The Value of Your Window: Glass Can Spell the Difference
In years past, most homes and buildings had windows installed primarily so that occupants could benefit from natural daylight and good ventilation. Over the years, fenestration products have since undergone a number of technological advancements, mainly to address the increasing demand for high-performance, energy-efficient glazing systems meant to cut down energy consumption and increase overall indoor comfort. Products that offer such advantages naturally bring enhanced value to building and home owners.
In this post, we take an in-depth look at glazing to help you better understand and determine which window products are worth investing in.
How Glazing Adds Value to Your Window – and Home
Window systems are basically composed of glass panes, framing, spacers, and sealants. The glass or glazing makes up a huge part of the window’s entire assembly – and we can say that the performance of a window is largely dependent on the glazing system.
Even if a window is made of the strongest and most expensive framing material, its value in terms of energy efficiency won’t necessarily rank well.
And energy efficiency – as if you didn’t already know – is the biggest thing today. Whenever and wherever possible, energy-regulating bodies, the government, conservation groups, and the public in general are encouraging ordinary Americans like ourselves to make our homes more energy-efficient. By working hard to lower energy consumption and our utility costs, we also make significant strides towards reducing our personal environmental footprint on the earth. This is why more and more homeowners are committing to install energy-efficient, environment-friendly components – roofing, siding, windows and doors included in their homes. You, too, can benefit from high-performance window products. You just need to know what to look for.
Knowing What to Look For
Outstanding glazing properties are important, as they control the amount of heat and the quality of light that enters the home. This, in turn, affects the energy performance of the window. Below are the values you should look out for when selecting replacement windows for you to make the most of your investment.
- U-Factor. This measures how well a window can insulate, and prevent energy from escaping. The higher the U-factor, the better.
- Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC). This measures how well a window can block unwanted solar heat and prevent it from entering your indoor spaces. The higher the SHGC, the better.
- Visible Light Transmittance (VT). This measures how well a window can let in natural lighting without allowing in unnecessary heat. The higher the VT, the higher the potential for safe and sufficient natural day lighting.
A window with high U-factor and SHGC helps your home maintain comfortable indoor temperatures. Meanwhile, a good VT value helps you save on energy costs by cutting down the need for artificial lighting during the day.
Recommended Features to Consider to Achieve Optimal Value
For a window product to receive exceptional values in the measurement criteria given above, it should have the following glazing features:
- Low-E Glass. Low-Emissivity glass has a specialized coating system that enhances its ability to reflect away harmful and unwanted UV rays and solar heat. At the same time, it bounces back indoor heat and energy to stop it from escaping and leaking out.
- Multiple Panes. Similar to the well-known cliché, “two heads are better than one,” when it comes to glass, two panes are also better than one. The air space between the panes of glass increases the ability of the window to prevent energy loss.
- Gas Fill. The spaces between the glass panes can be home to condensation if they are not utilized well. Filling these spaces with gas such as argon can help improve the thermal performance of a window product.
- Aside from maintaining the perfect space between glass panes, spacers also help keep the gas fills intact. A window must have superior spacers to prevent seals from breaking and condensation from forming.
About the Author
John Esler is an entrepreneur who brings passion and commitment to every initiative he undertakes. Today, John owns four Renewal by Andersen dealerships across the country with over 400 employees. His core business belief is that a true leader is servant to employee, customer and community. As a guest lecturer, student mentor and project sponsor at Babson College, he enjoys keeping abreast of the latest business thinking. John’s philanthropic pursuits include The Jimmy Fund, 15-40 Connection and Babson College.