one comes with pros and cons.
This is another technology developed to reduce unwanted heat gains and losses. Manufacturers apply an ultra-thin metallic oxide layer to certain surfaces on the glass. The two methods include hard coat and soft coat coatings. And while virtually invisible, a low-e coating can reduce energy losses by anywhere from 30 to 50 percent.
Heat Absorbing Tints
Colored window tints can absorb as much as 45 percent of incoming solar radiation. The most common colors are gray and bronze. The leading drawback is these windows technologies block some visible light as well as heat. You can choose a blue or green tint to allow more natural light through, but these colors don’t block as much heat.
Sometimes in warmer climates, the best way to beat unwanted heat gains is to bounce them off of the pane of glass. Reflective coatings are layers of bronze, gold, or silver applied to the outside surfaces of the glass. But in addition to reflecting unwanted heat, they also reduce visible transmittance.
There is a lot to consider when deciding on glazing options for replacement windows in San Ramon, CA. The best thing you can do is sit down with a window expert and go over the options that would offer you the best protection and return on your investment. To schedule a consultation with Quality Windows and Doors call (925) 484-1747. Or visit 3732 Stanley Blvd Ste B, Pleasanton, CA 94566 to ask about modern glazing technologies.