Replacement Windows 101

Windows are available in all types, types, sizes and styles, but unless you’re building a new house, all the above are largely predetermined. There are in fact some exceptions. Perhaps a previous residenceowner changed the unique windows with units which can be historically inappropriate or inferior. Or maybe you’re adding a household room on the back of the house, where it could be okay to deviate from the double hung home windows within the front; in this situation, you might decide to make use of casements. Sometimes a homeowner will wish to improve or decrease the dimensions of the window being changed, but in the event you’re like most homeowners, the real selections will have more to do with energy-saving features and ease of maintenance.

Replacement Window Glazing

With regard to energy saving, the primary thing to deal with is glazing. Efficient windows typically have two layers of glass and are called dual-pane or double-pane. The small gap between the glass layers creates a barrier to heat flow, which may be enhanced with an additional layer of glass ( separate insulating chambers), in which case it’s called triple-glazed. The hole or gaps between layers of glazing are often filled with a gas that additional reduces heat flow by conduction. Argon and Krypton, or a combination thereof, are commonly used gas fills.

Reflective Films, Tints, and Coatings

Reflective films, tints, and low-emittance (low-E) coatings are a few of the different ways window manufacturers are improving window performance.


Reflective films block a lot of the radiant energy striking a window—keeping occupants cooler—but in addition they block many of the seen light. In addition to giving windows a mirror-like appearance, they typically cause occupants to use more electric lighting to compensate for the lack of daylighting.


Bronze- and gray-tinted glass replicate radiant energy and reduce cooling loads without reducing as a lot the seen light coming into the home. A visual transmittance (VT) of 60% (versus 90% for clear glass) is common.


Low-E coatings are more versatile than either reflective films or tints and are virtually invisible. Microscopic metal or metallic oxide particles suppress radiant heat flow out of the window and can be formulated to allow varying degrees of solar radiation in. In climates the place heating is the dominant concern, low-E coatings could also be used to stop radiant heat switch out of the house while permitting high solar heat gain. In climates where each heating and cooling are required, low-E coatings can reduce radiant heat loss while permitting moderate heat gain. In climates the place the dominant concern is cooling, low-E coatings are primarily used to reduce solar heat gain. It’s even potential to fine-tune solar heat acquire by choosing a low-E coating with a high solar heat achieve coefficient (SHGC) for south-dealing with windows and a decrease coefficient for different orientations.

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