Does your home feel a little colder than usual this fall? Your windows could be to blame. These large features located throughout your home play a significant role in temperature regulation inside your home. And if your windows are outdated or deteriorating, you’ll notice a big difference in the indoor temperature in a relatively short period of time. That’s why it’s important to check over your windows every fall and replace the ones that are preventing your house from staying warm in the winter. To find out what you need to be aware of, here we’ll explain the role your windows play in keeping your house warm in the winter and which ones perform best in colder climates.
Utilizing the Sun’s Energy
Windows that have a specialty glazing, like a Low-E glass coating, can keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. The special transparent metal-oxide coating is designed to transmit the sun’s shortwave energy and block out long-wave radiant heat. It also helps to increase the insulating value of the glass. So in the wintertime when the sun shines directly into your windows, the Low-E glass will transmit the sun’s shortwave energy to enter your home and keep it warm. Once the heat is converted to long-wave radiant heat in your home, the coating then blocks the amount of heat that is transferred to the glass so it doesn’t escape back outside. In the summer, the direct sunlight will enter your home but the long-wave heat that bounces off of exterior surfaces – sidewalks, driveway, patio – is blocked from transmitting through the glass and into your cool home.
Limiting Conduction and Convection
Insulated glass windows can improve insulation and stop heat from escaping. These sealed, double-glazed and triple-glazed units have panes of glass that are separated by noble gas such as argon. This inner surface is also coated with materials to keep cold air out and warm air in. The combination of the space between the panes and the gas inside reduces the effects of conduction and convection. It’s also important to note that the wider the spaces, the more effective the insulation properties are.
Reducing Air Leakage
Air leaks can greatly impact the temperature inside your home in the winter. And some windows also have lower air leakage rates than others. The most efficient are hinged windows like awning windows that have a hinge at the top and a sash that closes tightly by pressing up against the frame. This sash creates a lower air leakage rate than a sliding or hung window type. Another style that has a tight sash is a fixed windowpane. These don’t open so they have quality airtight properties that prevent air leaks from entering into the home and affecting the overall temperature.
Improving Thermal Resistance
Not all window frames are made equal when it comes to energy efficiency and keeping your home warm all winter long. For instance, metal and aluminum frames have very poor insulating properties compared to other types. Fortunately, if you own one of these, an insulated plastic strip can be placed between the inside and outside of the frame and sash to reduce heat flow. The best frames for thermal resistance are fiberglass and vinyl. These two types have hollow cavities that can be filled with insulation to give them a superior thermal performance that will prevent cold air from moving inside your home.
Absorbing Solar Energy
The type of glass used in the window is often an afterthought, but it can also make a really big difference when it comes to keeping a house warm and preventing cool air from coming in. The most efficient glass types on the market are reflective glass, tinted glass, and solar control glass options. Reflective glass offers a thin layer of metal oxide that is efficient at reducing solar heat gain while allowing visible light to pass through. Tinted glass has added colour pigments that can absorb solar energy and can keep your home nice and warm in the wintertime. And solar control glass has a specialty coating that reflects and absorbs heat and filters out light to create a balanced temperature.
If you’re not sure what type of glass and window products to buy for your home, we can help. Our company is the leading supplier of window glass in the Ottawa area and have decades of experience with glass products, manufacturing, and installations here in Canada. We would be more than happy to answer any questions you have about window glass and the role it plays in keeping your home warm. For more information on window glass, contact us at M&T Glass today.