Why the Window Pane You Choose Matters

When most homeowners or business owners think about needing new windows they consider the size, shape, style and frame, but often the type of window pane itself isn’t a consideration.

Different window panes can offer benefits such as heat insulation, or reflection, increased privacy, sound reduction and perhaps most importantly, increased energy efficiency – which leads to reduced energy bills. 

Understanding the different types of window panes that are available and the benefits of each type will help you to choose the right kind of glass for your windows when the time comes to replace them.

Different Types of Window Panes and Their Advantages

There is a surprisingly large list of different types of window panes available for residential and commercial use. 

The best choice for you will depend on a number of factors such as climate in your area, privacy requirements and whether you are looking for residential or commercial glass panes.

Of course, some of the features of these window panes can be used together to create the result you need. 

Note that a sealed window pane unit or even a single pane can be changed or replaced without having to change out the entire window frame, which makes it easier and cheaper to install your preferred type of window pane.

Energy Efficient Window Panes

These types of window panes help to control heat transfer in the home, which in turn can mean less energy is required to heat or cool your home or workplace.

  • Double pane – These insulated glazing units (IGUs) feature two panes of glass spaced apart and sealed, leaving an insulating air space. They offer good insulation to prevent energy loss and prevent condensation as well as some external noise blocking.
  • Triple pane – An IGU but with three panes of glass and two pockets of sealed air for even better insulation and soundproofing. Usually recommended in colder climates, as superior insulation may not be appreciated in warmer summer months elsewhere.
  • Gas filled – Double or triple-paned windows can be filled with either Krypton or Argon. These harmless gasses block heat loss and help maintain internal temperatures as they are less conductive than air.
  • Low-Emissivity – These panes have a low-e coating, an extremely thin layer of metal oxide, added to the surface of one or more panes during manufacture. This helps to control the heat transferred in either direction through the glass. Different low-e coating levels are available depending on the local climate.

If energy efficiency is a benefit you are looking for in your windows, it’s important to note that the type of frame you choose will also impact energy efficiency and heat management. Choose a combination of glass pane and frame that maximizes your desired effect.

  • Vinyl – Easy to maintain and not easily damaged, vinyl is a popular frame choice for energy efficient window panes.
  • Wood – While wood is a good insulator, it can also be damaged by extreme weather and require regular maintenance to retain a good seal.
  • Aluminium – Best for very rainy, humid climates or hurricane zones as it is very strong and it won’t rot. Not ideal for cooler climates as it loses heat easily.

Best Window Panes for Privacy

If you are looking for window panes to increase privacy at home or in a workplace setting consider the following window panes:

  • Reflective glass – A thin metal coating on one side of the pane makes the glass reflective on one side while you can still see through from the other side. Note that these types of glass only work in certain light conditions. 
  • Etched – A decorative effect as a result of tiny cuts or scratches made on the glass surface. The glass becomes opaque in etched areas which is good for privacy. Etching can cover a solid area or be used to create designs or business logos in the glass.
  • Tinted or coated – Metal oxides can be added to the glass pane in manufacture to add a coloured tint. Coatings can also be added to one or more panes that add additional privacy or UV filters.

Strong and Secure Window Panes

In some circumstances, stronger glass which can withstand damage is required, usually in high traffic areas:

  • Laminated glass – These extra strong panes are made by fusing two panes together around a layer of clear poly vinyl using high heat. The resulting glass is less likely to break from contact and is great at reducing noise transfer.
  • Tempered glass – Created when glass panes are heated and quickly cooled, tempered panes are 4 times stronger than regular glass and break into small dull pieces to prevent harm. Some areas require tempered glass in residential windows.
  • Fire rated glass – Thick glass that is fire rated for up to 90 minutes and can withstand thermal shock. Hose stream tested to stand up to the pressure of water from a firehose. 

Choosing the Right Window Pane

As you can see, with these multiple options, choosing the right window pane for you is primarily about what your needs are. When considering new windows, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I looking to save energy and reduce energy bills?
  • Do I want to keep heat in, keep it out or do I need a combination of both throughout the year?
  • Do I need to build in some privacy by using etched or tinted glass?
  • Do my windows need to be extra secure or extra safe? Commercial buildings will often need to consider this.
  • Do I live in a very cold area or somewhere with a lot of external noise? If so, triple glazing may be a good choice.

Whatever your needs, Budget Glass can offer advice and suggestions regarding the best window pane and frame options for your needs and to fit your budget.

Save Energy Costs with Thermoproof Windows from Budget Glass

Serving Nanaimo and Central Vancouver Island since 1983, Budget Glass is your local expert on residential and commercial glass.

We recommend Thermoproof vinyl windows for maximum energy efficiency in homes and workplaces. Filled with argon gas and including organic warm edge spacers for optimal energy efficiency, these windows keep your home cool in summer and warm in winter.

Looking to replace your windows at home, or add glazing to your commercial workplace? Budget Glass can help you. Contact us today to get started.