Four Pillars of a Great Replacement Window Experience: Window Glass (Part I)
As discussed in prior posts on this site, there are four key pillars that ensure a positive replacement window experience. Like a chair that has a broken leg, losing just one of these pillars will diminish your ultimate satisfaction with your new windows. In this multi-part series, we will discuss each of these pillars to your happiness. Some of these are so complex, that will take more than one post adequately address.
Your window is mostly glass. It’s the defining element of your window. Without glass, your window would simply be a hole in the wall through which heat and cold, precipitation, debris, insects and other intruders would enter your home.
A History or Window Glass
Window glass has come a long, long way since transparent glass was invented. The history of glass can be traced back to 3500 BC in Mesopotamia, but it was in the Roman glassmaking center at Trier, now in modern Germany, that the late-Latin term glesum originated. Whatever its origins, the original transparent glass used in windows was originally a very expensive custom-made product available only to the most wealthy. And even then, it was a far cry from what we know today as window glass.
Modern Window Glass
Modern Insulated Window glass is a relatively new invention. Not so long ago, all windows used single-pane glass. To help reduce heat loss through the windows, storm windows were created. A precursor to insulated glass, storm windows were an additional piece of glass added to the inside or outside of a window to create a pocket of air that helped reduce extreme thermal transfer in winter. Although they added some thermal efficiency, storm windows were not air tight and allowed drafts through the windows and in some cases, did little to eliminate icing on the interior window surfaces.
Insulated Window Glass
Finally, in about the 1930s, primitive insulated glass was invented. More advanced insulated glass became commonly used in windows in the United States in the 1950s. An Insulated Glass Unit, or IGU, consists of two pieces of glass separated by a spacer which is sealed to create a “Dead Air” insulating space between them. The glass panes are sealed to the spacer to create a single unit that is mounted in a window frame or sash. The IGU is sealed to the window, preventing drafts, air and moisture infiltration between the panes. As a sealed part of the window, the modern IGU prevents air movement between the glass and window frame and sash.
Next Up: Advances in Insulated Window Glass
In our next post, we’ll discuss the creation of and advances in the Insulated Glass Units common in replacement windows today.
For more information about the glass used in Renewal by Andersen of Central New Jersey replacement windows, contact us at 1-888-826-2451 or fill out the short form on the top of this page. Our friendly representatives will be happy to answer any questions you may have.