When choosing windows, glass is probably the one of the last things you think of. Yet it’s one of the most important things to consider in the way of both appearance and energy efficiency. Adding privacy or beauty to a room is just the beginning.
Dual Glazed versus Single Glazed
For the most part, dual glazing has become the industry standard. For a small price increase (if one at all) they have been proven to decrease the effect the temperature outside has on the inside of your house. If you live in the city, dual glazed windows will be a dream come true especially if you live near an airport or freeway. While single glazed windows may be a good choice when attempting to match existing ones, for performance, dual glazing is the best.
The best thing you can do for your home and everything inside of it is get Low-E Glass. Low-E(emissivity) is a transparent thin coating on one side of the glass that is composed of layers of silver sandwiched between layers of metal oxide coatings. The result is significant reduction in “short-wave radiation” and ultraviolet rays that damage carpet and furniture; far superior to tinting in performance, it still allows most natural light in while reducing the most damaging part of it. It also assists in lowering heating and cooling bills. In the summer, “long-wave radiation” is reflected back outside, lowering cooling costs. In the winter, internal long-wave radiation is reflected back into your home, lowering heating cost.
A favorite way of adding beauty and depth to a room is with divided lites, (grids). You have several options. If true divided lites are a consideration, you may want to look at “Simulated Divided Lites” (SDL). Rather than breaking up the Glass, SDL applies an interior and exterior grid of the same pattern, then to complete the effect, may put a spacer bar in between the panes of glass. This lowers cost, in addition to increasing the perfomance of the window.
If the difficulty associated with cleaning windows with divided lites is a concern, you may want to consider grills between glass or airspace grilles. This simply puts one set of grills between the two panes of glass, keeping them away from the elements so they won’t rust or get dirty. This also makes the window easier to clean as the entire surface of the glass is unobstructed.