Replacement Windows – Energy Efficiency & Glass Quality
Windows almost always represent the largest source of unwanted heat loss and heat gain in buildings. In locales with extreme weather conditions like those we have here in Wisconsin, the importance of minimizing heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer should not be underestimated. Window quality can make a huge difference in energy costs and home value – not to mention plain old year-round comfort.
The quality and variety of replacement windows has increased greatly over the last 15 to 20 years. That’s not to say that subpar replacement windows aren’t still available – they most certainly are – but generally the quality is much higher, and that’s primarily due to advances in technology and engineering in the glass manufacturing industry.
When shopping for replacement windows you’ll be inundated with all kinds of numbers and ratings in terms you may not be familiar with. This is due in large part to the sheer complexity of window production today. At one time, it may have been true that “a window is a window is a window” but that is not the case anymore.
There’s even a fancy name for the glass in windows: IGU’s, or insulated glass units. An IGU refers to the glass portion of a window including the spacer system and multiple layers of glass with air or inert gas between the layers. The entire unit is then hermetically sealed, eliminating possible condensation between the glass and providing superior insulating properties.
There are several factors relating to glass that you should keep in mind when shopping for window replacements:
- How many layers of glass does the window contain?
- How thick is the IGU (insulated glass unit)?
- How much air space between each layer?
- What fills the space between the layers?
- What is the spacer system made of and how is it sealed?
- What type of low-e glass and how many layers are added to the unit?
Each of these factors plays a significant role in a window’s energy efficiency. If you are in the Madison, Green Bay, Brookfield, Appleton, Oshkosh, or their surrounding areas and are in need of a trusted replacement window company, call 888-874-9339 to schedule a free in-home estimate.