Replacing your home's windows is just not something you do every day. Chances are, it has been decades since you last replaced your windows. When you start looking around at new replacement window options, you're going to be surprised how far technology has come! Gone are the days when double-pane windows were the latest and greatest for energy-efficiency, and vinyl windows no longer rule the world as the only low-maintenance option.
Here's a look at three major technological advancements that are making today's windows better than ever.
It's a problem as old as windows themselves: glass is just not great at trapping heat. The heat waves pass right through it, leading to higher heating and cooling bills. Double-pane windows do reduce this heat transfer somewhat since the air between the two pieces of glass provides some insulation, but even standard double-pane windows were not that energy-efficient.
This is where low-e glass comes in. This newer, more innovative material is glass that has been coated with a special layer of silver. You can't see the silver on the glass since the layer is so thin, but it causes the glass to reflect far more heat waves than it normally would. Where as about 84% of heat waves pass right through plain glass, only 2% pass through the best quality low-e glass. Thus, low-e glass is a great option for homeowners seeking year-round energy efficiency. In the summer, it reflects heat waves away from your home, and in the winter, it reflect the heat waves back into your home.
Composite Sash Materials
Window sashes used to all be made from wood, which is a very high-maintenance material since it cracks and rots and requires such frequent painting. Then, vinyl window sashes hit the market, and homeowners flocked to them because they did not need to be painted or stained. But vinyl sashes have that synthetic look that not all homeowners like, and they have to be made pretty thick in order to support the window glass. Nowadays, more and more homeowners are opting for window sashes made from wood composite.
Wood composite is a mixture of wood pulp and plastics. Most window replacement companies have their own proprietary composite mixtures, but they are all quite similar. They look like wood, but they won't rot, thanks to the plastic. They can be made thinner than vinyl window sashes because composite is so strong. Plus, they're great for energy efficiency since heat does not pass through them well and they stay sealed tightly to the glass for many decades.
When you look at a modern double-pane window, the layer of air between the two panes of glass is not always air. In higher-end windows, it is often argon gas. The argon does the same job as air -- acting as an insulator -- but it does this job even better, blocking even more heat from passing through the window.
If even argon gas-filled windows are not efficient enough for you, then you can pay a bit more for some filled with krypton, a gas that'e even more insulating than argon. This is usually only worthwhile in areas where the winters are exceedingly brutal. There are also triple-pane windows made with argon and krypton gas, which are supremely insulating, but of course come with a higher price tag that reflects this.
All of this new technology may seem overwhelming when you first start shopping for new windows, but have no fear. If you work with a reputable window replacement company, they will explain everything to you and help you select the options that are best for your home. For more information, visit this website, or others like it.Share
14 August 2017
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