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What's the Right Glass for Your Home's Windows?

You may not have given much thought to the glass in your home's windows other than wondering why it's so tough to keep clean, but there are some factors to consider before you order replacement windows for your house. Choosing the right replacement window glass may reduce your heating and cooling costs, create some additional privacy in your home, and may even prevent an injury to a family member.

Energy Savings

Replacement window glass is available with reflective coatings that help reduce the amount of the sun's radiant heat entering your home. These coatings normally don't affect visibility through the glass and shouldn't be confused with window tinting. Low-E coating is the most common type of reflective coating and most replacement window manufacturers offer it as an option. When Low-E coating is combined with argon gas between the glass panes, you usually have a very energy efficient window unit.

Privacy

Some manufacturers offer the option of tinted replacement window glass. Tinted glass can reduce the amount of radiant heat entering your home in much the same fashion as reflective coatings do, but can also reduce the amount of ultraviolet light that enters as well. Ultraviolet light can fade furniture, carpeting, and wall coverings and create glares on television screens on sunny days. Tinting can alter the clarity of a window and create a mirrored appearance from the exterior during daylight hours, providing additional privacy.

Safety

You may have windows in your home that should have safety glass installed. Safety glass is tempered so that if it breaks, it shouldn't shatter into sharp shards. Car windshields and sliding glass doors use the same methods to help prevent serious injuries from sharp edges. Windows in wet areas such as around tubs and showers often have tempered glass. Windows in any part of the home that are close to floor level should also be considered for tempered glass. Most window manufacturers offer tempered replacement windows as an option.