When we think of window glass, we think of something that is invisible. But invisible is not always the best solution for windows. In fact, many people want or need glass that is anything but clear.

That’s why there are many different kinds of glass offered in our hurricane replacement windows. I’ll discuss those in a moment.

First, a word about shatter-resistance and the gas that fills the space between the glass in double-paned windows.

I’ve talked before about how the glass in the windows we offer is treated to make it strong, impact resistant and much less dangerous if attempted intrusion or a storm do manage to crack it. Treating it with heat and coating it with special laminates are what do the trick here.

There is a great video on this page of our website (scroll down a little). Here, you can see the difference between the impact resistance of simple tempered glass and two different kinds of laminates. In this video, a pane of each type of glass is smashed. You can see how the laminated glass does not shatter and spread throughout the room. This helps you see with your own eyes why these windows provide intrusion protection as well as protection from flying debris.

There’s also a very special kind of window that prevents the transmission of heat or cold through your windows. So in hot (and humid) months, your cool air stays in and when we get sharp, cold north winds, your warmth stays inside. When a person specifies “Low-E” (meaning low transmission of energy), the space between the two panes of your double-paned windows is filled with argon gas. Argon gas is heavier than normal air so it resists transmitting the heat or cold from the outside. Because of this effect, you will get much less (or none) of the condensation you might have seen before on your windows. In much colder climates, this would mean no frost on the inside of the windows.

Argon gas is also less corrosive than air, meaning that damage to any window frame elements exposed to this gas will be much slower. Argon also provides some additional protection against noise.

But back to that clarity we were talking about in the beginning. Argon is colorless, meaning that it detracts nothing from the brightness of the scene outside your windows.

But what about west-facing windows or windows that face busy streets? What about the occasional office buildings or homes that have large windows overhead? You don’t always want clear windows in these situations.

PGT Industries, our most-recommended manufacturer, offers nine different colors or shades of glass. You can see this list on this page. By clicking on the different color names, you can get an idea of what that glass will look like from the inside and the outside. If you’re being blasted by the sun from overhead, you might want to go with the Solar Cool Bronze. If you need privacy, you might like Obscure or White Interlayer.

So you can see that glass is not always perfectly clear, not should it be. We need choices for different situations of heating, cooling and privacy. If you have any questions about these windows and types of glass or gas filling, please give us a call.