Types of Window Glasses and Their Uses


When researching the different types of replacement windows and glass for your home, you may be surprised and overwhelmed by the number of options available. With today’s technology, a wide variety of window glass is accessible to insert into your home’s window frame — all offering efficiency and dependability for better impact resistance, improved energy efficiency, better heat retention and ultraviolet light resistance. But what types of glass are used for windows, what is each kind used for and how can you determine which solution is right for your daily needs and budget?

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Different Types of Glass Used for Windows

To best narrow down your glass insert options, consider where you’re located, the typical climate of the area and which materials will best fit your needs. Decide if you need glass with improved strength and durability, if you wish to improve your home’s overall energy efficiency or if you could benefit from saving money on annual heating and cooling costs. While there are several varieties of glass to choose from, six common types of window glass to consider for your home are:

  1. Annealed or clear: For many standard and basic windows, they’re installed with annealed, also known as clear, glass inserts. This type of glass is a good option for budget-conscious window replacements. Annealed glass hasn’t been strengthened or tempered, so it will adequately protect your interior from the outdoors but shatter into large pieces if broken. Because it hasn’t been crafted with any extra features, it won’t help you save on any energy efficiency or protect your furnishings from ultraviolet rays.
  1. Heat-absorbing tint: To better control heat radiance as well as incorporate a visually interesting aesthetic into your glass, consider having a heat-absorbing tint added to your window glass insert. Glass with a tint will reduce glares and absorb solar heat from outside. A bronze, green or gray tint will lower heat transference by up to 45 percent, increasing your overall energy efficiency and helping you save on cooling costs.
  1. Reflective: As you might expect based on their name, reflective panes of glass are crafted with a special film that controls the amount of light entering your home as well as reduces unpleasant glares. With reflective coatings, you can also better control indoor solar heat gain during the summer months to save on energy costs.
  1. Insulated: When selecting window glass for your frames, you’ll be asked to choose between one, two and three panes. Having a single pane is the least effective option. Multiple panes of glass will improve the strength of the glass, helping it resist breakages and increasing energy efficiency. If you’re seeking exceptional energy efficiency throughout your home, ask your window installation expert about gas-filled insulated glass. Glass crafted with added insulation and gas inserted between the panes — typically argon or krypton — will have superior efficiency qualities.
  1. Low emissivity: Glass with low-emissivity, or low-e, coatings have a thin layer on the surface that reflects heat. With this added coating, warm air from inside your home won’t be transferred outside on a cold day, and heat from outside won’t enter your home on a hot day. By adding a low-e coating to your windows, you can have added protection from ultraviolet light, take advantage of more durable glass inserts, save money on annual heating and cooling costs, improve energy efficiency and enjoy more comfortable interior temperatures.
  1. Laminated: Like many glass inserts, a laminated coating is a special layer of polyvinyl butyral inserted between your panes of glass during manufacturing. Lamination is an exceptional feature of any glass insert and has increased durability, sound reduction qualities and safety — if broken, the glass won’t break into dangerous shards. It also eliminates 99 percent of ultraviolet rays. For added convenience and effectiveness, have a low-e coating applied to your laminated glass.

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Learn More About Types of Window Glass With Glass.com

Deciding which type of window glass will work best for your home can be difficult, but the experts at Glass.com can navigate you toward local glass experts in your community that can consult with you to find the window materials ideal for your needs, expectations and budget. All of our partners are leading, trusted professionals in their areas, providing quality window and glass repair, installation and replacement services. With Glass.com you can schedule fast, easy appointments and request free project quotes.

If you need assistance with your search, the team at Glass.com is happy to answer your questions — just call us today at 816-945-2778, or fill out our online contact form.

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