Four PIllars: Replacement Window Glass (Part II)

Four Pillars of a Great Replacement Window Experience: Window Glass II

Our last post in this series on the Four Pillars of a Superior Replacement Window Experience, we provided a short history of glass up to the introduction and adoption of insulated glass for use in windows. In this post, we’ll describe some of the advances that have taken place in the last few decades that improve both the durability and performance of the high efficiency insulated glass used in some replacement windows today.

Four Pillars of Successful Replacement Window Experience: Glass

Insulated Glass Improvements

Since the original insulated glass for windows was created, many improvements have been made in spacer materials, bonding agents, desiccants and seals, all designed to improve the performance and durability of the glass and window unit. One of the biggest enemies of insulated glass units is what’s commonly known as seal failure. This is when the bonding agent or agents that “glue” the glass panes to the spacer and seals them against infiltration of air and moisture  into the space between the panes is broken, allowing moisture into the insulated glass air space. In addition to reducing the thermal efficiency of the window, seal failure often causes the glass to “fog” with condensation, reducing visibility through the glass. Over the past several decades, a great deal of scientific testing with different sealant materials has made great advances in the durability and performance of window sealant technology. The best performing insulated glass today uses two different types of sealants to ensure the strength, durability and performance longevity of the Insulated Glass Unit or IGU.

Inert Gasses

Although insulated glass is traditionally constructed with air trapped between the two panes of glass, high efficiency insulated glass windows have been developed that use inert gasses such as Argon or Krypton in the air space. These gasses, which are denser than air, improve the thermal efficiencies of the window considerably, reducing heat loss through the window and improving the energy efficiency of the home, which reduces the heating and cooling expense for the homeowner.

Glass Coatings

If you’ve ever spent any time in a car on a sunny day with the windows closed and the air conditioning off, you know how much solar heat can be transferred through glass from the sun. To combat solar heat gain through glass windows, the most energy efficient insulated glass today usewhat are known as spectrally selective glass coatings. These coatings, made of exotic metals and compounds, reduce the heat gain through the glass and also help reduce the ultraviolet light that can fade carpets and draperies.

High–Performance™ Low-E4® SmartSun® Glass

Renewal by Andersen replacement windows use High-Performance Low-E4® SmartSunTM glass. Low-E4® SmartSunTM is Renewal by Andersen’s most energy-efficient glass ever and is up to 70 percent more energy efficient in summer as compared to ordinary dual pane glass. This glass has Renewal by Andersen’s highest energy efficiency rating in cool weather.  SmartSunTM glass also blocks an amazing 95% of harmful UV rays, helping to protect furniture, carpets and wall coverings.

Andersen High-PerformanceTM Low-E4® glass is the next generation of premium glass technology and is standard on all Renewal by Andersen windows and Frenchwood® patio doors.

Key benefits of Low-E4® glass include:

•Up to 56% more energy-efficient in summer and 45% more efficient in winter compared to ordinary dual-pane glass.

•Innovative coating reduces water spots and makes cleaning easier

•Blocks 83% of UV rays that can fade fabric and damage furniture

•Significantly reduces the level of sound coming into your home

Renewal by Andersen products are rated, certified, and labeled by the National Fenestration Rating Council® (NFRC) – a non-profit organization that provides fair, accurate and credible energy performance ratings for windows and doors.

As one of the main pillars in your Replacement Window satisfaction, your choice of window glass will have a large impact on your long-term happiness with your new windows. Be sure to consider all the features and benefits of your replacement window glass choices before making your final selection.

Your Renewal by Andersen of New Jersey design consultant will be happy to demonstrate the performance of our glass at a free, no obligation in home design consultation. Call us at 1-888-826-2451 or fill out the short form on this page to schedule your appointment today.


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