Looking to Save Money? Choose the Right Glass for Your Window Replacement
Getting ready to replace that problem window?
When you’re thinking of replacing a window, or even multiple windows, in your home, it’s easy to assume the job just requires a quick set of measurements, grabbing some cheap replacements at the local hardware store, and popping the new windows into place. In the past, window replacement was often done in this way.
Your choice, when it came to windows, pretty much boiled down to “you can have single or double pane windows; take your pick.”
Glass has become much high-tech today, thanks to advancements in science and materials engineering. Savvy consumers understand that making the right choice when carrying out a window replacement in Houston TX can make all the difference, when it comes to the comfort of your home and, equally important, to the size of your monthly utility bills.
The truth is that Window technology simply isn’t what it used to be.
People now want much more than just clear glass panes in their windows. Energy conservation is a key decision factor for many, not only out of consideration for taking a greener approach to conscious living but also as an important strategy in reducing monthly home expenses, especially when trying to cut costs while raising a family. Especially in Houston, glass choices can even be what protect us from scorching, miserable summers and torrential hurricane winds and rain.
The level that the climate outside our homes – the heat, the cold, the sun, and the rain – affects us inside our homes largely depends on the types of windows we select. When you live in Houston, glass that has been treated to withstand the sun’s heat offers you and your family priceless benefits, from reducing furniture fading to keeping you cool in August. Not all glass is the same and buying windows with the wrong kind of glass in them can be a costly mistake. Here’s a very brief guide on how to make the right choice for your home.
Opt for Double-Paned or Triple-Paned Glass
First off, double-paned or even triple-paned windows offer immediate energy efficiency gains. The air between the glass panes does not allow temperatures to cross over as easily as a single pane of glass does, so the very tangible benefit of swapping from single-pane to double- or triple-paned glass can be felt almost immediately. Whether you’re warming your home in cooler weather or keeping it cool in hotter weather, double- and triple-paned glass make a significant contribution, when it comes to maintaining the internal temperature of your house.
Consider Efficiency Values
Second, each type of glass has efficiency values attached to it, and these values tell you a lot about how the glass will perform in your home.
The most important value to consider is the SHGC value (solar heat gain coefficient), which measures the ability to reflect the sun’s heat away for the glass in question. For this rating, lower is better. Here in Houston, the glass should have as low an SHGC value as possible, considering how long and hot our summers can be. This rating is based on the next three ratings we’ll discuss, so this should be your biggest focus.
Most glass also has what’s called a U-factor, which measures how effectively the glass acts as an insulator; that is, it measures the window’s rate of non-solar heat transfer. In simple terms, when you heat your home in the winter, a low U-factor is preferable, because it stops heat generated indoors from escaping to the outside so easily.
Some glass also has an R-value, which measures the window’s insulating efficiency. Higher R-values are better. A clear single-pane window has an R-value of 1, while quality double-pane windows can have an R-value as high as 4.0.
A final factor to consider when considering window replacement in Houston is whether or not your glass has Low-E (low-emittance) heat reflecting coating, which reduces heat transfer between panes. Basically, this lets in light from the outside but reflects much of the sun’s heat, keeping your home cooler. And in colder weather, more of the heat generated inside your home will stay there.
Figuring out how many panes of glass your replacement windows have, as well as their efficiency values, may seem like a lot of work. However, in the long run, taking a few extra minutes to consider these important markers can have a lasting impact when it comes to your family’s pocketbook. If your home’s air and heating systems don’t have to work as hard, that’s more money in the bank for you. If your carpets, furniture, and curtains don’t fade, they’ll last longer, so you can add that money to the bank, too. And perhaps most importantly, by considering the right type of windows, you can keep your family comfortable all year.
Given the length of the hot weather season here in Houston, glass that has the ability to prevent the sun’s heat from entering your home is paramount. If window replacement is your next home project, Mr. Windows is ready to help, with options that include lifetime transferable warranties, so that you can put your window worries to rest.