Are you clear about window glazing? Glass can transform the design of a home and bring extra light in but, with so many glazing options now available, how do you know which one is best for your home? Read on to find out more about the most common types of window glass.
Double glazing and triple glazing
To comply with building regulations all new windows are supplied double glazed for greater energy efficiency. Any new window installed (unless it’s on a listed building) should have a U-value of 1.6W/m²K. Double glazed window panes are made up of two panes of glass and the space between the panes is filled with an inert glass, such as argon, to provide far better insulation than single glazed windows.
If you need even greater insulation or you’re building to the Passivhaus standard, then triple glazing is the answer. Triple glazing incorporates an extra pane of glass, so it holds in more heat than double glazing. The extra pane of glass makes the glazed window unit heavier and it can block out light. It’s also a more expensive option, so do make sure you weigh up the extra cost against future energy savings.
What is Low-E glass? Low-E glass (or low emissivity glass) is an energy efficient glass that’s designed to prevent heat escaping through windows. Low-E glass is coated in a very thin layer of metal that reflects heat back into the room, whilst also allowing heat and light from the sun to pass through. This help to keep the warmth inside in the winter and outside in the summer.
This type of glass will improve the energy efficiency of your home, reduce condensation and help to reduce your monthly heating bills. There are a number of Low-E glass products on the market, including Pilkington K glass, which comfortably achieve a Window Energy Rating (WER) of band A to satisfy Building Regulations.
Solar control glass
If your doors, windows or glazed roof lights are south facing, it’s worth considering solar control glass. This type of glass is designed to reflect the sun’s warmth away, so it’s a great choice for areas with large expanses of glazing as it stops rooms from overheating and reduces glare. Solar glass is a more expensive option, but it does also stop a lot of ultraviolet rays from the sun which can fade carpets and upholstery.
Safety glass (either toughened or laminated) is a must for glazed doors or windows within 80cm of floor level. Laminated glass has a plastic interlayer so if the pane gets broken the plastic will hold it together and prevent shattering. Toughened glass is five times stronger than standard glass and it smashes into tiny pieces if it gets broken.
*Acoustic glass Acoustic glazing cuts out excessive noise, which is useful if you live next to a busy road or an airport. It consists of two or more sheets of glass, which are bonded with an acoustic interlayer to prevent sound frequencies from vibrating from one pane to the other. Acoustic laminated glass combines the benefits of both acoustic and laminated glass.
Cleaning windows and rooflights is time consuming, particularly if you have ones that are hard to reach. Self-cleaning glass has a special coating that reacts with daylight to break down dirt which is then washed away by rain.
Low-iron glass is a high clarity glass that’s more transparent than standard glass, which typically has a greenish hue. This type of glass is manufactured with a lower iron content than standard glass to produce a clearer pane that has no green tint. It’s commonly used in structural glazing where thicker, clearer glass is needed.